Anyways, we were early for our reservation so we plopped our rumps down at the bar. Fully stocked and very intimate, I was surprised at how cozy this place was starting to become. My mood was turning for the better, but that could very well be the gin and tonics I was ingesting. By the end of my second drink, our table was ready and we made our way over to a corner table. Sweetness. I'm getting hopeful that this will be a nice experience. The corner of the room offered us a nice little alcove to either be deeply involved in our own conversation or for us to people watch the whole night.
The waitress arrives with the menus and then slides in the tasting menu right on top. One look at the price ($55/person) and the selection (six courses of Hudson Valley sourced ingredients) and I'm sold. I didn't feel like thinking and this was perfect for me to try the chef's skills.
|Really wish I had just used the lemon.|
Second Course: Sorrel Salad with Strawberries, Pink Peppercorns, and Pickled Onions. The vinaigrette was subtle and savory. Excellent flavor combination with the sorrel adding a subtle hint of acid as did the tiny strawberries. The pickled onions were an excellent addition to the savory side of the dish. I was pleased with how this salad was a nicely balanced dish. Simple and unassuming, it was well done. I'm not normally a strawberry fan. I love cherries and raspberries, but strawberries were never something I craved. Regardless, these strawberries were slightly tart and the demure size matched the pickled onions very well. My hopes are renewed. I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed. I can't wait to see what the next dish looks like.
Third Course: New Jersey Diver Scallop with Roasted Lemon Yogurt, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Chorizo. I must apologize for not taking a picture of this one as I couldn't resist this plate. As soon as it showed up, I descended upon it like a hawk on a field mouse. Anyways, this dish was by far my favorite. First of all, it's a bit hard to mess up scallops. It's a bit of a sellout move, but, I'll bite. The combination of the chorizo with the chokes offered the texture component along with a great meaty counterpart to the scallops. All of this was enhanced by the lovely lemon yogurt. This dish played right into my comfort zone. It was hard for me to not like this. I love the savory, creamy, meaty, tangy combination. It's like when you know that you're being played by someone, but you don't care because you can't say no to that person. I'm a sucker. I know. Stop staring at me in that tone of voice. Moving on.
|Only one word that |
I can think of that suits you.
|You could have been so amazing.|
|Rhubarb: the awkward dessert|
I was left deflated by the end of the meal. It was so incoherent between dishes. There wasn't a unifying theme that I could discern. Individually, only 1 or 2 dishes could stand on their own. The best dish was the only one that I didn't photograph. Everything else was just frustrating. I wanted so badly to be impressed. I wanted to leave with renewed inspiration. For all the talk of letting the locally sourced ingredients shine, the execution was lacking. If every dish was just mediocre, I would have been more pleased with my experience. No. Instead, I get glimpses of genius and then the door is slammed shut in my face. 'Hey. Look what I can do! It's amazing. But you're only going to get to see it for a split second. I can't let you have the satisfaction of seeing all of it. That would be absurd'. Part of me wants to return out of morbid curiosity. I want to believe that if I had chosen something off the normal menu, I would have been much more pleased. Alas, what should have been a wonderful journey through the chef's imagination turned out to be a disappointing and disorienting ride through the county fair's haunted house.