Having gone to various other meeting-group selected dinner places for the rest of the weekend, on advice of the Pack Mind, me and de Chowspouse went to Passionfish on Saturday.
Thank you, thank you thank you hounds and hound-ettes; this was possibly one of the two or three beat restaurant meals I've had in a VERY long time; certainly one of the two/three best in California, going as far back as, say 1975...
The ONLY questions I have are (a) how can they afford to do it (and why haven't the managers of the overpriced places on the Carmel and Monterey tourist circuit simply lynched them?) and (b) how can I make sure they get just enough biz to flourish, but not so much as to mess them up?
Crab cake starter: like a completely different dish than I've ever had anywhere else, left or right coast; a pillow of crabby goodness with so little "binder" in it that it threatened to disintegrate into its puddle of fresh tomato garnish when I tried to pry the spouse off a bite. Spouse's moroccan salad less remarkable, but still very tasty..
My trout with rum/pepper sauce and cucumber salad: while i've had trout that was "pretty good chow" before, this was the first in a long time that rose to "cuisine" levels; ditto spouse's "fish stew w/ gnocci" , which was a couple of notches above anything in the boullibaise/cioppino (spelling is off, I know) category that she's run into outside of Europe.
Wine pairings, including dessert wine, were perfecto, and those who know their wine pricing policy, YOU ALL KEEP QUIET ABOUT IT.
wow. Our only concern, at the end of the meal was whether we could, say, jog down to Carmel and back, to burn calories, and make it back before they closed for the night to try the REST of the menu. Ah well, next time...
Service was enthusiatic without being annoying, attentive without being overbearing, and when I stopped to tell the proprietress how much we'd enjoyed the meal, she APOLOGIZED because they were apparently running SHORT-STAFFED last night by a flu virus.
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