So I went last night for my birthday. It was a nice meal...here you go:
Nice interior, exposed brick, warm woods, red-tinged candlelight, little wine storage area to one side and a private room in one corner. No partitioning of the space, so a little loud. Shockingly, I only saw one empty table when we left about 8:30 on a Tuesday night.
The amuse bouche was cold wild musroom, parlsey and goat cheese salad bite in a spoon. Not too good...I was worried when the meal got off to such a lame start.
Then came the bread, kalamata olive from Annies, my 2nd favorite bakery in the Carolinas. Sourdough imported from la Brea bakery. Unsalted butter (HATE that trend) and rosemary and mint (and honey) flavored olive oil dip that was super-delicious. Loved it. Wish it were soup ;-)
My first glass of wine was a Super Tuscan. It was great! all purple-tasting and caramel-y. very nice.
App (mine) : Braised pork belly, roasted cauliflower, chicory salad. The Pork belly was advertised as crispy, but was not. It was tasty, but I had been remembering some I got in California this summer that was divine. This was not. Cauliflower...i could help them with their technique. Chicory...nice.
App (husband) : Kobe beef and blue cheese salad. That beef was GREAT! I wish I could have all my roast beef sandwiches (it was served cold so it made me think about sandwiches for some reason) taste like that stuff.
My 2nd glass (Rock and Vine?) Cab Sauv. was pleasant, but surprisingly sweet.
Main (mine) : My vension was fantastic. My husband hunts and I've cooked a lot of venison, and I must say this was better than anything I've made. Just the right amount of salt, just the right flavor from the grill, perfectly rare...Loved it (and glad I did for $34). The accompanying wild mushrooms, braised escarole, and hazlenuts were all nice.
Main (husband): Pompano w/ grits, broccoli and citrus. Does Popano always taste like brim? It was ok. The grits w/ broccoli and orange segments just seemed ill conceived to me. A somewhat unsussessful dish IMO, but it tasted fine.
We passed on dessert, since there was birthday cake in my future, but the French Press coffees going around the room made me look forward to having dessert some other time.
All in all, a nice dinner, a few missteps, but I would definitely like to eat there again. I wish it were a bit less expensive, we spent $140 including tip...I suppose that's not that bad today, but it still seems like moderately-special occasion money to me. Am I just getting old and behind the times? (birthday and all, you know)
Thanks for reading.