Made a last minute reso at Josie last night. It wasn't what I expected. The restaurant bills itself as a "Progressive American eatery," yet, I felt like the food was coming straight from Morocco.
Upon entering, we were greeted with warm decor of light green and earth tones. I really like the feel in this restaurant. Chef Jill Davie was immediately visible working hard behind the stoves.
I had brought a special bottle of wine (1999 Cuvaison Cab) which the waiter properly decanted for us. The amuse was the same as what the other hounds recently were served, a small slice of cheese and mushrrom quiche. Mine was lukewarm and had a very nice cheese flavor. I did not taste the mushrooms.
For starters, I went with the warm fall vegetable salad. Truly a strange dish. There were pieces of roasted squash and beets, pomegrantes, brussell sprout leaves, and goat cheese. Unfortunetely, the dish just didn't work. I even had a benchmark to compare this dish to. One week ago I had a truly amazing trio of squash with pomegrante at First Crush in Northern California. It blew the Josie dish away.
My dining companion had Skewered Seppia with Merguez Sausage. For those who don't know, like me, seppia is cuttlefish, a cross between squid and octupus. It was seared with lemon and herbs, over a warm Beluga lentil and fennel salad seasoned with mustard seed oil. The seppia pieces were very tasty, a nice firmness and flavor of lemon and herbs. The underlying salad has about 15 different flavors going on. Many of which were middle eastern/persian/indian tasting. The seppia was great, the salad ok.
My entree was the 'Tagine' of Beef Short Ribs. This was far and away the best dish of the night. It was braised Moroccan style and served with curried cous cous and a side of apple walnut horseradish. The dish came presented in a dramatic moroccan bowl about 2 feet high. The menu description did not do it justice. There were dried apricots, pomegrantes, an amazing broth, and the meat was fall of the bone.
My companion ordered the night's special, an albacore tuna served, yet again, over lentils. This dish was fairly bland next to mine, so I shared. The fish dish also had the mideastern spice thing going on. It was just ok.
Dessert was a trio of pot de cremes. Caramel, white chocolate, and chocolate. The caramel and chocolate ones were very nice. The white chocolate was not good! It had a strange tingling flavor, almost as if it had gone bad. We each only had one bite of that one.
I cannot comment on the overall price, because I did not see the bill. The experience was very nice, but the food was not what I expected. Every dish besides the amuse and the dessert was full of middle eastern flavors. I came expecting cal-french. I might try it again after a menu/season change.