Restaurants & Bars 4

Azie - Report

Paul Homchick | Aug 18, 2002 03:14 AM

When I read a review of Azie that described it as a super-hip DJ-driven, extraordinarily expensive hot spot, I decided to pass. But things change. Two years later, the dot-coms are gone, the millionaire-oids are gone, the crowds are gone, and – best of all – the DJ is gone. Current reviews of Azie talk about a scaled-back menu and scaled-back prices. So, on Friday evening, I dropped by for dinner.

Wow. Azie is a great spot. The décor is elegant warehouse tech, with tables made of wenge, two levels, booths with individual dimmers and wood blinds, and nice Asian touches like the twenty-foot paper lamps.

The food was even better than the ambience. For an appetizer, I had the Heirloom Tomato Salad: It was served on five square plates (four smaller square plates arranged on a large plate). Each of the smaller plates presented a different approach to tomatoes. Plate one had two miniature chevre cheese spring rolls with heirloom tomato relish. Plate two had a tomato sorbet garnished with mint sprigs and tomato chunks. Plate three presented sliced yellow tomatoes with olive oil and ground pepper, and plate four contained sliced tomatoes dressed with a Thai basil pesto. A bread set-up came along with the appetizer. Azie makes their own bread: the salty foccacia is a stand out.

My chosen entree was a Steamed Fish with baby bok choy, Thai chili, and scallions in Black Bean sauce, served with Jasmine rice. Even though this fish was anonymous, it was fabulously good. The chilies lived things up and gave just the right bite.

Azie’s wine list is extensive and included a good section of wines from Alsace, which I thought would be a good match with the Asian touches in the food. I had a glass of Zind Humbrecht Riesling that was spicy and slightly off dry. It was reminiscent of a Gewürztraminer; so much so, in fact, that I asked to look at the bottle. This was the most interesting Riesling I have ever had; Zind Humbrecht makes very nice wines.

I was impressed with the experience, and I will be back! There are lots of things left on the menu that need exploring. One being the olive-oil poached main lobster with chanterelles, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, and Thai basil vinaigrette. Yum.

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