I went to BenDean the other night with three other people. We split two appetizers:
Quail with micro greens and an apple compote
Escarole with pancetta lardons and a poached egg
The quail was really nice. Pan sauteed with lots of flavor, and the apples were diced and slow cooked to caramelize---very yummy. This is really not an appetizer to share as it is barely more than a few bites. The escarole fell very short. I've been doing something almost every week with Mariquita's escarole so I wanted the restaurant to liven it up a bit. The dish was dull, could have used more seasoning.
I had the pork verde (?), it was like posole and came with a garnish of guacomole and fried tortilla strips. This was almost excellent. It was very very salty, the meat could have been more tender, and it needed more "verde" but it was nice to have this sort of hot soupy comfort item on the menu.
One person had the brick cooked chicken with polenta and the two other people had the flank steak with red wine beurre compose and french fries.
THIS WAS THE BEST FLANK STEAK I HAVE EVER TASTED!!
I would go back just for this, for certain.
The dessert menu was a real let down. Two of the desserts were autumn based (pear and apple), there was a profiteroles, and something else.
We got the profiteroles and the apple crisp. I had to ask for more chocolate sauce on the profiteroles because there was just some random plate garnish of chocolate sauce....very odd. It was nice, underwhelming but it hit the spot.
What's nice about BenDean is that it is a small restaurant that doesn't get too noisy. The food is well executed, if a little boring. And it feels easy to get a last minute reservation.
For four people who had two glasses of wine and the above mentioned food, it came out to $126.
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