At the recommendation of other posters on this board, I enjoyed a spectacular dinner Friday night at Beckta. I had read in an earlier thread that the bar at Beckta is a very hospitable place to eat if you're travelling solo. So that's what I did.
First of all, when I arrived I was escorted to a place at the bar that had already been set for me (I called ahead to make a reservation, though it was probably not necessary at the bar). The amuse-guele was a white bean puree with truffle oil and smoky bacon, served in a shot glass. Intriguing combination of flavours and textures. I settled into my glass of Aussie sauvignon and perused the menu, eventually setting on two apps and dessert. The foie gras "au torchon" was spectacular. Beyond decadent, it was served with gewurtz jelly, spicy pear compote and grilled baguette slices, it was worth every last calorie! The bartender/waiter/sommelier, Anthony, is a gem. The Indian Summer riesling he recommended with the foie was a perfect match.
I then moved onto beef tartare, served with a perfect runny-yolked quail's egg and a stack of potato galettes. Again, it was glorious, and matched perfectly with a glass of California red (blend of grenache, cinsault and something else (sorry, I can't recall the winery, but the blend is simply called "Reds.")
As I couldn't face a whole dessert, I asked if chef would do a special order for me: a "torched banana", which is just one component of the "Steve's Gone Bananas" dessert. Very kindly, they did the caramelized banana for me and served it on a bed of fresh blackberries and strawberries, garnished with a sugar cookie. I was very pleased they were so accommodating.
To finish, I sat back and enjoyed a fine glass of Calvados. I can't say enough about the high level of hospitality. Anthony was a fabulous dinner companion (so much fun that I hardly read anything in the newspaper I brought along). Steve the owner also dropped by, and was a pleasure to meet.
The total, tax and tip included, came to $96 -- and it was worth every penny. The restaurant's slogan is "It's all about the love," and that love comes shining through in the customer experience.
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