I have a ton of respect for Danny Meyer and his restaurant empire. From Shake Shack to Maialino to The Modern to Citifield to infinity and beyond, the man really knows what he’s doing. Each and every one of his restaurant stays true to the concept at hand, whether it’s in terms of décor, staff knowledge or authenticity. Thanks to Meyer, New York has an extremely high standard of service that the city now thrives by which emphasizes the entire “experience.” And while the food doesn’t always stand up to the rest of the restaurant, often times, it really does…….hello Union Square Café, Maialino, Blue Smoke!
On this humid and rainy summer night, Teresa and I found ourselves at a newish restaurant in the Financial District (of all places). Our amazing server described and gushed over practically every dish on the menu and definitely spent a good 5 minutes with us just on that. She was very helpful and perky which got us excited about the meal at hand. We started with the Hamachi Tartar with hearts of palm, pineapple and candied ginger. This was by far the best dish of the meal with its inventive and fresh combination of ingredients. Y’all know how much I love sweet + savory! The pineapple was just tart enough to help cure the hamachi while the candied ginger gave it a mild kick. Microgreens brought this beauty together and we couldn’t get enough of this well-portioned dish!
Teresa and I also tried the Coddled Egg with peekytoe crab, bacon, ramps, spring onion and grits. Again, here’s another example of how popular eggs are becoming at trendy new restaurants in the city. The lightness of the hardly cooked egg obtained an almost hollandaise-like consistency which, when paired with grits, composed a homey dish with strong flavors found in the crab, bacon, ramps and spring onion.
We got very original with our entrées when we both ordered the Wild Salmon with quinoa, spring carrot purée, cashews and balsamic glaze. Our server, Christyd did her job too well because we both needed to try this beautiful wild fish prepped medium-rare. While the quality of the fish was incredible and the ”Native American”-like compliments really brought out fun flavors, neither of us really loved the dish. I just don’t think earthy and nutty flavors in such a dominant manner work naturally together, but I definitely would have preferred it in a smaller, appetizer portion.
The Thrice-Fried Spice Fries were pretty bad. Way too salty and fried. Mayo was the only respite. On the other hand, the Grilled Hen of the Woods were phenomenal! Sprinkled with just a touch of salt, these fancy mushrooms were incredibly simple and flavorful.
We finished off the meal with the restaurant’s infamous Lemon Meringue Pie which Christy couldn’t stop raving about. I think there are two camps when it comes this pie – you either love it or you hate it. Teresa and I might both be in the ladder’s camp, but we knew this was some special lemon meringue pie from the get-go. The meringue was feathery light like I’ve never seen or had before. I just wish the lemony custard part was creamier and not so eye-twitchingly tangy. Next time, I want to try the highly recommended Butterscotch Pot de Creme, which I’ve seen all over the foodie web.
According to NYT, North End Grill is supposed to be “an update of the American bar and grill,” and it definitely was that. The space was so many things all at once: modern, sleek, glossy, light, familiar yet corporate-y. Maybe too many things? Nonetheless, Teresa and I felt comfortable in the dining room as we matched everyone else in our dreary work clothes.
What I take away from this experience is that Danny Meyer is a pioneer when it comes to setting up camp in untapped neighborhoods throughout the city. Union Square Café was a pretty risky idea in the 80′s when diners were scared of the then-sketchy Union Square area. Respected restaurants were located more uptown then. Along those lines, his newest restaurant, North End Grill, opened Battery Park City up to Danny Meyer loyalists (like me and all my friends) along with Shake Shack and Blue Smoke. The area has never been known to house any culinary heavy hitters, but Meyer is quickly changing that. I’m sure the food will improve as the restaurant “finds itself,” and I’m excited to go back!
I really appreciate how Chinese food is finally getting the respect it deserves in New York with “New Chinese” restaurants like Red Farm, Café China, Yunnan Kitchen, Mission Chinese Food, Wong and Xi’an Famous Foods. Okay, so maybe it took a few hungry hipsters with money to get this movement going, but I like where it’s headed. In my opinion, New Yorkers don’t really get Chinese food, but how could they when their perspectives are mostly based off what they see and taste in Chinatown? Don’t even get me started on the rest of America; but hey, not everyone is lucky enough to have lived in China. And sure, most of what’s in Chinatown may be true to what you would find in China, but it’s such a small sample with Cantonese restaurants dominating the scene.
I like this “movement” because it’s modernizing Chinese food by dumping the takeout boxes for quality ingredients, thoughtful décor, attentive service, accessibility, creativity and regional specialties. You no longer have to deal with short-tempered servers and poorly translated menus to eat great-tasting Chinese food. There are now restaurants that care about the entire “experience” but obviously at a premium.
Let me stop my mini op-ed piece right there and actually talk about Red Farm! Firstly, how adorable is this restaurant? The country/industrial design is perfect for this concept and fits well in the funky West Village. Thanks nymag.com and Red Farm for the pics.
Bovalicious (my best eating partner) and I hit the ground running with the Assorted Appetizers (needs a better name)! There was such a variety in flavors and ingredients in each mini dish that whetted our appetites for the following rounds. This pu pu platter is a must! My ocean-loving mouth adored the Oysters with lemon-yuzu ice which was incredibly cold and refreshing with a little twist. The Curried Beancurd was out of this world with its spongy firmness and soft curry flavor. We also loved the Spicy Crispy Beef which might have been more batter than beef, but the sweet and tangy sauce paired with the beef’s crunchy texture was delectable. Let’s not forget the Lobster Salad which laid generous pieces of fresh lobster on top of arugula and dressed with a heavenly peanut/sesame/ginger concoction. Lastly, Red Farm’s Shrimp Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers were some of the best poppers I’ve ever had. These babies were perfectly fried inside and out with deliciously plump shrimp stuffed into them. SUPER NOMZ.
How cute is that Pac-Man? Whoever wrote the menu definitely takes a marketing-minded approach to hospitality and wants to make moolah, because this dish sells itself. The fact that these dumplings were rainbow-colored freaked me out a little, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that each dumpling was plump as hell and freaking delicious. I almost didn’t want to eat the adorable “Pac-Man,” but my curiosity won out – fried sweet potato. Now this is the part that hurts – at $12.50, these high-quality dumplings were not cheap when compared to their $4 counterparts in Chinatown dim sum places. Worth it? Yes!
What is this thing? Katz’s pastrami in an egg roll? Isn’t that sacrilegious? NOOOO. It’s the opposite. It’s holy! Pastrami is the last thing I’d expect from a Chinese restaurant, but Red Farm had many tricks up its sleeve. Close your eyes and just imagine biting into a hot, crispy roll filled with carnivorous delight with just a few drops of dijon mustard dripping down your chin as you attempt to wipe it away. That’s the experience I had with this innovative dish. Read more about it at Reasons I’m Not Vegetarian.
Bova and I were already on a food high when we tried the BBQ’ed “Black Foot” Berkshire Pork Belly. This was seriously some other-world business. I’ve never had pork belly melt in my mouth like that. It was so just damn tender and buttery! I loved the sweet and savory flavors along with the smoky finish. Just one minor thing, the pork was a touch too salty. Just a molecule too salty. Nothing major. Oh pork belly, I love you.
We should have probably stopped there, but if you know anything about either of us, you know there was no way that was going to happen. So we ordered a few even more filling items, one of which was the Soft and Crunchy Vegetable Fried Rice. We needed some vegetables to justify this meal but obviously picked the most filling options available. My pictures don’t do this fried rice justice, but please know that this was some quality fried rice! It definitely did not taste like day-old white rice smothered in artificial flavoring and old veggies.
So this is where our meal should have stopped, right? But since we’re such inquisitive and insatiable fatties, we had to try the Okra and Thai Eggplant Curry for research purposes, of course. I’m so glad we did because there’s nothing like Thai curry regardless of whether it is red, yellow or green. This creamy blend of veggies, Thai basil and some more of that awesome tofu had a spicy kick to it which was perfectly subdued with rice. I could really eat this all day, everyday.
Yay, dessert time! Have you noticed that Chinese restaurants often miss when it comes to desserts (if they have a dessert menu at all)? Chinese people love fruit so you might be lucky enough to get oranges after dinner rather than a fortune cookie. That’s about it unless you’re Chinese and a VIP, then the restaurant might give you red or green bean dessert soup. At Red Farm, the dessert menu named a few Asian sounding ingredients (i.e. ginger) but was almost exclusively “western” in execution. This Chocolate Pudding is the perfect example. It was good but nothing to write home about, and I didn’t really get why it was on the menu. Red Farm, take note! FYI, the best place for Chinese desserts is in Hong Kong, so I won’t even go there in this post.
Be certain that Bova and I rolled out of the restaurant with doggy bags and sizable dents in our wallets. But I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again, IT WAS SO WORTH IT! The beautiful restaurant and attentive service were just icing on the cake for this amazing meal.
Red Farm, I love you
Hello little fatties! As always, it’s been a while since my last post, but obviously I was out doing “research.” The past month has been full of great food due to the fortunate timing of my birthday and the spellbinding weather which is always conducive to fatty habits.
For this post, I’ll write about my dinner at Tertulia with my favorites – Teresa, Rachael and Christine – because I can’t stop thinking about one unforgettable dish! Not to mention, it was a meal with miss @chaodownnyc thanks to her CFO’s influence in getting us a reservation. Note: get there by 7pm or else!
Okay, so the dish I still can’t get over was the Tosta Mejillones…so basically grilled mussels, fennel jam and raisins on toast. Let us just forget that the thick toast was warm, fluffy and buttery for a second. The super plump and juicy mussels paired with grassy sweetness was almost too much for me to handle, so much so that I couldn’t stop raving and probably caused a scene of foodie delight. This appetizer was one-of-a-kind for me and my belly.
It wasn’t just the mussels that got to me, the Tosta Huevo Roto y Jamón Ibérico also found its way into my belly’s happy place. I found the crushed egg, potato and ham combination unique and discreetly rich. And oh, the toast…….let’s not even go there. This post would go on and on.
With @rachaelbova at the table, our meal would not have been complete without some sort of octopus. FYI, this girl loves octopus like it’s her job, and she’s really good at finding the best octopus dishes in the city. The kitchen sent out a hefty piece of grilled octopus sprinkled with peas, leafy greens and lemon zest. This is a great example of a simple preparation creating bold flavors. Mmm…
It’s still unusual for me to see eggs on anything other than a breakfast/brunch menu, but this trend (or whatever you want to call it) is certainly becoming popular in New York as I’ve seen it at The Fat Radish and North End Grill recently. The chef calls this dish “Cojonudo….Revisited” which could only mean that he modernized it in some way. I Googled “cojonudo” and got this from Urban Dictionary (…oh boy, never a good sign). Fortunately, Google Images gave me this. So it looks like he poached the quail egg rather than fried it while adding some fancy spring onions. I also remember that the egg rested on a biscuit-like thing which automatically led my taste buds into a heavenly breakfast realm for a moment.
We heard from a few people that the tomato toast was worth ordering, so we told the server YES to the Pan Con Tomate! And again, the thick, fluffy toast found its way into my belly! I don’t know how this happens…#fatty This tosta was the simplest of them all but really brought our attention to the beautiful dimensions of a single ingredient – tomato. I wish this had come out before all the other appetizers, because its subtlety was somewhat overshadowed by the heavier tostas, so ask your server to bring it out first!
Sorry for the wonderful quality of this picture, but I wanted to give you at least a feel for the next dish which didn’t photograph well in the dark (I wonder why). Since everyone and their mother now loves brussels sprouts, we did everyone a favor and ordered the crispy Coles de Bruselas. They were good and a little spicy, but nothing really to write home about here. Fortunately and unfortunately, the mind-blowing brussels sprouts at dell’anima will always have the #1 spot in my belly.
So…the paella we ate…wasn’t this paella on the restaurant’s homepage which was practically begging me to order it. Our paella was too salty and kind of boring. I can’t quite describe why we didn’t like it, but the saltiness was definitely a deterrent. I really wanted to have another paella spot I could go to in the city besides Socarrat, but I guess I’ll have to keep looking!
Again, another wonderful picture courtesy of Fatty Kat. My phone is in need of some TLC…I’ll tell you that much! So our dessert choice was largely up to me (as usual), and I have to say that I could have and should have done much better. The Torta de Manzana – warm apple cake – sounded great on paper and from our server, but it fell flat when it reached our mouths (not literally). The heavy cake with rum ice cream and caramel just wasn’t very special not to mention a little too heavy and sticky. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. On my next visit, I want to try the caramelized Spanish toast with hazelnut ice cream! Mmm, sounds great.
Despite a few hiccups towards the end, I really enjoyed this meal at Tertulia. Our server was knowledgeable and a little too snooty for his own good, but I’ll give him credit for doing his job well. The bustling environment paired with young and sexy professionals in this downtown location was very much “New York,” ya know? Although it was a scene and would’ve been much crazier if we weren’t lucky enough to get a reservation, this experience was one that warrants another visit in the near future. Nomz away, my fatties.
Do you know what Sushi of Gari means in Japanese? “You-will-go-broke-eating-here.” Yup, that’s what it means. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Incredible food is always worth it, and crappy food, whether $10 (Oaxaca Taqueria) or $100 (The Fat Radish), is always far more disappointing (#foochebag).
The three of us fatties ordered the sushi and sashimi omakase which is essentially anything the chef wants to serve you (his “tasting menu”). The chef generally presents innovative plates with that day’s freshest fish and other ingredients.
Essentially, we got 4 courses starting with an amuse bouche of a tiny sliver of a beet, mackerel rolled in an egg sheet and a crab omelette. I didn’t particularly love any of these 3 things, but they were fine to tease my taste buds.
We ordered the zesty Hijiki (not pictured) salad and Gindara Kasuzuke (broiled marinated black cod) à la carte to get some food in our systems early on in the meal (and because we’re glutinous fatties). I guess I never realized that seaweed salads at fancy Japanese restaurants look more like this than this. I swear it was super fresh and delicious with a (real) ginger dressing. Just looks a little funny, that’s all. The cod filet was incredibly juicy and broke off easily in glistening chunks of delicious fish. It was broiled to a beautiful golden hue which gave the fish a slightly crispy exterior with a bit of a smoky flavor.
Now this plate can be described as a KNOCKOUT VICTORY FOR MY BELLY. Everything on here was phenomenal, from the plump West Coast oyster to the fresh raw baby squid to the fattiest toro in the world to the tangy mackerel ceviche that was not fishy at all. Mmmmmm……..so yummy.
Now here’s where the real fun begins. I can’t quite remember everything I ate, but all the sushi had some innovative compliment (i.e. tofu cream, roasted tomato, etc.) that enhanced and highlighted the quality of the sushi. This is what Andrew calls modern Japanese cuisine vs. Sushi Yasuda which is more traditional.
This platter looked yummy from afar, but as it made its way to our table, there was nothing else in the world I wanted more! Starting from left to right…the salmon with roasted tomato was phenomenal. Uh…I hate when my fatty memory fails me. I can’t remember what that 2nd piece was but it was delicious like everything else we had that night! The amaebi (shrimp) and squid sushi were also super nomzworthy – characteristically sweet and super fresh.
On to the next one! This platter was even more amazing than the previous one. Every molecule of this platter was out of control – extreme yumminess. The perfect combination of tuna and tofu cream meant subtle flavor explosions for my vulnerable taste buds, but the hamachi and scallion oil was not to be underestimated either. The seared squid and uni butter was possibly my favorite sushi of the night. Uni gets me and my wallet every time. Don’t forget the mirugai which was crisp and refreshing with a hint of natural sweetness! I normally refer to this thing as the giant scary clam (geoduck), but I don’t care what it looks like as long as it tastes good. All in all, the omakase was a resounding success. The three of us devoured everything.
And last but not least, allow me to present Sushi of Gari’s infamous Foie Gras Sushi. Gorgeous, right? The foie gras was absolutely divine: rich (how can it not be?), sweet, balanced (with the vinegar rice and balsamic), perfect. We had to order this hefty piece of “sushi” à la carte because it didn’t come with our omakase. Didn’t matter – it was worthy EVERY penny.
Here are a few choice words to describe the Mille Crepe, Banana Bread Pudding and Chocolate Mousse Cake: orgasmic, holy, lucscious, dreamy, food coma-worthy, warm, perfection. You get the picture, dessert was ridiculously amazing. Ok, enough. Fatty, calm down!
My take on the overall experience: I love Sushi of Gari because it’s pretty casual for a place with such high-quality sushi and exceptional service as I recall that my shoes were off during most of the meal in typical Fatty Kat fashion. Writing this post made me miserable and hungry. I want to go back!
Yay, now here’s a reminder of why I ate here in the first place…HAPPY OLD MAN BIRTHDAY!
MIA for 3 months with only a twitter to entertain you fatties? I know, TERRIBLE fatty form!
I would tell you that I’ve been eating gloriously the past 3 months, which is mostly true, but I’d rather lie to you and say that my newish job has taken over my appetite so you throw me a pity party full of delicious food. During this break, my chomper made its rounds throughout the city and the country for work and play, but my fingers couldn’t get to a keyboard to recount my yummy tales. From now on, I’m going to aim for a (realistic) 1 post per week! I just wish there were more hours in the day so I could fulfill my true calling in life: making all y’all hungry!
So recently, I’ve been eating lots of takeout and delivery – whatever I can get to my office quick, fast and cheap – Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Italian. BUT there have also been a few inspired meals…
While on a family ski trip to Aspen this past Christmas, I had the pleasure of eating at Ellina. This Italian restaurant is located on the basement-level of a nice building along the main strip like so many bars and restaurants in Aspen (strange?). The food was inventive and relatively light which fit my family’s taste buds perfectly. There were so many standout dishes! The Pineapple Glazed Seared Pork Belly over polenta and red slaw with quail egg was incredibly tender and juicy. We all agreed that the Braised Artichoke Heart Bruschetta with a poached egg, shaved truffles (hallelujah) and creamy parmesan was inventive and nomtastic (real word).
The Rare Kampachi with smoked sea salt, cucumber radish salad and (ridiculously delicious) blood orange caviar was refreshing and subtle.
We devoured the Foie Gras over Seared Scallops with purple potatoes, heirloom tomatoes and saffron sauce.
Found my mom passed out after the first run on the first day. #fattymom
Chef Jazzy J and I also took a trip to visit Rachael and her family in Boca Raton, FL over New Years (yeah, life is good). Her wonderful restaurateur parents, Laurie and Tony, just opened a new restaurant in Boca called Mario’s Osteria in addition to swanky Vivo. Mario’s is actually the third reincarnation of itself since the first one started serving great Italian comfort food in 1985. We ate here twice and absolutely loved everything about the new restaurant, from the delicious food to the pseudo-private booths to the gorgeous outdoor bar and seating area to the general upbeat mood throughout the restaurant. It wasn’t just me! The restaurant has been packed all throughout its first few opening weeks without one bit of advertising thanks to a longstanding reputation, delicious food and great owners. While the menu may seem overwhelming, Tony can’t help but grace Boca with all his amazing food.
New year, new restaurants, new blog?! But here were my favorites throughout 2011:
Spasso: amazing homemade pasta, chef’s kitchen bar, make me feel warm and fuzzy inside
dell’anima: BRUSSEL SPROUTS, awesome sides, cozy space, great homemade pasta, chef’s kitchen bar
Italian Wine Merchants: beautiful venue for events with amazing Italian food and lots of wine
Joseph Leonard: avocado on toast (so simple, so good), yummy brunch menu, chef’s kitchen bar
The John Dory: raw bar (nomz), unforgettable uni toast and oyster soup, funky and creative interior, beautiful people
ABC Kitchen: relatively light and inventive New American cuisine, gorgeous and spacious layout, awesome service
Taim: best falafel and sabich sandwich in town
Roasting Plant: so many varietals of coffee just a block from my apartment, love the coffee bean vacuum
Acre Restaurant: beautiful rustic restaurant in Memphis with inventive New American cuisine with a touch of Southern comfort
Cocoron: the best soba noodles in town, light and surprisingly delicious appetizers, hate the wait
Basta Pasta: best steak I ate in 2011, love the Spaghetti con Prosciutto E Parmigiano (cooked in a parmesan wheel), interesting furniture…
Macondo: great brunch with an optional mimosa buffet, love the arepa benedict and funky style
In Vino: adorable wine bar, best tiramisu I’ve ever had? maybe? yes?
Blue Ribbon Sushi: high quality sashimi, cute traditional-looking space, amazing ninja-like service
In 2011, I was not crazy about…
Fatties, I’m feeling very good about 2012!
So much to eat, so little time…
I’ve done a ton of traveling lately and mostly for work, but that doesn’t mean the eating stops! If anything, it means the fatty in me is hungrier than ever. My glutinous excuse? Well, I’m training for Thanksgiving, you see, uh…yeah.
NEW YORK | 3-Day Pasta
Once upon a time, a few fatties got together and cooked a meal so magical that it took 3 days, 3 cooks and 20 lbs. of tomatoes. This is a true and delicious story of pasta-filled bliss. Miss Jazzy J invited me over to Zach’s apartments to watch them make tomato paste and pasta from scratch. Who knew tomato paste could be found outside a tin can!? It never crossed my mind that such a labor intensive process was required to make this Italian-American staple (I’m sure real Italians don’t need canned tomato paste to cook anything!).
The 3 amazing chefs, Jazz, Zach and Jen, puréed 20 lbs of tomatoes and baked the purée for a whole bunch of hours. Their blood, sweat and tears produced a delicate and precious film of extremely concentrated tomato paste (think…Fruit Roll-Up) which was later preserved in olive oil.
This kid has a beer collection and even makes his own beer! This is his Saison Dupont. Crisp and hoppy. Delicious!
Here’s the birth of the most delicious pasta in the world! I believe this was the gluten-free pasta made with semolina flour. And surprise, surprise. Everyone decided the gluten-free pasta was the most delicious.
When I went back to Zach’s apartment the next day for the feast, I walked into a lofty kitchen basking in meaty Italian delight. Jazz, Jen and Zach had spent the better part of the day slow-cooking a 5 lb. piece of kosher beef into a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
Using the tomato paste from the day before, they perfected a ragu which was served with game-changing homemade pasta. I devoured this bowl (and more) as slowly as I could in order to savour the hearty sauce, as well as the smooth and chewy pasta. It became so apparent to the 10 or so of us around the dinner table how the “homemade”-ness truly made a difference!
Jazz, Jen and Zach, thanks for making my belly (aka Bertha) extremely happy!
Los Angeles | Persian, Please!
A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to Miss Jazzy J’s hometown of LA thanks to a free ticket I won last year from AA! Obviously, it was fatty fate that led me there, because I had a grand old time with her incredibly generous and loving family. Thanks Mike, Lily, Grandma, Grandpa, Janelle, Jillian and Joshua!
One of the mornings, I woke up to Jazz and her family preparing a breakfast sandwich that I’d never seen before, a Persian Shami Sandwich. Yay for baguette, shami (fried potato medallions), sabzee (“greens” in Farsi, including lettuce, cilantro, cucumber and spinach), tomato, sautéed turmeric fried onions and fresh lemon juice!
This thing was all kinds of delicious: the crunch of the lettuce, the warmth of the fried potatoes, the intensity of the fried onions, the palette-cleansing cucumber, the carbaliciousness of the baguette and on and on and on.
MY LA trip was filled with a whole bunch of fun stuff: CONVERTIBLES, cliff jumping in Malibu, eating Persian ice cream with Mike, biking on Venice Beach/Santa Monica Pier and shopping/going broke in Downtown LA. Thanks Jazzy J!
What was the most important thing I learned on my recent work trip to Memphis? The plural of y’all is all y’all. Big, important stuff I’m dealing with at work, right? Maybe I’m a little too much of a New Yorker for my own good, but this trip got me acquainted with a lovely part of America that I’d otherwise never think to visit. Although I missed all the Elvis sites and creepy impersonators, I did have a wonderful meal, and that’s enough for me (hence the “Fatty” in Fatty Kat)!
Our partners brought us to a gorgeous restaurant called Acre housed in a beautiful rustic mansion. And yup, as you may have guessed, Acre is set on an acre of land! Good call, Carly! Alesia made sure we scored the private dining room which helped shield the rest of the diners from our raucous laughter.
Let’s talk design. I loved every aesthetic feature about this restaurant. The farm to table movement was incredibly alive in the many unfinished wood elements and casual fine dining concept. Alesia and I fawned over the clean, simple yet funky lobby area. Love the yellow door and coffee table made of tree trunks! But what really anchored this area was a beautiful drawing of two horses.
This bar reminded me of some of my favorite NYC spots: ABC Kitchen meets West Village meets speakeasy. Ok, ok, my phone doesn’t really do it justice but the “mixologist” minded cocktail menu definitely needs this complementary space to come alive. And I’m sure Brian was happy to find his beloved Chopin!
Here’s the private dining room we ate in and with our very own yellow reindeer wall fixtures. Fancy, huh? Check out the wall paper on the ceiling! Never seen that before. I SWEAR I COULD LIVE HERE!
The Tiny Octupus Salad was not so tiny but delicious at any size! The avocado and spicy miso vinaigrette was lightly acidic and refreshing. I live for fresh avocado (and these were fresh), and the cashews really added a unique richness to this octopus salad. Blame the food coma because I can’t remember how this 8-legged guy was cooked. Regardless, the meat was tender and not rubbery at all.
Nomz nomz nomz! Broiled pike served over mascarpone polenta, chanterelle mushrooms, delicious smoked steelhead roe and anchovy mustard sauce. This entrée was delicately flavorful in that the diverse flavors weren’t in-your-face upon the first bite. It took a few seconds to really register the harmonious combination of fresh fish, rich fish roe and sharp mushrooms. Although this dish could’ve used a little bit of salt to really bring out the flavors, I appreciated its subtlety and understated elegance. (I sound like I’m writing for some snazzy magazine, don’t I? Sorry!)
Yay, my favorite part of any meal, dessert! Acre’s Gateau Basque was pretty damn good. With a vanilla cream and guava jelly filling, it was hard not to lick the plate. Alas, the professional in me showed restraint. Maybe I should’ve ordered the Sticky Toffee Date Cake, because Alesia and Carly were still talking about it the next day. Sounds like some next level dessert to me!
All in all, I had a great time and couldn’t have hoped for more in a “work” dinner. Thanks to everyone in the Poag family for taking care of us! Can’t wait to visit all y’all again.