I enjoyed a pleasant business lunch at Plouf yesterday.
Started with oysters on the half shell. My only real complaint of the day was that we ordered a sampler of the three oysters they had, but the waiter dropped off the plate and fled before telling us which oysters were which. They were all pretty similar so it didn't matter. I ate mine without any additions, and they were very fresh and right-out-of-the-ocean salty (I really liked them, but I imagine that those who were complaining about overly salty oysters from Hog Island in that thread from a few months ago would not like these). My dining companions gave high marks to the two condiments: minced shallots and a pink mignonette.
We all passed on the house specialty mussels in favor of other seafood dishes. My salmon entree was cooked as I like it: so that it still had a core of slightly translucent flesh. Its crispy skin was facing up and was topped with a chunky tarragon aioli. A bed of spinach (fresh and very tasty) and orzo in a saffron seafood broth served as a bed for the fish. The fish too was fresh, somewhat mild, but overall the flavors of the dish were in good balance. I finished the dish by sopping up the remaining broth with bread.
My companions praised their scallop and tuna steak entrees (though I noticed that the tuna steak, promised medium rare, was just about cooked through).
Overall, nothing inventive or exciting, just extremely fresh, well prepared seafood.
Plouf, and the other Belden Alley restaurants, still serve outdoors at this time of year. Overhead space heaters provide adequate warmth as long as you're wearing at least a sweater or light coat.
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