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Mendocino Grille Report

Steve | Oct 29, 2009 04:03 PM

It's often the case at upscale restaurants that the small plates feature the most intriguing preparations and innovative dishes. Mendocino Grille in Georgetown falls into that category.

A smoked trout starter includes silky smooth and delicious fish, blini, a porcelain spoonful of caviar, tartar sauce, crushed egg, and pickled onions. The fish by itself is very fine and altogether the combinations are terrific.

A salad of heirloom baby carrots is exotic and satisfying. I've never seen these long, thin, and gnarly little babies before. They are naturally sweet and served in a spiced yogurt dressing. Really great market driven food so far.

Both of these dishes were enough for a very stisfying meal and I should have stopped there.

The main course gumbo was good, but had its pluses and minuses. Perfectly cooked oysters and rice with somewhat mushy shrimp in a stock that was more andouille than seafood in profile. The okra was served fresh and a bit crunchy, so did not serve to thicken the stock. The whole thing was good, not great.

They do well with chocolate desserts here. A chocolate duo of mini cake and mousse was very good, but the very dark chocolate and peanut butter ice cream was even better.

There are about seven or eight intriguing starters on the Fall menu. If you are a grazer, then this just might be your ticket.

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