Toscano, a restaurant review (Restaurant Week edition)

Winter Restaurant Week came to a close yesterday, here in the Boston area.  A couple of my friends have raved about Toscano over the last year, so we went there.  Our menu was:

Primi
Salmone Affumicato
Foley Smoked Salmon – Crostini – Lemon – Caperberries

Rigatoni Toscano
Double Smoked Bacon – Tomato Cream – Herbs

Tagliatelle Porcini
Sautéed Porcini Mushrooms – Herbs

Pasta e Fagioli
Puree of White Bean Soup – Tubettini Pasta

Insalata Cesare
Romaine Hearts – Focaccia Croutons – Classic Dressing

Caprese
Local Fresh Burrata – Beefsteak Tomatoes – Basil

Secondi
Risotto Granchio
Jumbo Lump Crabmeat – Tomato – Shellfish Stock

Pollo Pizzaiola
Oven Roasted Chicken Breast -Pomodoro Sauce – Fresh Mozzarella – Oregano – Patate al Forno

Scaloppini Limone
Sautéed Veal Scaloppini – White Wine – Lemon – Parsley – Patate al Forno

Bistecca alla Griglia
Wood Grilled Sirloin of Beef  – Patate al Forno

Gamberoni al Moscato
Sautéed Shrimp – Leeks – Moscato Wine – Patate al Forno

Salmone Asparagi
Grilled North Atlantic Salmon – Asparagus – Mustard Sauce

Dolce
Tiramisu
Toscano House Specialty “Budino Style”

Torta di Mirtilli
Blueberry – White Chocolate Tart

Gelato e Sorbeto
Del Giorno

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The tagliatelle?  I loved it.  The pasta had a nice bite to it, and it wasn’t too oily.  The mushroom flavor was very good.  It wasn’t an immediate “wow” for one of my table companions.  But the more she ate, the happier she was with her dish.  For half of my table, the favorite starter was the rigatoni.  I tried a bite of it.  The bacon flavor is without question the dominant flavor.  It was very delicious as long as you like your bacon, and maybe I’ll order it next time.  Then again, I love tagliatelle and mushrooms, so I’m hard press to say which of the two I’d pick if I had to.  One of the diners had the white bean soup, and she was happy with it. It had a much more delicate flavor than I was expecting.  I’m not sure I’ll ever order it in the future, but I highly suspect that it’s because I’m pro-pasta at Toscano.

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restaurant week, Harvest review

Restaurant Week, week no. 2, location – Harvest, Cambridge.

Menu for Week 2** March 21st to March 27th available every evening, including Saturdays Tasting Menu $33.09 / Half Glass Wine Pairing $48.09, Full Glass Pairing $58.09 (No Substitutions)

Appetizers

  • Spring Vidalia Onion Soup Gruyere Croutons & Fines Herbs Angelini, Pinot Grigio, Veneto, Italy 2008 Market Green
  • Panzannella Bufala Mozzarella, Crispy Artichokes & Parsley Crostini Burgáns, Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain 2007

Entrées

  • Seared Atlantic Salmon Pearl Pasta, Cucumber, Lemon Confit, Ginger & Dill Yogurt Whitehaven, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2008
  • Roasted Loin of Pork Braised Chard, Smoked Bacon, Anson Mills Polenta & a Vanilla Gastrique First Drop Wines, The Red One, Shiraz Blend, South Australia 2008
  • Forbidden Black Rice Tart Baby Carrots, Baby Turnips, Bok Choy & Hen of The Woods Mushrooms Hogue Cellars, Genesis, Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington 2005

Dessert

  • Chocolate Peanut Crunch Bourbon Cream, Sea salt, Cocoa Nibs Banfi, Rosa Regale, Brachetto d’Acqui, Piedmont, Italy 2007
  • Roasted Apple Pain De Gênes Vanilla Cream, Apple Conserve Markus Molitor, Riesling, Spätlese, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany 2006
  • Raspberry Sorbet Sesame Almond Crisp Michele Chiarlo, Nivole, Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2007

Me? The spring onion soup, the black rice tart, and the roasted apple.

Miss L*? The spring onion soup, the pork, the roasted apple, and the half-glass pairing.

Miss K*? The panzannella, the pork, the chocolate peanut crunch, and the half-glass pairing.

The spring onion soup was nothing like I was expecting. I was still expecting something like onion soup. Instead, I was served a smooth, green soup with a drizzle of oil and a small piece of toasted bread with cheese sitting in the center of my bowl. But wow! It really made you think of spring. It was a delicate flavor, but still really flavorful. I don’t even know what herbs were used (I am a terrible taster, and am terrible at describing tastes). It was a perfect soup for a day like today, which was still quite windy and a bit cold even though we have officially moved out of winter.

[haha! I’ve been watching a Japanese drama recently called “Kami No Shizuku” which revolves around wine tasting, using really superfluous descriptions to describe the taste of a wine… I am so tempted to say something like “this soup transported me to a field of snowdrops on an early spring morning, all covered with dew, but then! the sun bursts through the fog to warm the air and the ground around me. The beautiful fragrance of spring feels my lungs, and a desire to move forward ambitiously surges through me.” *grin*  It’s so silly, and yet I’m still watching this drama.]

I think the theme for our evening out was “surprises.” My black rice tart? Again, it was nothing I was expecting. When I think of rice, I tend to think of Asian starchy and sticky dishes. But my tart wasn’t sticky at all, nor was it much of a tart. The rice had been molded probably with something like a biscuit cutter, and the veggies and mushrooms were mounded on top. The rice was infused with a sort of herb flavor that, again, I couldn’t identify. It was a stronger flavor than the onion soup, but nothing overwhelming.  The minute I put my fork in it, individual pieces of rice began to fall apart easily.  Miss K and Miss L took a bite of my rice tart, and both were also pleasantly surprised.

I did steal a bit of the pork. Wow, the pork tasted like it had been covered in smoky bacon except there were only a few bits of bacon on the plate. Miss K and Miss L raved over the pork plate. They were impressed with the wine pairing too. None of us are wine experts, but the ladies at my table know the good from the bad. And then Miss L admitted that it was the first time that she had ever eaten spinach that still looked like spinach (I hear that she only eats it in Indian cuisine, so probably as saag paneer aka palak paneer, which is also quite yummy).  She liked her spinach for once. Apparently, the highlight of the plate was the vanilla gastrique. I don’t know what gastrique means, but it was apparently the shiny sauce that was drizzled under their food and over their plates. Many “oohs” and “aahs” were had.

Miss K got the better dessert. Miss L and I were imagining something like an apple pie on our plates, but the reality was we got what was essentially an apple muffin served with roasted diced apples and ice cream. Oh, and a very, very thinly sliced piece of dried apple. The dried apple was really good. The rest? Good but nothing to wax frilly descriptions over. Miss K’s dessert looked like a tiramisu, but it was more like a chocolate cookie(?) layer with a chocolate peanut butter mousse layered on top. The peanut flavor was quite subtle and nothing like a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Miss K was happy with her dessert selection.

Honestly though, I think Miss K was more enthralled by her dessert wine, the Rosa Regale. It was fizzy and fruity and sweet like a cocktail, but without being a cocktail. She currently plans to hunt down this wine and buy it for her house.

I’m more than tempted to go back to Harvest. Maybe during the summer restaurant week. We were all really full at the end of the night. Luckily, I was not as gut-bustingly full as I had been after eating at Grotto (I did not have to stay up late in hopes of digesting my meal more). Don’t get me wrong though, portions at Harvest will still feed you well enough, even though it might look smaller than what you were expecting. On the other hand, the presentation was very nice – prettier than Grotto easily.  The service at Harvest was good, still not as good as my experience at Sel de la Terre, but still good. The only complaint we had was that the wines were not served when the food came out. They were always a few minutes late. I think we had to wait at least a good five minutes before the dessert wines were dropped off at our table. We tried our best not to dig through our desserts before Miss K and Miss L could have some of it with their wines.

I think Harvest is perfect for special occasions. And it’s a good place to check out if you want to impress your company. I’m very happy that Miss K and Miss L enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m sure we’ll go back in the near future.

~Mikan

** = Yes, Harvest had a different menu for Week 1.

restaurant week, Grotto review

*Primi

Carroza – Pan toasted buffalo mozzarella, Red bell peppers, Baby spinach, Small tomatoes, Black olives, Capers

Insalata – Baby arugula, Poached pears, Parma prosciutto, Reggiano parmesan, Lemon

Zucca –  Sweet potato ravioli, Reggiano parmesan, Brown butter, Sage, Amaretti

Spinaci – Baby spinach, Beets, Walnuts, Goat cheese, Raspberry vinaigrette

Zuppa – Garlic and black truffle soup, Parmesan, Toasted bread crumbs

Fonduta – Fontina cheese fondue, Beef tenderloin, Aged Balsamic, Truffle oil, Portobello mushrooms

Mare – Grilled calamari, White beans, Peppers, Greens, Lemon

Cavatelle –  House prepared ricotta pasta, Sausage, Peas, Mushrooms, Pancetta, Cream

*Secondi

Osso Buco – Slow braised lamb, Stuffed red bell pepper, Braising sauce

Mattone  – Pan roasted all natural chicken, Risotto, Wild Mushrooms, Chicken jus

Carne – Grilled beef tenderloin, Reggiano risotto, Asparagus, Red wine

Zafferano – Crab ravioli, Asparagus, Almonds, Saffron

Pettini – Pan roasted diver scallops “ravioli”, Leeks, Wild mushrooms, Arugula

Spaghetti – Meatballs & Grotto’s insanely fabulous tomato sauce

Gnocchi – Short ribs, Mushrooms, Gorgonzola

Antra – Apple stuffed duck breast, crispy leg, Prosciutto, Dried cherries, Potato gratin, Black truffle, Madeira

*Dolce

Cioccolato – Melting chocolate cake & Vanilla ice cream

Budino – Banana bread pudding, Caramel ice cream, Walnuts Panna Cotta Butterscotch “pudding”, Rum raisins, Soft whipped cream

Tre Ice cream – Vanilla, Chocolate, Caramel

Me: the mozzarella with spinach, the scallops, and the chocolate cake. Stealth Eater: the grilled squid, the chicken, and the chocolate cake. Miss M: the fondue, the duck, and the chocolate cake. Mr. K: the insalata, the duck and the chocolate cake. Miss M took pictures. We were all more than happy and seconds away from food coma by the end of the night.

First impressions? Small and cute. To get there, we walked past Boston Common and turned onto Bowdoin Street. Bowdoin Street is kind of interesting. It’s the Beacon Hill area, but it’s a bit more on the business side of the neighborhood than the residential side. At 7pm on a Monday, it’s a quiet street – you start to wonder if you’re in the right place. Grotto, marked by fairy lights around the entrance, is almost easy to miss with its small stairwell leading to a basement entrance. We walked in, and were all sort of in awe by its size – we thought it’d be a larger restaurant for some reason. Regardless of size, I think we all immediately liked it with its wooden tables, wall to wall red paint, and glowing chandeliers.

Thank goodness for reservations, I highly recommend making some if you want to dine here (it’s that small). We were seated almost immediately, tucked away in a corner, and given our menus (and after our order was taken, we were served with fresh bread and olives in olive oil – the bread reminded me of prezels except softer and spongier).

The restaurant week menu is pretty much Grotto’s normal menu, except with pricing changes, which meant that we had several dishes to pick from (see menu above). Everyone seemed pretty happy with their selections. M loved the fondue and K took a taste. They both thought it was amazing. I took a bite of my sister’s grilled squid – pretty good and much easier to eat than that one time I bought grilled squid at Russo’s (as much as I love Russo’s, that squid made me feel like I was eating some sort of kitchen cleaning solution). I really liked my first course – the mozzarella was sandwiched between something that was either bread or polenta (I couldn’t tell in the dim light and I don’t ever cook polenta). Under my mozzarella sandwich, was baby spinach drizzled with some sort of balsamic vinegar dressing. Oh, it was really delicious. It was special. I did my best to not make a mess, but alas! At least, my table companions aren’t sticklers for etiquette.

The second course? M and K kind of stared at their plates for a bit. M exclaimed “that’s the prosciutto?!”, not because there was anything wrong with it but because they did not skimp on the prosciutto. Not at all.  They were like mini towers of prosciutto.   (Actually, Grotto did not skimp on any of their plates.) Meanwhile, I worked on my dish. The scallops were presented in something vaguely looking like a sandwich (this explains why the word ravioli is in quotes). The top and bottom layer was a large round piece of pasta. In between, the scallops were topped with a lot of arugula, and the sandwich was surrounded by mushrooms (hmm, I couldn’t see or taste the leeks – the mushrooms were dominant). It was really good, but I think I liked my first course better. As I jokingly said to Stealth Eater, the first course put a little twinkle in my eyes. I think I like the chicken presentation best – the chicken sat on top a bed of mushroom risotto, and had a little bouquet of thyme sticking up. Even though it was a lot of food, I think everyone finished their plates.

[edit from Miss M:  “I was too busy eating to mention it, but that thing of prosciutto was actually the duck breast wrapped in prosciutto with apple inside. “]

And of course, we all picked chocolate for dessert. It’s hard to resist and hard to mess up at a fine restaurant. I had to leave my last bite of chocolate on my plate. It’s been two hours since I’ve been home, and I STILL feel like I’m going to explode. I feel a little sorry for that last little bite.

Overall, I’d be happy to recommend Grotto to anyone. Compared to Sel de la Terre (the Awesomesauce of Boston favorite), I guess I’d currently give Sel de la Terre five stars and Grotto four stars. Why? The food is excellent in either location, but the service at Sel de la Terre is very efficient. Your glass of water will never be empty. But if you’re looking for good food in a cozier setting, Grotto is probably the right place. It’s not the end of the world if I need to pour my own water from the large bottle the waitstaff dropped off. I’d love to go again.

Grotto, 37 Bowdoin Street, Boston, 617-227-3434, www.grottorestaurant.com

~ Mikan

A Tremont 647 follow-up

[I apologize for how horribly late this post is… which is about a month late. Yikes. Better late than never, right?]

This past Sunday, the household went on a field trip to Tremont 647, in the South End, Boston, to participate in Restaurant Week.

The main factors for going there were 1) location – it’s about a 10 minute walk from Back Bay station and 2) the unusually long menu options for Restaurant Week.

Appetizers

Rare Tuna Niçoise 647
pastrami spice crusted tuna, egg & niçoise olive tapenade, local greens

Mini Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sammy with Tomato Gazpacho
Vermont goat cheese, local tomatoes

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Poached Lobster
toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs

Nesenkeag Farms’ Field Greens Salad
house-made ricotta, fresh melon, melon-basil vinaigrette

Zucchini Match Stick Salad
candied walnuts, fresh herbs, parmesan

Grilled Shrimp Taco
mango salsa , salsa verde, salsa roja

South-East Asian Seafood Salad
grilled tuna, salmon, & shrimp, Thai basil, mangoes, Vietnamese vinaigrette

***SUNDAY/MONDAY/TUESDAY BONUS***
Lobster Enchiladas
salsa, refried beans, farmers cheese

Shrimp & Broccoli Raab Stuffed Porchetta
wilted spinach, rosemary jus

Entrees

Thai Grilled Salmon
roasted pork, Thai basil & ginger salad, steamed rice.

Andy’s BBQ Sampla’
pulled pork, 1st place ribs, cornbread, bbq’d beans, coleslaw

Lobster Pad Thai
julienne veggies, toasted peanuts, bean sprouts

Moroccan Style Roasted Half Chicken
Israeli cous cous, sweet pepper harissa, sweet & sour glazed eggplant

Three Tastes of Summer
Sweet Potato & Caramelized Corn Cake, Heirloom Tomato & Quinoa Salad, Garlicky Green Beans

***SUNDAY/MONDAY/TUESDAY BONUS***
Lobster Mac n’ Cheese
Ritz cracker crumb topping

647 Surf n’ Turf
braised flank steak stuffed with lobster tails & shrimp, with hominy, salsa roja, glazed bananas

Dessert

Peach Cobbler
Bourbon cream, hot caramel

Mexican Chocolate Cake
papaya coulis, vanilla bean whipped cream

***SUNDAY/MONDAY/TUESDAY BONUS***
Triple Chocolate Layered Mousse
warm chocolate cookies

I think this is what everyone had:
Asano-mama: lobster enchilada, the burger (which is not listed on the website), and the Mexican chocolate cake.
Plumduff: South-East Asian Seafood Salad, eggplant manicotti (not listed on the website), and the peach cobbler.
Stealth-eater: Momos (not listed on the website – this is a feature of their normal menu and you could order it for an extra $2), the Moroccan Chicken, and the Mexican Chocolate Cake.

Me? I had the zucchini matchstick salad, the Thai grilled salmon, and the triple chocolate layered mousse.

The zucchini matchstick salad wasn’t quite what I had imagined. I guess I tend to think of breaded or battered zucchini if the word “stick” is mentioned. Instead this was fresh zucchini julienned, served with a sort of vinaigrette, candied walnuts as well as non-candied walnuts, and parm cheese. For the most part I wasn’t too impressed. The zucchini matched well with the candied walnuts, but otherwise was boring on it’s own or with non-candied walnuts, and I thought that there was a little too much parm. (A little goes a long way for me.) And herbs? I couldn’t taste them.

Having said that, I did take a bite of the momos (and I don’t mean the animated lemur) and it was fantastic. I was sad that I didn’t order my own momos plate. What is a momo? It’s a Tibetan dumpling. So, it’s quite similar to other Asian dumplings, but the difference is in the flavor. I guess I would describe it as a hybrid of the Chinese dumplings and a samosa. You know, a bit spicier but too much so.

Asano-mama and Plumduff cleaned off their appetizer plates, so I’m going to say that they were quite satisfied.

[Oh, moving backwards for a second – after the waiter takes your order, he gives you a bread basket. Ours had onion focaccia, some sort of cracker, and sweet but dry cornbread. We devoured the bread in a matter of minutes. My favorite was the cornbread much to my surprise. I usually won’t touch cornbread.]

Entrees! Asano-mama seemed really satisfied with her burger and fries. Maybe it was just a hard day from painting our kitchen that did the trick, but she needed little more to keep her in good spirits. Plumduff seemed pretty happy with the eggplant manicotti, and again I wanted Stealth Eater’s plate instead of my own.

The Thai salmon was good overall, but it just didn’t come out the way it was described. The roast pork listed was actually slices of Chinese styled barbeque pork. And the salad was served under the salmon along with the rice. So, in essence, I was having salmon on top of fried rice. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it sounds a lot less impressive to say that you had salmon with fried rice.

The only reason I didn’t pick the Moroccan chicken was because 1) I’m not a huge fan of cous cous and 2) I’m not a huge fan of eggplant. But when Stealth Eater received her plate, it was easy to say that the chicken was the star of the show. It was spiced and cooked just right, and the harissa was really delicious. (note to self, google for harissa recipes.) It’s definitely a good way to serve a bake chicken that’s beyond the usual lemon and herbs.

Finally, it was time for dessert and I don’t think there’s a single complaint to be had there. The Mexican chocolate cake was very chocolaty. Perhaps sinful so. For anyone who didn’t like papaya need not be afraid. The papaya coulis was more like a squiggly decoration to the side of the plate. It more like a ganache than a cake. It was dense and thin. And yummy. That’s what’s most important after all.

In contrast, the mousse was fluffy and lighter. If memory serves me right, it was a layer of a dark chocolate mousse, a layer of milk chocolate mousse, a topping of whipped cream (maybe it was supposed to be white chocolate, I couldn’t tell) and a cookie. I ate most of it – well, as much as my stuffed tummy would allow.

All in all, I liked Tremont 647. I wasn’t quite as impressed as I was with Sel de la Terre, but that doesn’t mean anything bad. The variety was great and the service was good (but maybe that’s because we were a table of nicely dressed ladies? just kidding). I certainly wouldn’t mind going there again, even for a non-Restaurant-Week meal.

~Mikan

Mikan-san’s Sel De La Terre review

Wednesday night, I went to Sel De La Terre on State Street in Boston with stealth_eater, plumduff and Asano-mama.

First impression? Service was excellent. Our waitress made sure that we were never in want of water or bread. And the bread? Yummy. Asano-mama was addicted to the olive bread while I was fond of the fig bread (and so pretty!). The place is clean and pretty. And somehow, it was never too loud. We got there just before 6:30pm before there was much of a crowd. When we left, it was pretty full. And yet, throughout the dinner, there was no need to yell or talk very loudly to hold a conversation. You can come here in casual clothes or a little dressed up. It’s all good.

The food? Here’s what was ordered:

Stealth_Eater – Flatbread pizza with hummus, olive tapenade, mozzarella, spinach, caramelized onions and bacon $11 (we think it was a lamb bacon). A salad of romaine, endive… I think it was officially the Winter salad of roasted beets, pears, walnuts, red endive and Maytag blue; red wine vinaigrette $10. Rosemary pommes frites $6.50. Vanilla crème brûlée with fresh fruit and homemade cookies $8.95.

Me – The Restaurant Week fixed price menu of $33.08. I selected the forest mushroom soup, braised boneless beef shortribs with olive oil whipped potatoes and sautéed winter vegetables, and chocolate+espresso pots de creme.

Asano-Mama – The Restaurant Week fixed price menu of $33.08. She started with the pate tray, had the shortribs like I did, and finished with chocolate mousse service in phyllo cups. She did, however, order a glass from the specialty drinks list – a lambic/champagne mix.

plumduff – Baked aged goat cheese salad with arugula, pine nuts, red onion and balsamic $10. Oven roasted free range chicken with confit foie gras boudin, fried artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and chickpea purée; verjus-honey sauce $25.

Food impressions? Everything was yummy. Portions were just right. The mushroom soup was so delicious! A little salty, but that didn’t stop me from wanting more. The whipped potatoes hidden under the short ribs were so light in texture but still very traditional mashed potato-y in flavor. The chocolate cream was very good, more chocolate in flavor than espresso. And Sel De La Terre is known for their short ribs – they braise it until the meat is absolutely tender. You don’t even need a knife to cut it.

I didn’t try the salad, the pate, the goat cheese, or the chocolate mousse cups. Asano-mama seemed to like the pate, cheese, and mousse very much. I think plumduff liked the goat cheese even though it was Asano-mama who finished it. Mmm, the flat bread smelled really good, but the lamb bacon was weird to me. I guess I’m really picky about how lamb is prepared or else it is just too overpowering. I did taste plumduff’s chicken – that was very, very nice. I guess the rosemary french friespommes frites are as legendary as their short ribs, and while they were tasty, my reaction was kind of average. They were good, but they are still just potatoes with rosemary. lol! I guess I don’t understand why someone would gush over it. (I think it was a co-worker who told stealth_eater that the frites were a must.) I’d rather gush over the mushroom soup or the ribs or the desserts.

Speaking of desserts, the creme brulee was awesome. The first time I ever had creme brulee was at Devlin’s, I think. It was an Italian place run by very Irish people, and it was the first time [nickname shall be Blondie] and I had ever hung out together outside of work. And Devlin’s did a very good job of it. Since then, I’ve ordered it at other places, but, seriously, most restaurants can’t get the burnt sugar topping right. Sel De La Terre did, and I was so happy sneaking a few bits off of stealth_eater’s plate. At least, though further away in terms of distance, Sel De La Terre is easier to get to than Devlin’s so it’s nice that if I want to indulge myself on nice desserts, I know know where I can go.

Sel De La Terre also has a small counter when you first enter the location – the boulangerie. In their words:
“At Sel de la Terre we pride ourselves in the unique practices of freshly baked artisan breads, classic French pastries, and house-made charcuterie.

We are committed to the concept of traditional, handcrafted breads; intensely flavored, perfectly textured, with crackling crusts and tender centers. Our bread program is a focus, which consistently receives local praise and accolades including Boston Magazine’s “Best Bread” in Best of Boston 2005. Our bread can be found in our boulangerie, on the tables of our restaurant and in our gourmet sandwiches, as well as at various retail locations and other restaurants throughout the greater Boston area. Some of our favorite bread varieties include homemade country sourdough, black olive, fig and anise, rye, baguette, multi-grain, wheat, brioche and potato breads.

Our retail case highlights a passion for house-made hams, sausages, pâtés and terrines, which we encourage you to enjoy at home with one of our fresh baguettes.”

I’m definitely coming back some time, if only to pick up something at the boulangerie. But I’d like to come back for a meal too. 🙂

It didn’t occur to me that night to bring a camera. Maybe next time. And I’ll post it on the Awesomesauce Eats blog.

The only downside, if they can be counted as such, was the wicker/rattan trash can in the bathroom (I’d rather have a step can even if it’s uglier) and that stealth_eater forgot her umbrella in the umbrella stand. It’s really easy to pass by that stupid umbrella stand, and stealth_eater has a habit of losing things more easily than I do.

Sel de la Terre—c’etait un coup de foudre

*twirls handlebar moustache with glee*

So I think the Awesomesauce is all agreed that Sel de la Terre provides an eminently satisfying meal. We invaded this unsuspecting Long Wharf restaurant yesterday evening and left victorious, full, happy, a bit poorer. Mikan-san and I went for prix fixe while Plumduff and Awesomesaucian-Yet-To-Be-Named went for different plates from around the menu.

The rundown (from what I can remember)–

Plumduff: Eggplant-goat cheese purée with olive oil and toasted black walnuts for starters, Oven roasted free range chicken breast with wild mushroom tart, arugula and sauce Robert (and artichokes, right)?

Awesomesaucian-Yet-To-Be-Named: Rosemary pommes frites as a side, Flatbread pizza with hummus, olive tapenade, mozzarella, spinach, caramelized onions and bacon (crunchy!),  and a very nummy looking salad, but I can’t remember which one it was… and a fantastically delicate creme brulee for dessert.

Mikan-san and I both had very tender shortribs on pureed potato for the main course, her first course was a really savory truffle soup? I think? Mine was a paté platter (YAY!). For dessert she had a chocolate pot and I had some very soft and crunchy chocolatey tarts. I’m drooling just remembering it all!

I’m sure everybody will post with their thoughts on what they ate… just trying to record the menu for posterity!