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Restaurants & Bars 15

Magnolia - new chef

Absonot | Apr 11, 2008 12:41 PM

Magnolia last night

There are major changes afoot at Magnolia. Gone is Thursday night fried chicken, gone are the wings, pizzas and sandwiches. In its place is a more ambitious menu with house cured salmon, whole roasted quail, and a $22 chicken entrée (although the others are mostly in the $17 area). Oh, and they now offer yellow mustard -- which, if you've ever asked for some in the past, you know is definitely a change.

Apps:
We ordered the buttermilk fried spring onions ($5), which were wonderfully sweet, but needed more accompaniment than just two lemon wedges, especially since they were under seasoned. This seems like a missed opportunity for a creative dipping sauce, but whatever. House-smoked salmon crostini with fava puree ($5) were also wonderful, but there are only 3 to a serving. Other first courses/bar snacks included fromage blanc with radishes, vege frito misto, butter lettuce salad with crab, and heirloom bean soup.

Entrees:
They still do a hamburger (Prather ranch, $14), but the bun is a little spongier (pleasantly so) and the patty wider and flatter. I don't think it came with tomato, not positive. The fries seemed the same. The person who ordered it liked it, but didn't love it.

The portion size of the whole wheat spaghetti with wild mushroom ragout ($17) was very small, and I doubt filling (although the person who ordered it raved about it). My grilled pork chop ($18) was a teensy bit overcooked, but it was still full of flavor and the texture wasn't too dry. It came with a very interesting tonnato sauce -- I'd never had one before, and I absolutely loved it. The accompanying grilled broccoli was stringy, but great with the sauce. Other entrees included seared scallops with pea puree, seafood stew, and house made lamb sausage with lentils.

Apparently there are plans to renovate/upgrade this place significantly over the next few months, so the loftier menu probably portends a loftier environment. We shall see. Right now, the menu feels a bit incongruous to the place, but the beer is still damn fine. Their newest, Golden Road IPA, is my new favorite.

I'm curious to hear what other people have made of the new menu. I'm still not sure what I think…

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