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Roomba in New Haven (long)

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Roomba in New Haven (long)

bworm42 | Jan 29, 2006 08:48 PM

Hi everyone,
Long time reader, first time poster here. I want to throw one more log onto the old Ibiza vs. Roomba debate. Last night I went to Roomba with a friend, and I had an absolutely amazing meal.
My friend started with the tuna tartare, served with emulsified avocado. I wholeheartedly approve of this combination, but it shows up everywhere these days, and while this was an excellent rendition, it didn’t really set my heart pounding. I decided to really splurge and begin with the house ceviche and the corn arepa with lobster sauce. The ceviche was delicious, the scallops were especially soft and fantastic, with refreshing tangy lime juice and onion strands. The corn arepa was even better. The arepa itself was fluffy, warm, light, and studded with corn kernels. It contrasted perfectly with the cool creamy lobster sauce. The lobster was generously portioned, with lots of fresh (tasting) meat. There was also a single slice of avacado on top which added another luxurious depth to every bite.
At this point we had to ask for bread, since none had arrived yet. It came within seconds, and was warm, fluffy and crusty. The cilantro-olive oil sauce that came with it was so good that we asked for a complete list of the ingredients, and were surprised to learn that it contained some red-wine vinegar. I’m going to try to make up a jug of that stuff to keep around.
Our mains arrived, and did not let us down. My friend had ordered a Caribbean barbequed salmon served with fried banana and something else I can’t remember. I intended to try a bite, but by the time I looked up from my own plate, it had vanished completely, so I guess there were no complaints there. I ordered the duck two ways (“pato”). I’m a total duck-head, and I’ve had it before, but by this point I’ve at least tasted almost everything on the menu, so I decided to go with my favorite. The duck was fantastic, with slices of breast meat that were just barely cooked all the way through. This was moist and released gushes of deliriously rich duck juice an every single bite. The duck confit was moist and decadent, and even the tiniest shred of it had enough smoky flavor to fill my entire mouth. It was served on a bed of purple Peruvian mashed potatoes, which were ok, but nothing to write home about (whoops, just did). The quince sauce that topped everything was by no means overly fruity and served primarily to bring out the rich savor of the duck itself.
For side dishes we had the sweet plantains and rice and beans. Sweet fried plantains are always nice, but this is the rice and beans that made me understand (several years ago) that rice and beans can be beautiful in of themselves. They don’t just have to play a supporting role to some Mexican platter.
Finally we had dessert. As much as I wanted their chocolate lava cake, my belt was already creaking, so we settled for the coconut crème brulee and the sorbet assortment. The crème brulee was delightful with a subtle coconut flavor, but (the largest disappointment of the night) the top was not properly crisped. When tapped with a spoon it not give that luscious crunch so pleasing to the ear. The guava and sangria sorbets were absolutely incredible, while the green apple and mango flavors were refreshing, but not terribly exciting.
To sum up, it was an amazing meal. I’ve had some good food at Ibiza, but I really can’t even hold them in the same league. Yes, I know they aren’t trying for the same type of cuisine; that’s not my point. While Ibiza makes me think of words like “intriguing,” “elegant,” and “refined,” Roomba makes me think of words like “lust,” “visceral,” and “purple.” I’m always curious to taste the dishes at Ibiza, but I would pass it up 99 times out of 100 for the pure sensual pleasure that I have found at Roomba.

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