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fine meal at Claremont Cafe

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fine meal at Claremont Cafe

MC Slim JB | May 15, 2004 11:39 PM

Busy Saturday night as usual, so we take a cozy little table for two in Lush, the bar side of the restaurant. Only problem with this shows up later, when the food arrives: the bar is so dimly lit that you can't appreciate the kitchen's attractive platings. Handy to have a pocket penlight, both to read menus and look at the dishes as they arrive.

Tapas (more like regular-sized appetizers) of artichoke topped with a beautiful salad with marinated peppers, interesting greens, and cubes of good goat cheese. Gazpacho with lots of black beans, cumin, thin slices of fried plantains, scallions for garnish: great melange of flavors, surprisingly good tomatoes for the time of year. Yucca fritters have a nice crunch and dusting of dried chilis. Spinach and feta empanadas also had some nice spice and are expertly deep-fried, arriving hot-hot at the table. Entree of mahi, perfectly grilled, lovely sauces of pureed yellow peppers and black beans underneath, more good fritters (masa and cheese, maybe?).

Excellent pineapple/white chocolate/caramel bread pudding for dessert. Add two cocktails (expertly made), a glass of albarino, and an LBV port, and the check comes to $100 with tax. Friendly, efficient staff, good pacing from the kitchen. We have over-ordered a bit, but dined truly well. A very fine overall experience.

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