I was surprised to find no threads on Spike and Charlie's when I just searched. I suppose hounds have heard the grumblings that this once-cutting edge restaurant had slipped or lost its focus with the expansion of their mini empire. At least that's what I heard, and also believed to be true. If the subsequent shrinking of the empire can be partially credited for the amazing meal I had there last week, then I will not shed a tear for Atlantic's passing.
Spike and Charlie kindly agreed to host our wine group for a multi-course dinner built around Spanish wines. A quick rundown of the food itself:
Deconstructed paella- Heads on shrimp, scallop, mussel, rockfish all arranged on a plate with a spicy saffron-y sauce, chorizo puree, and rice krispies sprinkled about.
Grilled sweetbreads- Sherry sauce two ways, salsify, oyster mushrooms wrapped in spinach.
Grilled coulot steak with pureed/whipped plantains with little mounds of fleur de sel and Spanish red pepper powder which you applied to the meat yourself.
Dessert- too much wine that night, my memory is failing me.
Because this was a large private party, Spike developed this menu for us specifically, and I don't believe these items are normally available. But the point of the post is that while I've had his cooking at most or all of his restaurants in the past, nothing approached the dishes we were served last week. In terms of conceptual creativity, visual appeal and taste, this was on another level. Really outstanding. I'm embarrased we paid as little as we did.
I would like to return and sample the regular menu. Sure the decor could use some freshening, and the wine glasses could be better. But if this meal was an example of the quality of the food coming from their kitchen I would not hesitate to recommend S&C's along with, or above, any of the often-cited Chowhound favorites.