Davidburke and Donatella

•July 20, 2009 • 1 Comment
Davidburke & Donnatella

Davidburke & Donnatella

Before I begin I would like to inform thee that this restaurant is not one that you might come to every week or day. This is a very fancy and expensive restaurant, but a great place for business or a celebration.

I sat down and was given a special menu, then asked for the regular and was given just that. As I was looking at all the unique dazzling dishes I was served, complimentary, Twelve. It was made with many different teas, fruits and waters. It was bubbly with a touch of alcohol and was different, but surprisingly addictive. I and my friend ordered their steak, T-Bone Halibut, lobster and egg served in a real Ostrich egg with white truffle. We also ordered a delicious looking grilled asparagus with a little cream on top.

What came first was not any of those, but an appetizer with three amazing looking things. The first was hot the second was warm and the third was cold. The first a lobster flan. “Wow” I said as I tasted the exquisite dish it was great with chunks of lobster and custard under it. The flan was almost lobster flavored and a perfect fit. Next was the corn chowder with lobster and caviar. This one was my least favorite, because I just didn’t think that these foods mixed. It was still good though and my friend absolutely loved the caviar and lobster with corn soup on top. The last one was an old dish called Foie Grasse. Now this was a dish that you either loved or hated. It was duck liver with raspberry jam on top, then the liver then some yogurt. I liked it to the surprise of my friend, but the raspberry jam and the liver mixed so you almost couldn’t taste that it was liver which was good.

A rare steak.

A rare steak.


Next to come the ostrich egg with the lobster and the egg. This dish was by far the most mysterious because you think that the ostrich on the menu means it’s the meat of and ostrich, but instead what came were lobster, chives, caviar, scrambled egg and rare white truffle. My friend got a Shrimp Risotto with fresh cooked peas and cream drizzled over. Our waiter came and grated white truffle which added the final taste to these heart breaking delicious dishes.

Finally the Entre came. First on my side was the T-Bone halibut, a huge slab of fish that was thick and great. On my friend’s side, came the rare cooked Flank steak with fresh cream drizzled on the bottom. The halibut was cooked to perfection with pepper corns on it. My first thought was this is the best halibut I have ever had then came the smell of fresh tender meat with cream and I was swayed. I had a bite of steak and was blown away by its taste. I reflected the long amount of time and thought put into these dishes and was satisfied. Also coming with my Halibut was ravioli stuffed with the cheek bone mush. G-d this stuff was good.

Finally the end of the meal came with dessert. We let the chef hit us with his best desserts. All at once they came looking like pieces of art almost inedible. There was, lollipops on a tree that were filled with cheese cake and covered with chocolate, chocolate lava cake with chocolate chip vanilla ice cream, a beautiful box that turned out to be chocolate mouse with raspberry filling, there was bubblegum whipped cream and a butter scotch Pannacotta. I was stuffed in the end and I looked around the restaurants décor I was amazed with its beautiful blown glass balloons and designs.

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Stella D’ORO

•July 14, 2009 • 1 Comment

Chef Marco

Chef Marco

When you go to Italy what do you look for? Food? Well which kind of food? Local or tourist? You might say, “what’s the difference?” Local food is the food that Italy is known for. It features excellent service, a unique experience and fresh, simple food. Touristy food is the opposite of Italy. To find touristy food look in fancy guides and famous places. To find local food you must only explore and ask the locals where they eat.

If you’re looking for fancy, but local food, Stella D’ ORO is the place for you. At 8:15 on a regular week day night it’s half full with buzzing enthusiastic eaters.  The front is a market set aside from the restaurant that sells many Italian products, from Hams (Prosciutto) to beans. As you sit on leather couches to await your seating you will notice that all the waiters and waitresses speak only Italian. This may be a problem, but only makes the experience more authentic. As we, a party of three, are seated we hungrily await the arrival of our menus. As soon as we are settled in the chef, a plump cheery looking man, swoops out of his hiding place, the kitchen, and warmly welcomes us. Marco Pallabona starts rapidly talking in Italian then stops as if to say, “your not Italian?” and then begins again not caring if we understand him or not.

Me with Restaurant in background.

Me with Restaurant in background.

Looking over the menu, which is of course in full Italian, I was inspired to see that there was not only seafood, but Foie Gras and ricotta with asparagus plus Le Carni (meats).

We try to order, but fail miserably, and allow Marco to choose our dishes. We are not good Italian speakers and with no hints or suggestions we could not order from an all Italian menu. After Marco fades away I take a glance around. The room we are sitting in is one of three glamorous rooms. Each room has white table cloths and white puffy chairs. At one table a beautiful blonde sat with her rich Italian boyfriend drinking bottles of old wine. The woman was layered in jewelry and tight cloths while the man sat with a satisfied smirk on his face as if he was about to make a winning deal. At another table were two American looking men drinking brandy and talking quietly. At the last table in our small room was the king and queen. The couple was dressed as though they were at a wedding and they ate like there would be no tomorrow. Finally our food arrived.

As if answering my calls to heaven an angel brought the first course. Raw fish.

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Vetri

•July 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Lobster on linguini.

Lobster on linguini.

Saturday night everyone was at Chef Vetri’s mercy when it comes to food. He chooses everyone’s meals according to what he thinks they will like. This small Italian restaurant sure did give a big aroma off to GQ’s Alan Richman and his guests. Curved brass lights lit the old fashioned theme restaurant. A semontai would decide the right wines to go with our meal. As our waiter comes with the surprise extra dish called Mush Bush (muse bouches) he made sure that nobody had any allergies. A welcome champagne was poured on the house.

A platter with all kinds of charcuterie tastes arrived. First the venison, a tender cook of deer meat, then little portions of fois gras as a teaser. Fresh mozzarella cheese with cream was very tasty, but would be even better with a touch of fresh ground pepper. The cheese itself had the requirements of what someone might call “fresh.” As we ate we were offered home baked bread and as I tasted the soft warm insides it was as though I could eat just this for dinner.

For the next course we were served a white wine. Jumping up in a certain déjà vu, I realized that this next dish was a replica of the dish served at John Dory. Raw Nantucket Scallop Crudo, sliced and served cool on a long plate with pomegranate seeds and lemon juice. The same brilliant taste hit me here and I wondered where this dish started. To get its full unique taste you must eat both the pomegranate seeds and the scallops together. One thing was different about this dish at Vetri’s though. In stead of lemon juice they use chunks of grapefruit. The originality caught me in my bite so I hand this dish to Vetri’s.

Next to race into my open mouth was a dish I had never heard of or thought about ever. A salt cured egg yoke with anchovies and cream. I being not a big eater of anchovies didn’t think Id like this dish, but yet again I was mistaken. So many strong flavors hit my tongue it was hard to taste the anchovies in the dish. Almost like in an orchestra having one more of an instrument. The egg poured into the cream and together they made an unbeatable team. Also on the table was a famous Spinach Gnocchi a mix of spinach, cream and butter. Not my favorite, but a catchy taste that made you eat more unaware of what you are doing.

My all time favorite dish, the lobster with linguine in a red sauce, came steaming onto the now rickety table. Taking a deep breath I dove in. Ahh now this is what I live for. Rich lobster meat on pasta with a peppery taste. Our waiter explained how they had taken this off the menu because in the past people would come into the restaurant and only order the lobster, and then be too full for anything else. Like a train chugging down the track we kept going. Next to pop out of nowhere were the Brussels sprouts. I could rave about these forever, but I won’t. Soaked in vinegar and chopped up then crisped on a high heat this dish made candy bow down. My one thought was, “simple yet complex.”

Last, but most certainly not least was the baby goat. The goat that rested on polenta was delectable. Stringy at times, but flavorful and spectacular. The juices from the meat dripped onto the polenta giving it a mushy meaty taste. The goat came straight from Pennsylvania or nearby places we were told.

Chocolate Polenta Soufflé invaded my thoughts, with vanilla gelato (claimed by the Chef to be the best). It was good, not great. The gelato was, I am sad to say, not nearly as good as some I’ve had, but the Soufflé was exceptional. Stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, I hobbled out of a superb restaurant.

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Montauk Mimosa

•July 3, 2009 • 4 Comments

Mimosa on the rocks.

Mimosa on the rocks.

Paris Ritz in 1925, the Mimosa was invented. Commonly used for special occasions or welcoming guests in the morning, the “Mimosa” consists of 9.999999999 parts orange juice and 0.0000000001 parts champagne (Note: this is only if your under 21. 21 and over I’d suggest trying out different parts of orange juice and champagne. For experimental purposes I tried out 3/4 orange juice and 1/4 Champagne and vice-versa. You’ll find that even when you look up a Mimosa recipe, you’ll have a different opinion.) For people who are not up for a challenge with a rewarding finish buy a carton of orange juice. For people who do want a twist to their Mimosa squeeze your own orange juice. Buy squeezing oranges from a local supermarket and buy a squeezer. Squeezing oranges is an art in my mind. It can be frustrating and boring. I guarantee you that if you buy good oranges and squeeze your own juice you will taste a whole different drink.

Mimosa on tray.

Mimosa on tray.

I know I must be asking a lot from you. This is why I said only follow my suggested instructions if your up for a challenge.

Sweet orange juice blended with tart fizzy champagne. Both the orange juice and the champagne have been chilled so that on a hot June day it’s like soy sauce is to sushi. Breaking the rules I drank this in the afternoon. It’s truly exhilarating tasting such a powerful drink.

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Docks

•June 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

A baked lobster from Docks.

A baked lobster from Docks.

Sadly Docks on the upper west side has closed, but the restaurant remains on the east side.

Docks, is just right for any kind of seafood loving family. You don’t have to dress up in a suit, but a button down shirt will be fine and fit right in. The décor is rough kind of homey, but unique and nice. The atmosphere has a certain up that gives you the feeling of security. Docks, has a wide variety of seafood, from lobster to clams to mussels to many different kinds of great fresh fishes. Docks even has delicious steak. Many people walked in at 6:11 pm and most of them were single people hoping for a table and were not in the least refused one. Our waitress was a very nice woman who didn’t bother us every second and had a great attitude toward her job.

The food came fast enough with the amount of people in the restaurant. Deciding to try this dish my friend ordered the Special: scallops cooked just right maybe a little over done, with ravioli and a light cream sauce on top.

First to come was a delicious seafood tomato flavored soup, might have had a pinch of paprika and pepper. It had swordfish, mussels, clams, shrimp and calamari. The final outcome was a great peppery spicy soup.

Lobster came next and I was dutifully impressed. 1 ½ pounds of NOT water, but actual meat, now this was good. With garlic mashed potato in the corner of my plate this meal was complete. Also what my friend had ordered the scallops, cooked just right maybe a little over done, with heavenly ravioli and a light cream sauce on top. Wait suddenly the chef brought out one of their best Sushi rolls. Not only does this place have seafood and meat, but also a huge selection of fine sushi.

The final dish, the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll was delicious. With my first bite I was astounded with the complexity and the spice that hit me hard. Done? Was I surprised? Did I like it? Yes, Yes and Yes.

Le Bernardin

•June 18, 2009 • 8 Comments

Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin

6:30 at Le Bernardin is like prime time at any other restaurant. Alone, waiting for GQ’s Alan Richman, I was told to wait on a couch in the front of the restaurant. Sitting there, feeling many eyes boring into the back of my head, I had the distinct feeling that I was out of place. The co-owner/chef here, Eric Ripert, had a sort of disrespect towards me and a disdain that I was out to challenge. As time wore on, pistachio cheese sticks were brought to me, with a kind of curiosity that troubled me. A pleasant atmosphere of rich conversation and stuffy people filled the king-like restaurant and gave it an air that almost shouted, “ stay away middle-class folk!” A vast number of waitresses and waiters wondered around topping already filled glasses and bringing food over to tables. Two giant vases of many colorful flowers stood in the center of the restaurant. As Alan swoops in through the door we were immediately shown to or escorted to the second best table in the restaurant. As soon as we sat down, waiters and sommeliers warmly welcomed Alan the food critic. (clearly he had been to this magnificent restaurant before).  Now we were both comfortably seated.

The amuse-bouche, or, “welcome” from Chef Eric Ripert was gently placed in front of us. My fork slipped through the plump, tender shrimp, and I had trouble picking it up. Poached in truffle foam it gave a sweet taste with that hint of a woody essence truffles let off. World famous sommelier, Aldo Sohm, argued endlessly with Alan about which wines were appropriate for the meal. Finally, it seemed that they had come to an agreement. They would do a white, then a red. Opening the menu, I scanned it, looking at our choices. There were two tasting menus and a regular menu with a four course meal for $109. There was an Almost Raw section, a Barely Cooked section and a Lightly Cooked section.


From the first section we chose Kumamoto Oyster, known as “ en gelee,” an assortment of six oysters each with a topping from light to complex, to be eaten from left to right. We ordered the tuna, a complex dish consisting of Yellowfin Tuna and Foie Gras resting on a toasted baguette with shaved chives and olive oil.

From the barely cooked section we ordered Octopus, described as, a warm octopus salad with a touch of paprika and olive oil. Also from that section we ordered the Crab, stuffed into a zucchini flower was Peekytoe crab drizzled with a black truffle sauce and shaved black truffle on top. Finally, the Langoustine Lobster resting on lemon seaweed butter.

From the last section, I ordered Surf and Turf. Not your regular lobster and steak, but Escolar fish and Seared Kobi Beef. Lamb was added to our growing meal from the Upon Request section. I heard a few laughs when I ordered the lamb, but I pursued my craving for meat in this fish dinner.

The Kumamoto, with it’s six plump oysters and condiments, was served on ice and a metal plate. The first oyster I ate was the Green Apple one. The taste of fish and ocean united with sour apples and earth, and battled in my mouth long after I had finished the oyster. Next was Usu Citrus, a similar taste, but altogether delicious. Then Shesu Mint. Thoughts of fresh mint leaves and cool oysters soared through my head. Feeling dizzy, I moved onto my favorite one, the Ponzu Soy oyster. Almost as if made for each other fresh bits of soy sank into the luxurious oyster.

Tuna looking like it had just been cut into thin filets, flew across the room and sat patiently on the table. One bite and this was a keeper. Thin delicate tuna as light as a flower and as delicious as a warm summer day itself. Foie Gras and oil helped to bring out the seductive flavor of yellowfin tuna. If you have ever tasted real high quality fish you would know that this was it.

Between dishes, more people streamed into this popular restaurant. Conversation grew louder and waiters were more frantic. A bread man came out to offer a wide selection of bread, from sour dough to Parker house rolls. The Parker house rolls were sweet and soft, tasting almost like challah.

Octopus knocked out all thoughts of rolls. Taking a bite of a small thin circle of octopus I had high expectations for the dish. Perhaps they were too high. A subtle taste of octopus and olive oil crept into my mouth. Hoping for a more zesty taste than this one I felt let down. Where was the flavor? It needed lemon and something else to take the flavor of the octopus and push it to the limit. Chef Ripert could have put a little more effort into this dish. Langoustine Lobster knocked out all the doubts I had about the rest of the meal. Like the shrimp, the lobster was so tender and plump my fork slid through and seemed confused about what to pick up. This time, sweet and spicy hit my taste buds. Wrapped in a lemon seaweed coma.

Kumamoto Oysters

Kumamoto Oysters

Down from heaven came the Crab. Contained in a Zucchini flower was the Peekytoe crab. Generously doused in black truffle sauce it was out of this world. Sour was the zucchini flower, sweet was the crab and woody was the truffle sauce. Each flavor was a puzzle piece and when they fit together they became a clear picture. Flowers deep within a forest of trees and sweet smells. Such complexity!

Lastly, the Lightly Cooked dishes. Surf and Turf is a legacy at Le Bernadin or so I was told by Alan. Smells of Kobi beef and Escolar were enough to drive me crazy. A bite of that rich silky beef, then the cool refreshing fish, was perfect. Escolar is an extremely delicate and delicious fish by itself. Adding anchovy sauce to something like this bullies the taste of the fish and overpowers it’s beautiful flavor.

As we relax and wait to order dessert, I discover a wonderful thing. The decor of Le Bernardin is unique. From a first glance it is modern, but that modern look is timeless. In addition to first class service this restaurant’s decor has stayed the same since it opened, or with no major changes. As Maguy Le Coze, also here from the restaurant’s beginnings, strolls over to talk with us I begin to understand why this restaurant is so popular and great. Maguy is a co-owner at Le Bernardin and there is no detail which escapes her. She struts around talking to guests and making sure everything is all right. As we talk, I order dessert.

Dessert

As a welcome to the course called, “Dessert” we were given an egg shell with caramel, chocolate, cream and sea salt. All tastes battle fought a hopeless battle to overpower each other. I taste of oceans of chocolate, skies of cream and seas of salt. We ordered Chocolate-Sweet Potato and Sorbets with one ice cream. The Chocolate-Sweet Potato was a Dark chocolate ganache with Vanilla Salt and Sweet Potato Pearls as the menu puts it. From the sorbets we chose Pineapple Buttermilk, Coconut and Blood Orange. From the ice cream we picked Malted Rum Milk Chocolate.

The sorbets, all, plopped on one plate, were set between us. Moving from left to right, I started with Pineapple. Just close your eyes and you are in a warm, tropical place, messily eating fat juicy pineapples with a creamy edge to them. Then the coconut a rich creamy flavor that is hard to imagine has no cream. Finally, the Blood Orange sorbet strongly jerked me out of my creamy adventures and into bolder tangy tastes.  Truly a feast fit for a king!

More petits desserts followed, but deep chocolate ganache was all I could taste for the rest of the night, so smooth and rich.  As I pondered, deep in chocolate heaven, I realized with a sharp pang how much it hurt to be mesmerized by a chef who hates me.

Chef Eric Ripert

Chef Eric Ripert

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Romano

•June 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

Squid stuffed with zucchini, carrots and shrimp.

Squid stuffed with zucchini, carrots and shrimp.

Viareggio, Italy

At 2:00 pm you probably would expect a typical restaurant to either be closed or empty. Not Romano. It was open and it was full.  We moved through a fancy, modern decor into a funky interior. The fancy part was full of white clothed tables and the atmosphere changed from stiff and sharp to relaxed and chilled.  As a welcome we receive Guile Ferrari, a fruity, strong and fragrant champagne. The curtains were closed creating a dim, quiet scene. We allowed the Chef, Franca Checchi, to choose our meal; which we decided later was a mistake.

Fish

Wooden walls and two stained glass panels marked the entrance to our little room. We sat at the end of the restaurant up against a window. On each table there was a vase of fake looking roses. The plates with complex designs and beautiful patterns were from a local factory called Ginero. I was dining with some of the most famous people in Italy or so people in the food Industry all over the world thought. One was Cesare Casella (of Salumera Rosi in New York City).

When we sat down, all the owners and waiters warmly welcomed him and from then on we were treated like kings and queens eating a royal banquet. Looking around there were quite a few people, mostly locals, eating their expensive lunches with pride and a sense of belonging.

The first of many dishes to come was a fried platter with red mullet, shrimp, squid, anchovies, sole and baby octopus. Each fish was skillfully fried so that you could taste the fish as much as the fry. The fish was delicious. Each one cooked so that the fish and taste of the sea would be enhanced as much as possible. Next to be placed in front of me was another fish dish, but this time all raw. This course consisted of jumbo shrimp (sparnokio), whole squid, cod, and a white fish. Dripped with lemon it was light and refreshing and tasted like a crisp spring morning. The shrimp was coated with natural sweetness and the cod was tough, but felt silky on the tongue. Some dishes should be left simple and this was certainly one of them.

Shrimp, octopus, white fish and sole.

Shrimp, octopus, white fish and sole.

As we sat listening to opera music I thought about how these fish were abducted and kept in pristine condition. The next fish dish was put in front of us. This one was a warm seafood salad that sat begging me to devour it. I, of course, obeyed. The baby octopus hit my senses then, shrimp, sweet and delicate. It was a great combination with a bit of olive oil and white beans in the center. The flavors were a oaky olive oil and a mushy earthy taste of the beans. These flavors mixed with the taste of octopus was wonderful.

Whole squids stuffed with zucchini, carrots and shrimp materialized out of thin air. I asked again what the dish was to be sure I had heard right. I had. Chewy sweet squids, zucchini and shrimp painted a beautiful picture of the sea and a raw zucchini right off the plant. Presented with style and artistic skill it was unique on its own level.

After 4-5 different fish dishes we thought we saw pasta dawning on us. We were wrong. A steaming fish stew swooped in on us and we all groaned. The thing about good food is enough is enough. It’s like when someone makes a joke and then tries to prolong that joke too long. Sadly, this Italian restaurant had not grasped that concept yet. We had eaten so many fish dishes it was hard to appreciate the delicious flavors in the stew such as the broth that held so much flavor I was afraid it would evaporate within the minute. The stew was made with squid and shrimp. The way the broth, the squid and the shrimp clicked together was memorable. The flavors ranged from fishy squid to sweet shrimp and peppery broth. Slurping the remains from my dish I hobbled to the bathroom thinking about how I was going to wriggle through the rest of this exceptional meal.

At Romano the service was impeccable. No matter how many times you get up or walk around they interpret getting up as an opportunity to place a new napkin on your seat. We tested this theory and proved it to be correct. We all got up, holding our dirty napkins; this seemed to get the message to our napkin-fairies. Clean napkins miraculously appeared.

Linguini with arselle clams is only found in Viareggio. The pasta was coated in a creamy sauce that was a little too heavy for such light clams. The tiny clams were salty and fishy, but had such a powerful taste that the pasta was only a helper to fill you up. I wondered how these clams were shucked and asked our waiter. I was informed that they were cooked first as regular clams then shucked extremely carefully, because these clams were a rare find and not yet in season. After eating local clams and other fishes I sat back and sighed with joy. I decided that letting our small warm hearted Chef choose our dishes wasn’t so bad except for the fact that we ate over 10 dishes and left feeling like Blow Fish in their puffed out form.

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Hummus Place

•June 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

Hummus Place restaurant.

Hummus Place restaurant.

Walking into a small, but comfortable restaurant hungry and tired I knew this would be one of the best of its kind. At around 7:00pm it was almost full to the brim with talkative people. I sat down and was immediately given a menu with all different styles of Hummus, eggs and soups… I ordered the soup of the day which was split pea soup and Hummus Macabacha. First to come was the soup steaming with delicious odors and tastes. I ate it with jest and was pleased with the complexity and number of herbs that fit it perfectly. After I finished the soup I waited for no more than a couple minutes and there came Halumi Shakshuka. I didn’t order this, but I would love to try it anyway I said to my waitress. She made sure it was okay and than left me to enjoy my food. I dug into the sunny side egg covered with tomato sauce and cilantro. My first impression was great. I loved its style with it coming out still on the pan and sizzling, it was good. It came with my choice of homemade whole wheat pita. Dipping it in and out of my Halumi Shakshuka I was satisfied with my choice of the restaurant despite their little mistake. My only complaint is that they check on you and try and take your plates away a little too much.

Halumi Shakshuka.

Halumi Shakshuka.

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Bar Boulud

•June 12, 2009 • 6 Comments

Bar Boulud's railroad style.

Bar Boulud's railroad style.

At 5:30pm sitting down with a party of nine people at Bar Boulud I looked around to see a railroad type setting meaning it was long and narrow with an arched ceiling. On one side I saw metal grates with little rocks inside and like the clever idea. This was a fancy up beat type of place the kind of place where you might come with your girlfriend or boyfriend to enjoy a little meal and a drink. On the other side of the restaurant was the weirdest yet almost pleasingly creative thing. They were pieces of thick paper with wine stains and the name and date of that wine.

As I began to look over the dinner menu I noticed that there were wines that ranged from $30-$4,700. Almost immediately I found what I was looking for:  Steak Frites, Black Angus NY steak, that came with a salad or fries. I also noticed a good looking appetizer that was a little pricey, but looked scrumptious. The Mesclun Provencal salad with arugula lettuce and olives, tomatoes, radishes, fried artichoke and anchovies called out at me so with duty calling I decided on that for my appetizer.

A waitress came over and was completely clueless about the dishes, which I found was common with most of this restaurant’s service. As my party ordered I noticed a particularly good sounding dish ordered by my father called Coquille Saint-Jacques which was Roasted Diver Sea scallops with Brussels sprouts and concord grapes.

By 6:05pm the appetizers and salads were delivered to the correct people with little mistake. I looked around and liked what I saw. There was the scallops done to perfection, but they gave the least amount possible for $18. They were cut in slices (4) in a row with two dollops of grape paste in each corner. I thought they were delicious and tender despite the skimpy portion. Next I started my salad, the Mesclun Provencal, which was huge and a great dish for $12. It was served in a big bowl with fresh pepper, lemon, a great light dressing and crispy arugula. As I munched that one down I searched for another dish to taste and my eyes were locked onto a soup one of my friends had gotten. A rich Butternut  Squash soup with a slight touch of parsley. I tasted this and was thrilled with its fall taste and filling touch.

Next to come was of course the steak. A giant, thick slab of tender meat cooked rare. On all open parts it was crusted with pepper and a crispy shell. I attacked with my fork and wolfed it down. It was delicious. I stole a bite of Coq Au Vin a braised chicken with mushrooms and onions. It was a little over done, but a fabulous addition to the meal.

Last we ordered dessert. I got Diva Renee a dome of chocolate (not described well on the menu) with a hot chocolate sauce and raspberry/pistachio sorbet. When it came the dome was covering the ice cream with the chocolate sauce in a small pitcher on the side. As I pored it on it melted the dome to reveal the ice cream. It was a great mix of raspberry and chocolate and I was satisfied with the dish. My dinner was once again completed and I thought that dessert must be one of the most important things for a restaurant because it was the last thing the person remembered.

The John Dory

•June 11, 2009 • 13 Comments

  1. A John Dory fish.
A John Dory fish.

Tiled blue walls lighted from the inside surrounded me as I walked through the door of John Dory. Asking to sit down without my guest was considered rude, but I did it anyway. Surveying the small, but cozy place I noticed that each table had a red candle and there was a very large fish tank smack in the middle. As my guest arrived we were welcomed by our waitress with a bottle of seltzer. The restaurant said they were very proud to inform us that this bubbly water was called Natura and was made eco friendly by them. Instead of bread the restaurant plopped a small dish with crispy plantains and fresh smoked fish. The fish had a certain taste that almost made you feel as though you were in the ocean. Our waitress, a nice woman, kept cracking little jokes and explained the dishes so thoughtfully it made you feel like she really wanted you to enjoy the meal.

Thoughtful consideration was necessary at John Dory, because of all the delicious sounding dishes. We decided on Dungeness crab, Grilled Octopus, Jensen’s Temptation, Yellowtail, Fresh Diver Scallops and….. Fish Soup. The first to come was the octopus with parsley, fennel, celery and lemon juice. One bite of this intense dish and I was blown away into another world. Soft tender octopus world grilled to satisfaction with crisp burnt tips on the octopus. Next to come in our John Dory experience was the scallops from the raw bar. Who knows where the idea of sliced scallops with pomegranates and lemon juice came from, but it was a brilliant idea and was executed nicely. Kompatchi cod a fish, which I had never heard of, came along next. Cooled and firm this dish was a key example of this restaurant’s knack of getting good fish. Next came a good looking fish soup. After awhile the soup had thrown so many flavors at me from peppery to sweet that I decided  I had one piece of criticism: this soup was too intense!  A fish soup should be a simple broth with good fish.

After all the little teasers, out came the main attraction. Dungeness crab. Huge crab legs towered on a small plate with home roasted pure black pepper in every little crack of the crab. One look and I knew this was going to be a messy dish. Hmm… not amazing. The crab itself was delicious, but the way it was presented did not fit the theme or décor of John Dory. It was almost not worth the time and mess to get such little crab. The meat itself was so thickly covered in pepper that it was almost inedible. Across the table was the steak. Cooked rarely the steak made a good impression on me. Good to see a little meat in this seafood dominating restaurant. A quality of meat at satisfaction was what you’ll find in this steak not spectacular, but mediocre. Part way through our entrées we received the Jensen’s Temptation. Slices of potatoes with melted onions and cheese to top it off this was a fabulous dish. Devouring it in a split second we awaited dessert.

The John Dory Sunday was the main dessert, coming with hot fudge on top of vanilla ice cream with homemade candies. Real ice cream entered my mouth not the softie stuff, but creamy ice cream pushed back by bitter hot fudge.

. With my tummy bulging we walked out full, feeling like we were still traveling through a wondrous, wavy, ocean experience.

List of fish.

List of fish.

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