I went to Ambrosia last night for restaurant week. I had serious misgivings, given an earlier post regarding a dinner Monday pm. I am happy to report that I had a wonderful dinner.
My friend and I had a 7 pm reservation. We arrived a few minutes early and checked in. The host couldn't find my name on the reservation sheet (slight panic on my part) but remembered seeing my name earlier. He proceeded to seat us immediately. A big basket of assorted breads as well as a tomato onion spread was placed on our table, which, of course, we immediately dove into. I ordered the salmon tartar with asparagus salad and fried garlic coriander dressing, the seared venision rack with celery root puree, haricot vert, chanterelle mushrooms and carrot glaze. My friend ordered the heirloom tomato salad with truffle blue cheese dressing and thai basil and the seared salmon fillet with potato puree, baby spinich and spicy thai basil fennel sauce. All courses were exquisite. My salmon tartar was bigger than I thought it would be (I expected a miniscule portion). There were two rolled pieces of salmon were about 2 inches by 2 inches. The asparagus was perfectly cooked and all the flavors just worked so well together. My friend's tomato salad was also quite tasty. I'm not a blue cheese fan but she loved it. Also, her salmon fillet was perfectly cooked with the fresh fish taste blending perfectly with the potatoes and spinich. My venision, again perfectly cooked, no weird gaminess and no toughness. Nice and red, the way I like it. Perfect with the celery root puree. And the chanterelle mushrooms were just fantastic. We were so happy with both our meals.
But then dessert came... we ordered one of each to split, a tahitian vanilla creme brulee and a banana white chocolate gateau with fresh strawberries, cardamon ice cream and a balsamic glaze. The cake was tasty, the strawberries fresh but what made it special was that cardamon ice cream. Subtle, smooth, perfect with the cake. But, it was the creme brulee that made my heart sing. Perfect crunchy glaze, perfect creme. I was ready to pick the plate up to lick up all the creme but I thought that would be in poor taste (well, I did pick up the venison bone and gnaw on that).
The service was excellent. Our dinner total, was about an hour and a half. We had a leisurely dinner, which is easy to do when you've gorged yourself on the bread basket. The gaps between courses was just the right amount of time and our water glasses were constantly filled.
All in all, we had a lovely dinner. Well worth the price of admission.