What a wonderful place to enjoy a meal with friends and family. Grace Lamb, the owner, and MOD is a gracious, welcoming and perfect hostess. She welcomes you with open arms upon arrival and ensures a relaxing and pleasant evening throughout the meal. Numerous restaurants could learn from this exceptional restaurateur.
This was Jfood's first visit (with Mrs. Jfood and a little Jfood) after passing the building on numerous occasions. The first item of note is a re-decorated interior. The décor now suits the name and is reminiscent of colonial America with updates. It has lots of wood, maroon walls; paintings of 1700’s, just a relaxing place in a town that reminds Jfood of a Norman Rockwell painting. Perfect setting. And the size reminds Jfood of a large family room, with tables that only seat 35-40.
And the food is delicious. The menu is now divided into appetizer and entrée sections (plus a five course tasting menu for $50 for dinner), although Jfood would caution that the chef’s plating size is still not in the entrée category for some of the dishes, but he will get to that later.
Mrs Jfood ordered the Bibb salad with pear and walnuts as an appetizer (SOS), little Jfood ordered the Agnoletti, Jfood ordered the Tasting Menu and the ladies ordered the Hanger Steak and Short Ribs for their entrée. The tasting menu consisted of the Sunchoke soup, the Bibb salad, the sausage stuffed squid, the hanger/short rib combo and a pear cheesecake.
The Sunchoke soup was delightful. A beautiful display of creamy pureed sunchokes with a small amount of fresh yogurt swimming on top. Scattered over the top were deep fried garlic chips. Jfood would give this dish a solid 9.
The Bibb salad arrived sans walnuts due to allergy and this was the disappointment of the night. The salad was way too overdressed to the point of Jfood squinting when he bit into the bibb/dressing combo. Likewise the pears were nicely diced, but lacked any flavor. Jfood could only give this dish a 3.
The sausage stuffed squid brought the smile immediately back onto Jfood's face. The dish consisted of small black lentils in a beautifully rich sauce with several 60-count shrimp and 2 26-30 count shrimp. On top were three 2” cylinders of squid stuffed with sausage and a few extra pieces of sausage floating around. The flavors just exploded in Jfood's mouth. The richness of the sauce, the sweetness of the shrimp, the soft pillowy sausage (Jfood has never felt this type of sausage texture before) with wonderful flavor and the slight give in the squid. It was a wonderful dish of contrast of textures and deep in flavors. Jfood gives this dish a solid 10.
The three entrees arrived. The first thing Jfood should mention is that the size was very petite for an entrée sized portion. And for $24 Jfood considered it somewhat overpriced since it looked bare on the plate. But to the flavors, they were outstanding. The short rib was tongue tender and must have braised for hours, yet, even with the tenderness, it maintained its integrity. The flavor were fantastic, deep, full flavored and fantastic. If Jfood has to mention one mini-drawback, his piece must have been a “floater” in the braise since one side of the piece was a little burnt. The size was small probably 1.5-2 oz at best. The hangar steak was sliced and was topped with a small amount of mustard seeds. It was cooked to Jfood desire of MR (i.e. warm red in the middle). The mustards seeds worked really well with the meat. Jfood two mini-dings would be that the time between plating and service caused the edges to turn cool and the portion size was very small, probably 1.5-2 oz as well. So for flavor, Jfood gives the dish a 10, but overall with the burnt edge on one and the coolness on the other, he would have to reduce to a 7-8. Mrs Jfood and little Jfood also commented on the mini-portion size.
Jfood's dessert arrived. There was a nice round ricotta cheesecake with a small, poached pear (about the size of a golf ball) and some pear crème. The three Jfood shared this and it was very good. This would definitely receive a 9 on the Jfood scale.
Service started spotty but upticked to perfect. The waiter was having a little difficulties in the beginning but the waitress stepped in and was great and Grace checked-in several times.
Overall, this was a delightful evening, with delicious food in a very relaxing environment. Jfood will definitely add to the rotation.
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