First new place is Ellsworth. Open less than two weeks by Braydon and Laura from Verjus. Theme is small plates. Really good wine list. The food was, in a word, Fantastic! Service was friendly but a bit too fast paced. New places always need to sort these thing out and I am sure it will pass.
The food, on the other hand, was exceptional. Salad of Brussel sprouts with crunchy faro and lemon dressing and topped with parmesian. Individual leaves of the bs made the bulk of the salad. Raw, tender and almost sweet. It is past the season for bs and they have opened up making the leaves easy to separate. Also the intense bitterness of bs has mellowed out.
Potato skins with crispy chicken skin topped with melted cheese. A Romesco, or at least Romesco like, sauce with just enough piment d’espallette to give a light slow burn. Delicious.
Potrine of pork belly. Served of a leaf of a tender cabbage leaf with red specks (don’t know the exact name.) Eaten as a spring roll. Delicate and tasty with peanuts to add crunch. We used the sauce from the potato skins and it worked well to spice things up a bit.
Lastly, very crispy deep fried chicken nuggets. Don’t even think McDo or KFC. The crust was very crisp and the chicken tender and juicy.
Flavors were clean, not muddled together, and balanced. We were really impressed the quality of the food. Tab for two with wine E101 – more than half for the wine.
Good enough to go back. New dishes were very tender octopus, pigeon ragout. Both excellent. Don't miss Jean Foillard's superb Fleurie.
Zebulon. Our big disappointment. Had heard good things but did not live up. The room was nice and the service very good but the food was, in a word, BLAND. Pasta almost raw in one dish otherwise everything else was forgettable – which is exactly what I did.
Le BAT. We really liked the food. Everything was well prepared and tasty. Flavor and ingredient combinations all worked. It had a nice vibe. We really like small plates because we can share different items without winding up with too much food. Our only objection here is that the plates are so small that there is not much to share.
A Noste. What can I say we have loved Dans les Landes and we like A Noste even better. The old favorites are still there – duck hearts, chiparones, bone marrow risotto, nems de canard etc. etc. The space is nicer to boot.
Old favorites that did not disappoint.
Juveniles. Food has kicked up a notch with the new chef. Great fun and now always packed.
Tartine, Baron Rouge, Bar Fleurie – unchanged and that’s just fine.