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Restaurants & Bars 4


BK | Jan 29, 2006 09:40 AM

Can't wait to go back to my new favorite restaurant. I can't count the number of ooos, aahhhs, and oh mys that my girlfriend and I uttered at our first dinner at OM last night.

First, the place is gorgeous. Second, the service was gracious, unobtrusive, and helpful all the same. But it's the food that wowed us.

Parmesan and white truffle popcorn is a tasty, fun, interesting start, a great alternative to a bread basket.

Basil vodka martinis were similarly fun, flavorful, and very satisfying.

The amuse of mushroom consomme was at once hearty, earthy, intense, and yet delicate. Seldom have I eaten anything with such intense flavor packed into such a simple package.

Appetizers of duck confit with blue cheese, pine nut brittle, and braised romaine, as well as torched tuna tartare with some pomegranate ginger gelee and hibiscus spritzer were both equally exciting and favorful. Each dish was composed beautifully, with small dots and streaks of intensely flavorful sauces painted onto the plates, topped with artfully constructed and equally intensely flavored elements.

For example, the tuna tartare was packed with korean flavors, arranged in what must have been a square mold, and topped with a sweet, spicy, savory crust that I can only compare to a creme brulee. Next to it was a tiny spoon filled with tiny cubes of pomegranate ginger gelee that themselves burst with flavor. Next to it was a tiny dot of the most intense wasabi I've ever had. Next to it stood the small glass of fresh, bubbly hibiscus spritzer. All of this was served on a flat, rectangular plate streaked with yet another intense, fruity sauce, with small platforms of shaved cucumber disks for the tuna and the spritzer.

After cleaning our plates, we giddily said to one another, "I hope the entrees are as good as those appetizers were." And boy were they.

First, a perfectly cooked pork loin, brined, sliced, slightly pink, and arranged on a little pile of wasabi marinated fruit (apple? pear?), accompanied an incredible sweet, salty, spicy, savory pork belly, a perfect little square of asian inspired bacony wonder that is apparently braised for 3 days and served on a bed of braised red cabbage and fingerling potatoes, all on a plate streaked with hot chinese mustard.

Next, a "surf and turf" to put all other to shame was a beautifully seared tuna with tiny greens and amazing short rib dumplings, again served with punches of flavor everywhere we looked.

Dessert was also excellent, though fell perhaps a nose short of the rest of the meal. The "chocolate pate" was a terrific flourless chocolate cake, but the grape gelee topping lent only jelly texture to the dish, its flavor overwhelmed by the chocolate itself. The banana creme anglaise and the almond butter ice cream, too, seemed outmatched by the intensity of the chocolate.

The ice cream sandwich scored higher by sandwiching ice cream between slices of carrot cake with a wonderful sour cream icing on the side. The spicy carmel sauce was better in concept than in execution.

One last surprise left us smiling, as our check was delivered to the table with two terrific passion-fruit popsicles. A final knockout punch of flavor.

All in all, well worth every penny we spent. 4 cocktails, 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, 2 coffees, $150 before tip.



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