We were supposed to meet up with a business associate of my husband's for dinner and I chose the new restaurant La Puerta Negra in Montpelier 'cos NEW! :) We had the wrong week, and so he wasn't there (SCORE, I get another meal here next week), but we ate there anyway. :) http://www.rbirestaurantgroup.com/men...
We'd arrived around ten minutes early and got seated at a four-top. Then we waited until about 40 minutes after our guest was supposed to arrive to give him a call and that's when we discovered our mistake. The staff were really nice about us hanging out for so long without ordering anything. Though it was a Wednesday night at 6 so they weren't all that busy at the time. By the time we left (around 7:45ish I want to say) they had someone waiting for a table, but not a big line and they hadn't been waiting long.
The atmosphere is just pleasant. Feels almost like a speakeasy, with nooks and crannies. It's not a huge place. They do have a patio outside and air conditioning inside (normally I don't care, but Wednesday night was hot). There's also a bar folks can sit at.
The total bill was $48 (before tip/tax). That didn't include any drinks (we just had water). So that's more than we typically pay for dinners but we had large plates and expensive app. We shared alpaca lettuce wraps as an appetizer. I had the twice fried carnitas and he had the chilaquiles. So much yum!
The alpaca was a tiny bit dry but that was handled admirably by the crema. The flavor of the alpaca was wonderful. The carnitas were large chunks of pork that had been fried. I was worried they'd be dry but they weren't dry. They were tender and tasty. I don't think it really needed the drizzle of honey that the plate had been given, but it played well with the other flavors. There were four or five large pork chunks, so along with the refried beans and the corn tossed around, this was a very generous portion.
My husband has a sort of platonic ideal for chilaquiles in his mind from a diner we'd eaten at in San Diego, so every version of it he has gets compared to that. This version was more "high end" restaurant style. It came with a "three hour egg" which is an egg they've cooked at a low temperature for a literal three hours. I had a bit of a taste and I can see how the texture was different than one might get from poached or fried eggs. Don't know how significant it was in the dish because there's so much going on in it anyway. I loved the rojo sauce, and it was served over midnight black beans. The taste I had was good and my husband seemed to enjoy it, though he'd still prefer the diner version if he had a choice. :)
We are going back next week to meet with the business associate, and I'm considering getting lengua tacos on this go. The menu on the website is a little bit different than what you get when you arrive, but many of the items are the same. :)
Really, go. Please please keep this place operating. :)
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