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Night Monkey

meredith | May 12, 200412:31 PM

Last night I went to Night Monkey with some friends. One in the group had heard good things and wanted to go and I was thrilled because I had a long ago purchased gift certificate.

The interior is very pretty but incredibly quiet. Not much breaks up the space except, one would imagine, the heads of people at the tables but we were one of three tables in the place so it definitely had me lowering my voice for the first 10 minutes or so.

The menu is divided into small plates and large plates and, as I was hoping, we decided just to split a bunch of different items. I was a little surprised by the wine list, however. A woman in our party had just landed a new account and wanted to buy champagne. She ordered the one on the menu and was told that they didn’t have it, but did have a different brand. The waitress came back with a very chilled bottle of Andres. So we decided to go with a white wine instead and the only bottle I recognized was a $35 bottle of wine that sells at Trader Joes for under $5.

We had the grilled asparagus with reduced white balsamic and parmesan – this was very good, the sauce was a good counterpoint and the asparagus was still strong but not raw tasting, the endive salad with pecans and blue cheese – I am not really a pecan person and they were all over this salad, but I still enjoyed it. The half Dungeness crab was standard, served with butter and cocktail sauce. The only item on the small plates that we didn’t like was the ‘fancy pants macaroni and cheese’. First, I wasn’t sure what was supposed to make it ‘fancy pants’ but the serving was more pasta, cheese and oil than a complete sauce. We had only one of the large plates, scallops with celery risotto cakes served on pea shoots. I really enjoyed this dish, though I think I liked the scallops better than anyone else at the table. We all agreed that that risotto cake was one of our favorite parts of the meal, warm and earthy with great texture.

We split a dessert – scharffenberger chocolate soup with apples and gingerbread cake for dipping. I would have preferred this if it were served as I imagined from reading it instead small pieces of the cake were placed as islands in the soup bowl. I liked this but was a little unsure about eating spoonfuls of chocolate sauce, somehow it reminded me of stealing the Duncan hines frosting out of the fridge as a kid. But the other two seemed to really enjoy it.

Bill total $109 (with bottle of wine)

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