Another good meal at a favorite Davis Square hangout. Went in on Saturday evening for an early dinner at the bar. Very quiet night, so seats were plentiful (and Maureen, the bartender was pleased to see us so she had some regulars to chat with!)
We started out with an Australian Stonehaven Chardonnay for my friend and a Californian Stone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc for me. My friend got an app she had previously enjoyed there - a Roast Quail with a Cinnamon Port Glaze and glazed orange slices, whole almonds, and endive - and I got a Red Lettuce Salad with halved red grapes, and a goat cheese "feullentine" (essentially a puff pastry crust) with caramelized Vidalia onions and a balsamic vinagrette. Both were absolutely wonderful, but if she had known what "feullentine" meant, my friend would have gotten my app instead of hers. :-)
She chose as an entree the Grilled Atlantic Salmon with griddled pea pancakes, radish salad with rock shrimp and tomato-tarragon butter. Very good, and the pea pancakes were very interesting - I believe it was pureed peas in a very light batter, and pan-fried until crispy. And it was one of the very few times that she's has finished her entire entree at Gargoyles. It's not that the portions are huge like they are at restaurants where quantity overcomes quality, but it's just usually more than we're used to, since we go to Dali so often and get three or four small tapas plates over a period of several hours. So she was a Clean Plate Do-Bee. :-)
I got the Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with Morel Mushrooms, Wild Ramps and Spring Pea Risotto. Oh wow - this was absolutely great! I love, love, LOVE seared sea scallops, and these were done perfectly - wonderfully seared on the outside, and just slightly undercooked in the center when served, so the remaining heat in the scallops finished the cooking. Four large sweet, tender "oceany" scallops. The risotto had a mushroom au jus of some kind around the outside of the bowl, so the risotto soaked it all up. This was one of the best meals I've had at Gargoyles, and practically everyone has been excellent.
We waited a bit for dessert, but Cuarenta y Tres (a.k.a. Licor 43) was part of it. Gargoyles is ones of the places that we've gotten to carry Licor 43 since we love it so much at Dali. Their "pour" there is almost a double snifter, so one is all I get. My friend will drink coffee at any time, so she also got a capucchino, and Maureen, the bartender, knows she likes her coffee strong - even at 9:30 at night.
Also for dessert was the Classic Vanilla Creme Brulee, which my friend couldn't finish, and I had the homemade Butterscotch and Chocolate Pudding. Oh wow - if you like pudding, you'd like John's pudding. (He's the pastry chef.) Topped with homemade whipped cream, served in a small martini glass, with a large fresh strawberry and several tiny almond cookies at the base of the glass, it was a perfect dessert. We probably should have gotten the cheese plate to share which, from previous experience, is absolutely wonderful, but I wanted the pudding and she didn't.
Total bill was $112 before tip - I know I had two glasses of wine, I think it was three for her.