New American cuisine prepared simply & well with no fussiness and no pretensions. Emphasis on local and organic ingredients.
What we had:
Snacks: Crispy hominy & thick-cut potato chips with pan-fried onion dip.
The hominy's texture was a perfect balance between crunchy and slightly chewy. well-spiced and thoroughly satisfying.
The onion dip was great. Caramelized onions lend a hint of sophistication to this old classic, elevating simple chips & dip above mere bar food.
Medium Plates: Crispy beef cheek with whipped parsnip, pickled pearl onions frisse & mustard sauce and duck confit with cauliflower mash, wilted greens & a pear raisin chutney.
The confit was nice. I'd eat it again--and the skin was amazing--but it was just nice. Kind of like a decent date with someone you just aren't that into. Ok, maybe that's a bit strong. It was a good dish, a solid dish. A dish I would eat again--the duck was cooked perfectly, the slightly peppery greens counterbalanced the richness that is duck fat perfectly & the chutney gave a great sweet note to it all. Maybe the beef cheeks had something to do with why I was so unmoved.
The beef cheeks. Holy crap. What's beefier tasting than a steak? or a great beef stock? Beef cheeks. The beef cheeks represented one of those aha moments in food for my DH and I. Now we get it. We know now know why beef cheeks are almost everywhere in food media, and why Tony Bourdain drools over them. They're that good. The mustard sauce..blah, blah.. balance.. crispiness.. texture.. blah, blah. All you really need to know is: holy crap this was good. This was stand in line for an hour and punch out an old lady for the last slice good. *homer drool*
Low-key, not too fussy. We went on a Saturday night (at 6:30) and ended up sitting at the chef's bar. Every (nice) restaurant should have a chef's bar. We watched the chefs make all of the wood-fired dishes. It was kind of like food porn. The most popular dishes of the night were the whole roasted "poulet rouge" chicken, whole roasted local snapper with fennel & the wood fired pizza. If you have a group of over 2 or have some desire to sit at a regular table, i'd make a reservation. Even at 6; even though they open at 6. It was packed the whole time we were there, and we had cocktails and took our time.
Our waiter was good. Attentive without being obnoxious about it. The other waiters seemed to be pretty good, too--we only saw 1 dish left to die in the pass all night--a lonely side of asparagus that was in all likelihood done too early.
We have our next three trips planned out already. Next time, we're doing the whole grouper. The time after, maybe spicy pork belly (if my DH can work around his abhorrence of kimchee) and possibly some rabbit.
What Google says; Company website.
5 out of 5 salamanders