Happy Monday everyone! It's been a long while but i'm back! I've been a little busy with my personal life and haven't really had a chance to post but now that my schedule is back to normal, I should be able to post more regularly. :) (yay!)
Today I want to post about this new restaurant that really knocked me off my chair (in a good way). Right when I walked in I knew that this culinary experience was going to be one that I was going to blogging about. The interior and overall ambiance of this restaurant is cozy and intimate.
This is what the main indoor room looks like next to the hostess desk. Dim lights and warm colors make for a very intimate setting ;). There is also a bar with seating to the right side. (not fully pictured)
There is an outside dining area which I ADORED about this place. The ceiling is open so you can enjoy the fresh air and also enjoy the great natural lighting it provides. If possible, I would highly suggest recommending a table out on the patio. I forgot to take a picture once it was dark outside but the lighting out on the patio after sundown is really pretty :)
You'll have to excuse this picture. I got really excited and drank half of MY drink before my friend reminded me to take a picture. This was a little treat that our waiter brought to us as soon as we sat down and it was on the house. Free champagne? Delicious! It had a very crisp light fruity flavor. Great way to start your meal.
Their cocktail glasses are so cute! Not to mention that their cocktails are amazing. The Bottom one is called Birds of Paradise. A+ for presentation and I really liked their metal straws. If you are not into sweet drinks, this may not be for you. This drink is creamy and very sweet. I'm not really into sweet drinks so this took longer to drink than normal but I didn't mind because it made me feel like I was on vacation. This is something I would drink on the beach in Mexico while I bake myself under the sun.
I've never seen bread presented in this way so brownie points for creativity. In a small muslin bag, they bring out one of each bread per person. There were two different types of bread. I'm not so much of a bread and butter type person but I had to try these (of course). The round bread pictured on the right reminded me of the cheese bread balls that you get at brazilian steakhouses. Very airy and fluffy on the inside. The bread pictured on the left is more dense but less flavorful.
Now on to the best part... :) FOOD!
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin: North Sea Shrimp, Nori, Wasabi Snow
I love Uni I love Shrimp, you put them together.....true bliss. When you order this dish, don't expect a regular appetizer portion of a dish. These a true bite size but extremely flavorful. The shrimp are so tiny (SO CUTE) but packed with flavor. The Uni in my opinion was a little overpowered by the wasabi snow and the shrimp. In other words, A little more Uni wouldn't have hurt but when you eat it all together in one bite and savor it, you can really taste the individual flavors of the shrimp, uni, and the slight lingering flavor of the wasabi.
Head Cheese: Fig Mostarda, Rye Crisp
For those of you who do not know what head cheese is, it is not CHEESE cheese. It is a type of meat that is combined of different types of meat and meat jelly mainly made from the head of calf or pig. But people make it in their own ways. Under the head cheese, they added a layer of "Fig Mostarda" which really balanced the creamy/buttery flavor of the headcheese really well with it's sweetness. Definitely a must if you're not too afraid of what it really is and are looking for something with lots of flavor. I have always been a fan of headcheese and this one is really in my top 5. So sad I had to share this with my friend :( next time I will have to get my own! >:)
La Belle Farms Foie Gras: Pistachios, Cocoa Nibs, Quince, Cider Jelly, Brioche
I know i'm late on this, but I had Foie Gras for the first time just a few weeks ago. So this was my second time having Foie Gras. It was very different than the first time I had it. This Foie Gras was definitely easier to eat and not as fatty as the first time I had this dish. The Cider Jelly really balanced out the creamy/fatty texture of the Foie Gras and when you spread it on the Toasted Brioche...*drool
Rabbitchetta: Anson Mills Polenta, Pea Tendrils, Thyme Sauce
A huge fan of the polenta.. had a really nice, thick consistency. The Rabbitchetta was very flavorful but a little too salty for my taste buds. My friend (that I was having dinner with) really enjoyed this dish and didn't think it was salty so I guess it was more personal preference. I'm personally not a huge fan of salty foods. But what I did find is that if you make sure you have a good dose of the polenta on each bite, it really gives you the full flavor and gets rid of some of the saltiness from the meat. :)
Duo of Beef: Grilled New York, Short Rib, Kale 'Croutons', Confit Potatoes, Parmesan Fondue
YUM YUM YUM! I loved everything about this dish. Short Rib was very tender and extremely juicy. (I'm salivating just looking at these pictures again) The New York was cooked to perfection and the drizzled sauce was not overpowering so you can really taste the true flavor of the meat.
The one thing that I REALLY loved about this dish is...
The Kale Crouton!!!! Never heard of it? Have you been hiding under a rock?! Totally kidding. :) It was my first time hearing about it to. I LOVE KALE! But even if you're not a big kale fan, you might like this. It's soft and slightly sweet. Combine it with the lightly salted roasted potato wedge on top and BOOM. :) This was really the highlight of my meal since it was something TOTALLY new.
Overall I highly recommend this restaurant for a date night or a night out with the girls for some catch up time over drinks. I went right when they opening in the evening at 5:00pm so it wasn't crowded but I always recommend making a reservation just to make sure you have a table waiting for you when you arrive.
Hope this helps and let me know about your experience at this restaurant!
XOXO - Christine