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Restaurants & Bars 16

Hungry Cat-again!

Leslie Thorson | May 24, 2005 03:50 AM

Three people. Two bottles of wine. My birthday....

I know, there've been postings about The Hungry Cat lately. Some say nay; I say yay!

We started with the raw oysters. Everyone wanted a half-dozen, so we got 18; 1/3 Skookums, 1/3 Hama Hama, and 1/3 Pebble Beach. All were absolutely fresh and wonderful. The Pebble Beach were the largest, one being a two-biter. With the oysters we had the muscadet, billed as the "perfect oyster wine." Can't say they were wrong....

The we had the special salad: grilled wild salmon on arugula with horseradish vinaigrette. Crunchy little fried capers added a piquant contrast to the silken salmon. $12.

I had to get the lobster roll that I've heard so much about. On the face of it, it does seem a bit expensive at $22. But considering the price of lobster (perhaps not in Maine, where one stumbles over lobsters begging to be eaten during one's most casual walk along the beach), and the scrumptious little fries that accompany it, plus the absolute perfection of the lobster's preparation (big chunks, full of flavor and juiciness)--no. One of my friends got the lobster roll as well; the other got the crab cake. We gave her some of our fries in case she felt bereft. With this we had the "perfect French seafood wine"--again, no complaints.

Of course, as it was my birthday, we had to get dessert. Yes, the only one on offer, the chocolate bread pudding. It comes in a little metal bucket, very hot; the top is caramelized like a creme brulee. When I was at last able to dig into it, I at first doubted the existence of the chocolate (one never knows, with "chocolate bread pudding," exactly how the chocolate will manifest itself) but eventually it was revealed. The consistency of the pudding was custardy, the way I like it, and seemed just short of having been heated too much--but the crucial point here is that it wasn't, ultimately, too much--at any rate, we polished it off.

Final bill: $62 each, plus tip. Not cheap, but I can't say I felt ripped off in any way. Next visit I want to try the oyster chowder and/or the clams.

One more thing: the music! Real jazz, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, etc. not the ubiquitous pseudo-jazz so often heard in restaurants.

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