Had a great meal at Blue Plate- yet again. This place never disappoints. I have a tiny fear that it may be too good to be true, but each and every time I go, I am blissfully reassured.
The restaurant was full and humming with a nice energy when we were seated promptly for our 8pm reservation. Our waitress greeted us warmly and asked whether we wanted sparkling or still water while she handed us the menus. The napkins were warm, which Im sure was just a coincidence, but it was lovely and I looked upon it as a good omen.
Both my boyfriend and I have menu favorites, so it took us awhile to decide whether to go with old favorites or try new things. Thankfully, they brought us warm pieces of focaccia to munch on while we decided. Their focaccia isnt the gummy, bready lump you find in some places. Rather, its slightly crispy on the outside with a satisfying bready chew on the inside. Classically prepared with rosemary and seasalt. And lots of oil.
We decided to order:
***Pan seared scallops with white turnip puree, fuji apples and mint. ($9)
We got the last order of the night (at 8pm!) and the waitress confessed they sell out of it every night. Its easy to see why. One bite and I would have ordered more if I could. Perfectly-seared scallops (6 half dollar-sized) rested on a creamy thick puree of turnip, with julienned strips of apple and a sprinkling of fresh mint. The fragrance of the mint and apple was fresh and enticing, and the crunchy fuji made a perfect texture contrast to the scallop and creamy puree. The earthy, slight bitterness of the turnip kept the sweetness of the apples at bay, while enhancing the sweetness of the scallop. This dish was a perfect balance of invention, indulgence, and comfort.
***Blue Plate meatloaf with mashed potatoes and blue lake beans ($13)
My BFs favorite, he couldnt resist ordering it again and I cant blame him. This is one huge piece of meatloaf, generously spiced but not too much. And the texture isnt heavy, so one doesnt feel like one is ingesting a giant brick of meat. The mashed potatoes are the butteriest I have ever had, and the beans were perfectly cooked. Not the flashiest dish, but certainly well-executed and delicious. This dish has the potential to be a gut-buster, but Blue Plate manages to give you the impact without the overkill.
***Herb marinated chicken with Brussels sprouts, potato and bacon hash, bergamot, crème fraiche and clams. ($17)
I NEVER order chicken, but this combination intrigued me. The waitress knew what I meant about not wanting to get the chicken, but re-assured me, stating its all about the side dishes. Boy, was she right. The chicken was utterly fantastic, dont me wrong, but the Brussels sprouts and bacon hash was heavenly. Not heavy or rich. Just earthy and salty (in a good way). The crème fraiche and juices from the chicken mingled to make a lovely sauce. I wished I had kept a piece of their heavenly focaccia to sop it all up. It was all I could do to keep from licking the bowl.
***Apple custard tart with caramel ice cream, paired with a Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos.
The apples layered over the custard were very mild and a bit too raw Im betting the rawness is to contrast the creamy custard, but it didnt quite appeal to me. But I LOVED the Tokaji and it was a good match. Must think of it for apple/caramelly things in the future.
Oh, and our wine (Val Viadero Tempranillo) was nicely priced at $27. They have an awfully nice list. Its easy to get a solid, interesting wine at any price range.
They even have cute bathrooms. Sigh. This place is perfect.
The whole meal, before tip, was $91.