Wife and I had 25 for $25 at Lucy's Table tonight. The full menu options follow this report.
My wife started with the salmon cakes. She liked them decently enough, although she thought there needed to be more vinaigrette on the greens (and she's not one to say that sort of thing often) and a sauce for the cakes, or at least more vinaigrette. The fried carrot shavings were kind of cool, though. Nothing special, though.
She then had the halibut. It was baked in parchment and the tangy, buttery sauce was quite good. Even though I'm not a big fish eater, I had a little and it was good. The fish was cooked perfectly, still firm, but cooked through. It was quite fresh tasting and the sauce was quite good. The asparagus was plainly dressed and over-seasoned for my wife (she hates pepper). The potatoes were thinly sliced and roasted and decent, but few (as in about 5 slices).
For dessert she had the pear tart. It wasn't really a tart, though. It was much closer to a cobbler. It was pears in sauce baked in a ramekin with a pastry top. The top was more like a pie top than a cobbler top. It was good, though. It was cinnamony, but not truly sweet. The sauce had a somewhat unique flavor. Maybe they used a little brandy or something to give it some depth. It was good.
I started with the onion tart. It wasn't served very warm, which is sometimes typical in French restaurants with tarts. I prefer them warm, however. It was decent tasting, though not that interesting. The sauce was good, though. Bright and interesting and did a good job of balancing the tarts flavors. I wish there was more of the sauce.
The pork loin was overcooked -- or just mediocre meat. It was rather tough, really. Certainly not fork tender, but not even really something acceptable for a restaurant at that level. It tasted fine, but I don't want to have to chew on my meat like it's gum. That's hyperbole, but it was a little tough. I had pork loin at Pazzo the other night and I thought it was a bit overcooked, but this was worse. The sauce, however, was fantastic. Wonderful orange flavor balanced well. It went good with the meat, with the potatoes, and with the vegetables, pan sauteed green beans. The potatoes were typical but decent. Not smooth, still had some texture the way I like them.
I had the boca negra. Better than the flourless chocolate cake at Cafe Azul that I had for 25 for $25 recently. The one at Cafe Azul was too light, almost like a souflee. This one had a nice balance. Still very rich and they should have added a citrus or minty flavor to their whipped cream that they served it with, imo. I'd like to see a strawberry sauce or orange sauce or something bright like that on the side. It came with a little caramel on the plate, but that doesn't cut the richness. The florentine was good, but I'm a sucker for florentines. I kept going between my wife's pear tart leftovers and my flourless cake. The two balanced each other well.
Overall it was decent and fair for the price. Although you wouldn't do too much worse ordering off their menu. They have a relatively low-priced menu with only one entree above $20 ($21) as far as I saw. Most items were around $16. And the appetizers averaged around $7. So you could order off the normal menu all three courses and probably only pay a couple extra bucks.
Of the three places I've had 25 for $25 so far, though, I'd say they were my least favorite even though they had the most options. The best deal is at Pazzo so far, but they have the least choices. Still, so far 25 for $25 has been a success everywhere I've gone.
Smoked salmon cakes: organic greens with a creamy balsamic vinaigrette and fried carrots
Organic mesclun greens salad: tossed with toasted pumpkin seeds in a red wine vinaigrette
Grilled onion and gruyere tart: finished with a cherry sauce
Thomas' sausage rigatoni: Chef Thomas' italian sausage, tomato sauce, onion, herbs and fresh mozzarella
Roast pork loin: yukon mashed potatoes, toasted nuts, orange zest, and sage sherry orange pan sauce
Alaskan halibut en paillote: white wine, tomato, basicl and garlic with roasted potato and vegetables
Boca negra: warm flourles chocolate cake, whipped cream and nut florentine
Creme brulee: chef Thomas' whim
Pear tart: Served warm with housemade vanilla ice cream
Nonie's carrot cake
Housemade vanilla bean ice cream: chocolate and caramel sauces
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