Went to Borough last night with a friend and we both loved it, despite starting out a little rocky for me.
I've been to BLG many times and while I know the area, I'm not intimately familiar with each building. When I looked up the address for Borough, it said it was at 730 N Washington. As a result, I went into the door on N Washington that had the huge number 730 above it. Um, yeah - not Borough. It was clearly a condo/loft building and I could hear what sounded like a restaurant/bar, but all the doors were unmarked and didn't look like anything I should be entering. Thankfully, a huge golden doodle needed walking in the building and his owner was really nice and helped me out with a back way into the restaurant. The entrance, for those wondering, is actually down on the corner, across from where Be'wiched Deli is and as of right now, not greatly marked when you come from the east and don't drive/walk right past it. It looks like there's a wire on the outside of the building for a soon-to-be sign, so I suspect that will get rectified soon enough. As we dined, it was obvious that I was certainly not the only one who made this mistake, so they might want to label those doors a bit better or put some entry instructions on their website in the interim.
The space is lovely. The huge windows looking out on Washington are fabulous and it has a great atmosphere. My friend likened it to a restaurant you'd find in the Pearl District in Portland. I also liked that while the restaurant was about 1/2 to 3/4 full it wasn't super loud. We could actually hear each other speak. That might change once it's completely packed, but for now, that was appreciated.
The service is still a little green and ever-so-slightly awkward at moments, but we know they haven't been open long and that will come with a little more time and experience. For only being open a little over a week, I think they're doing pretty well and everyone was certainly very friendly.
And since I know what you all REALLY want to know about is the food... let's get to it! There were many items on the menu that looked intriguing, but I had my eye on the strip tenderloin from the get-go, so I started by ordering a glass of the cabernet. Friend ordered the signature old fashioned, which he loved. I was later informed that they were out of the cab, and malbec, and something else. Wine always gets a little tricky for me - I don't like anything with too much of a spicy finish. Yousef, our server, suggested a fabulous nebbiolo which in all honesty - I think I liked more than I would have liked the cab. Plus, plus start on the drinks.
We both started with the soup which was champagne, fingerling potatoes, truffle powder, black truffles, and chives. The presentation was lovely. The dry ingredients were served in a funnel shaped bowl with the liquid served over the top at the table. We were then instructed to stir a bit to really get the truffle powder incorporated. That soup was magnificent! The flavors all melded together perfectly. Would definitely have this again.
For the entrees I went with the strip tenderloin with oxtail agnolotti, taleggio fondue, truffle jus, cippolioni onion and black trumpet mushroom. Friend is vegetarian and went with the pasta with 3 different variations of squash, fried sage, pecorino, brown butter and hazelnuts. We both felt the entrees were done very well. I always think a sign of a good restaurant is one where the sauces are impeccable. And that truffle jus and taleggio fondue were awesome. My strip was also perfectly medium rare. Again, the flavors were fabulous together. I didn't try friend's pasta, but he loved it as well. There was not a speck of food or sauce left on our dishes.
For dessert we shared something called the margarita. It was lime curd on a saltine cracker crust served with lime segments, tequila gelee, meringue, and sea salt. This was pretty good, but definitely their weakest point. The main problem is that there was just too much salt. I think perhaps the sea salt sprinkles on top were a bit too heavy handed. The saltine cracker crust would have probably been enough to get that bit of salt you like with a margarita. Some of the lime segments were also incredibly tart, but I know they can't control each individual segment's tartness. The biggest issue was really the salt.
Friend then ordered a cup of decaf with cream. The decaf was a little delayed as the server said he had a difficult time finding cream. Again, guessing this is starting pains and they'll get their footing a bit better with those after dinner drinks.
We also went downstairs to Parlour just to check out the space. Looks like an antique, hipster vibe. There's a banquette in the back with a great tufted backs and nice wing-backed chairs around some tables. They have a different set of cocktails downstairs that they don't offer upstairs, so we'll have to check those out another time.
Overall, this got 2 thumbs up from us. Definitely adding Borough into the rotation.
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