Restaurants & Bars 5

Piperade report

Missy P. | Jan 27, 2003 12:28 PM

My BF and I went to Piperade on Saturday night. We had 9:30 reservations, and were seated relatively promptly, after being greated by the chef himself. It was great--service, food, atmosphere, everything. We went b/c of DAT, but we decided against ordering it, as there were no choices and I wasn't particularly drawn to it. I foggily recall the DAT menu was an app with sheep's milk cheese and onions, something with blood sausage and white beans and maybe a rice pudding. Actually, by not ordering the DAT menu, we ultimately *saved* money.

What we ordered:
Hot ham and sheep's milk terrine on frisee
White bean salad with anchovies, egg and chives
Lamb sweetbreads with jerusalem artichoke
Steak with french fries

The first three were "small plates," the fourth a "large plate." We split everything.

The terrine was absolutely incredible--alternating layers of serrano ham (I think it was serrano, but the menu didn't specify) and semi-soft sheep's milk cheese, crisped at the edges. Go now. Sit at the bar and order this. It was salty, crunchy deliciousness. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it. By BF, a 'hound in training, said the terrine was "everything [he] like[d] about bacon, but better." The frisee provided a nice accompaniment.

The white bean salad was a similar feat. Lightly dressed in a sharp vinaigrette, the huge white beans were mixed with whole marinated white anchovies and topped generously with chives. I think there were some soft red peppers in there somewhere, too. The dishes was surrounded by sixths of an perfectly hard-boiled egg, which made sense, but I found unnecessary.

The sweetbreads were earth and tasty, but rather one dimensional. I would not order this dish again.

The medium-rare steak (obviously a not very imaginative order, but it sounded good) was absolutely perfect. When our waiter brought out two plates for us, I thought she misunderstood and brought us each a full entree. I asked and she laughed and said the kitchen had split the plate for us--it was a very large serving. We had probably 5 oz. of steak each, along with more skinny, crispy, salty very potato-y fries (one for the fry list?) than I could finish. I couldn't tell you the cut of beef, unfortunately.

We were absolutely stuffed and unable to order dessert, though a neighboring table's orders looked wonderful. The portions were quite generous for food of such caliber, I thought. In lieu of dessert, my BF ordered some Glenlivet 12. They gave him a glass with at least 3, maybe 4 ounces of Scotch. He was lit, to say the least.

It was really a wonderful meal. I think what I liked best, actually, was the service. Though we had one primary waiter, the staff played a tag-team of sorts with bringing our food and wine, etc. Everyone was very nice, generous, friendly, and human. The waiters actuqlly smiled and laughed--gasp! they were real people.

Our bill was around $80 including tax and tip. We will definitely be back.

Link: http://www.piperade.com

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