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Tabla, Dos Caminos and Artisanal: 3 reviews...

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Tabla, Dos Caminos and Artisanal: 3 reviews...

dkstar1 | Feb 24, 2006 04:30 PM

Tabla

I went and had a quick, late dinner last week at the Bread Bar. The room was about half full at 9:15pm and the "bar" seating was empty. So I sat at the bar and ordered the Pulled lamb and mustard mashed potato "Naanini". The menu calls it a street sandwich that is drizzled with lime sauce and chilies and served with raita and shredded romaine. I call it delicious. The good deal of food that was well put together in texture, visual appeal and taste. I washed it down with a Lagunitas Rich Copper Ale "The Censored" from Petaluma, California. The censored name, for those that might care, was "The Chronic", but someone wasn't happy about that. So they redubbed it The Censored. An excellent beer. One of the better ones I've had lately (it ranks up there with Otter Creek's Copper Ale from Vermont).

Dos Caminos

I stopped by last night to pick up a quick, late dinner after a lengthy wine tasting at I.C.E. The bar wasn't that full for a Thursday night at 9:15 so I was able to place my take out order without having to fight my way to the front. Despite living around the corner, I've never eaten at Dos Caminos until now...I've just been in to have some cocktails before going elsewhere...and it can get quite tight in that awkward bar space. But tonight, the male bartender took my order for Dos Enchiladas, which included roasted chicken in corn tortillas with Chihuahua cheese. One had a really tasty mole pobano sauce, the other had a tomatillo verde. I also tried their house tequila which I think was El Tesoro Platinum...though I could be wrong about that. A very nice, almost sweet, sipping tequila. A step above Patron (which is, in my opinion, the lowest rung of acceptable tequila). The enchiladas were very good, but, like just about all of the BR Guest restaurants, it lacks refinement and food mastery. But that's not a bad thing necessarily. This is good food at reasonable prices in a fun atmosphere. It's food has more substance that what you may find at the comparable The Stanton Social but not as much as, let's say, that of The Red Cat...or maybe Thor or Public. Probably a safe 2nd date place for less adventurous diners. Note: all three bartenders were very personable - so having a cocktail at the bar to feel the place out first is not a bad idea.

Artisanal
Thanks to a fellow 'hound, I learned that February is fondue month at Artisanal, which translates to 28 special fondues...and a menu of them on the website (http://www.artisanalcheese.com/images...). The taleggio and beef tips fondue really whet my appetite so I called in advance to make sure that they would have it. The answer to my question "are all of the 28 fondues available today or just the one designated for the 24th available today?" was "All of them are available today". I was ecstatic, and certainly didn't want to be limited to just Le Moulis (the designated 24th fondue option). So when I got there, I stopped the waitress short and said I already knew what I wanted...the Taleggio with Beef Tips. She said that they didn't have that today. Long story longer, someone made a mistake on the phone, but the bartender, James, who is always pleasant, suggested I order the Artisanal Blend and he'd throw the beef tips in with it. The hostess was also remarkably hospitable and so with my fondue and glass of prosecco, I enjoyed a great, but expensive lunch for one person. If you are planning on going to Artisanal this month or the fondue, be sure to call (don't use OpenTable) and tell them you are excited about Fondue February...its a code word that will get you a free glass of wine. shhh. Bon Appetit!

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