On Saturday evening, my husband and I and another couple dined at Eleven. Our friends are from out of town and were really looking forward to seeing what the buzz was about, they werent disappointed.
I really like the way this restaurant has been designed. The bar is two stories high, and one booth juts out over the bar, enclosed in Plexiglas, this is called the Eleven table, you have to request it at the time you make your reservation, which I did. To the right as you enter, is the main dining area, upstairs and downstairs all open. They also have a private party room, and something called The Chefs Table which is a booth located inside the kitchen area, though from what I could see, you wouldnt necessarily see much of the cooking action from there.
My friend chose the Chefs Tasting menu for $65.00 with the wine pairing for an additional $30.00.
Jumbo Lump Crab
2000 Schramsberg Blanc de Balncs, Napa Valley
Wild King Salmon Tartare
2003 Montinore Pinot Gris, Willemette Valley
Duck Confit &Mushroom Ragout
2001 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Barrel select, Willamette Valley
Petit Filet of Beef
2001 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Cold Creek, Columbia Valley
And Chocolate Marquise for dessert.
2002 Banfi Brachetto dAcqui Rosa Regale, Piedmont.
My husband had Oysters for a first course, and said that they were very good and fresh. The other gentleman had the Calamari and Shrimp, which was also very crisp and fresh served with lemon garlic aioli.
I had Seafood Chowder, a very good version that had applewood smoked bacon in it.
All of the bread and desserts are made in house, on Saturday they had sourdough, semolina, French, and wonderful cherry nut bread. I asked if I could buy a loaf of the cherry bread, and the server said that he had just sliced the last one, but yes, it is possible to buy the bread if it is early enough in the evening.
Entrees, Veal and Butter poached lobster with creamed leek and spinach, Elysian Fields Farm Lamb, with buttermilk polenta, green beans, oven roasted tomato olive jus, and Beef Tenderloin with Maytag blue cheese bread pudding, roasted root vegetables, and red wine essence.
These were all very good, we shared tastes with one another, but I started to notice one flaw, at least to me, with the food. It was incredibly salty. The first time I noticed it was with my friends Duck Confit and Mushroom dish, then my soup, and then the entrees. The other couple thought the food was deliciously salty, and my husband said that he must be lacking a salt gene, he didnt notice the salt level, but acknowledged that it must be noticeable if the rest of us were commenting on it.
Things get a bit fuzzy regarding the desserts, perhaps it was the martini before dinner and the wine with dinner, but I was looking forward to seeing what the Chocolate Marquise was going to be like that my friend had coming on the tasting menu. The description said pinot noir black pepper ice cream, caramel, and pinot noir syrup. What came was a beautiful looking tower of chocolate that had a chocolate mousse inside. I didnt see the ice cream or the syrup that was supposed to come with it, and I looked because I was looking forward to tasting them. I had a macadamia nut tart with sorbet, my husband had a banana tart with dolce de leche cream, and I forget the fourth dessert, but they were all wonderful.
Our server was very professional, and knowledgeable, as were all of the servers we had that evening.
One comment on the wine paring with the Chefs Tasting Menu, these appear to have been a full serving of each of the wines which is an excellent value. My friend looked a little glazed by the end of the meal.
All in all, it was a delightful meal and a great evening, and Eleven is smoke free.