We began with the intention of an un-V-day outing of drinks and bites, but were seduced into much more... and returned the next night.
Night 1, a Thursday and a Valentine's Day, we arrived at 7pm and took a 2-top in the bar area, no waiting.
Started with two mind-bendingly great cocktails:
Barbara West (gin, amontillado, lemon, some other stuff)
Maple Leaf (Canadian whiskey, maple syrup, other stuff)
and the offal of the day:
Buffalo Fried Chicken Livers w/ Great Hill Blue sauce. Having fallen in lovewith the buffalo chicken liver concept years ago at the East Coast Grille (they've long since stopped serving them), we jumped at these, and they were great. The breaded crust was gentle, the liver was soft and a little creamy, and the buffalo sauce was awesomely hot.
At this point we knew we'd be staying a while, so we chose a nice affordable Burgundy red bottle:
Prunier-Bonheur, Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru 2003.
The wine list is excellent: not terribly long, maybe 15 red bottles, quite varied in grape and region, entirely free of big names, and very reasonably priced. Dylan knows the list very well and offered a number of useful suggestions.
And some food:
Warm mushroom and mustard greens in an intensely savory liquid and with a most curious perfectly spherical breaded and deep fried egg on top, soft yolk. This dish was probably the winner of the evening.
Mac and cheese (i didn't get to taste this one)
House made "hot dog." Presented more like a German sausage plate, with mustard and pickled cabbage. I probably wouldn't have thought "hot dog" without prompting, but come to think of it the sausage was very light and smooth and, yes, maybe like the best hot dog i've ever had.
A lemon tart for dessert. Really nice and tart.
Night 2, Friday night, we arrived at 7:45 or so, and the place was full, several people deep all around the bar. We were told 30 minutes wait for a table, but then a bar table opened up, and we lept at it. (Same table as the previous night, oddly enough.)
Stone Fence (bourbon, apple cider, something else). Gently sweet, something both an adult and an 8-yr-old could enjoy (not advocating juvenile drunkenness, duh).
Tailspin (gin, green chartreuse, lemon juice, angostura bitters)
Fried chicken livers again, but this time without the buffalo, served over french lentils in savory liquid. Incredibly tasty, the winner of the night.
Head cheese terrine with mustard and pickled... apple? Tasted more like a country pate than like other head cheeses i've had. Very nice.
Short rib. The deepest, darkest, fattest beef preparation possible, in intense brown liquid, with a big marrow bone (in case there wasn't enough fatty goodness in the meat). Yum.
Clams casino. Fun. Ordered mainly for novelty.
This time we let Dylan choose the wine for us, to stand up to the short rib. He recommended a 2003 Bandol, which was heavy and spicy, a great match.
Brussel sprouts with bacon. Very little sprouts, each cut in half and well coated in salty meaty stuff. Yum.
Both nights, the bill was quite reasonable, a little over a hundred bucks. Both nights Misty and Dylan took great care of us despite having a full bar to handle. Thanks guys! Can't wait to go back.