A quick post on the “new” Tallent. This is a beautiful space, right off the main square downtown (it was especially festive with the Christmas lights). The first room has great views of the kitchen (our choice) and the bar; the second actually seems the nicer unless you like to watch your meal as it’s made-I was impressed by how calm the kitchen staff seemed to be-the place was packed the night we were there.
We had a very fine bottle from Michel Colin Deleger (not a Montrachet, but a rich red burgundy) but it seems we drank their last bottle...they still have another favorite of mine, the Travaglini. Warm bread is served, and an amuse-smoked salmon (I think?) on toast.
Then on to the appetizers-seared foie gras with chestnut risotto was perfection; shrimp and grits, which I could eat every day; butternut squash soup, which was very light in comparison with most takes on this soup-not at all creamy, but full of flavor; beet salad with goat cheese-very nice, if basic.
We then had a special of drum (I think a red drum-saltwater variety) which was good, with a crispy skin...nicely flavored, and cooked just right; duck with cherry sauce, which my wife declared “maybe the best I’ve had” and trust me, she’s eaten a lot of duck; and lamb three ways...the chop was also just perfect.
Desserts included a gingerbread French toast; persimmon bread pudding (hmmm, pudding); spicy chocolate-the hot chocolate with pepper was especially tasty. I was feeling so festive I had a glass of Champagne to go with dessert. A fine ending to the meal-full, yes, but not stuffed.
And I’d like to add a special note to the great service-knowledgeable and well paced. And I got my espresso at the exact moment I wanted it (just after finishing off my dessert.)
Sometimes when I’m back here in New York I think that I’m romanticizing Tallent, that it couldn’t be as good as I think it is...and then I eat there again and, well, it turns out it’s better. This is a destination restaurant-if you are anywhere near Bloomington, you should go out of your way to eat there-it’s worth it. Cheers and a Happy New Year to all the Bloomington chows.