Now onto this week’s post…
I got the pleasure of dining with some of my absolute favorite people recently, whom also happen to be pretty serious foodies. I have to tell you, while the food was awesome, it is the company that really made the evening. Having good friends that enjoy eating as much as you do is pretty fantastic.
The chosen restaurant: Bittersweet, which opened last winter with artisanal, farm to table cuisine. It on Alameda and Logan (yep, used to be a gas station). The place was bustling when we arrived at 8pm for our reservation. By 8:15 we had cocktails in hand and were chatting away. After being greeted by our waitress, we were informed that the rabbit, grouper and lobster bake were out. A little more than disappointing for a table of foodies, when almost half your entrees aren’t available. Nonetheless, we made due… clearly.
We started with:
Bacon, Eggs and Toast – braised pork belly, poached quail eggs on rosemary brioche.
Duck Consomme – roasted fig, duck prosciutto, whipped goat cheese
Sausage and Peppers – basil potato gnocchi, garden tomato sauce
Around the group the vote was split on the winner. However, since I am the one writing the post, I say the bacon, eggs and toast :). First, I am a rosemary fiend. I love it. The savory braised pork belly was just icing on the cake… well really bacon on rosemary toast. The duck and sausage and peppers were still lovely, just not at par.
At this point, we opened a bottle 2006 Vega Escal from Spain. It is composed of 60% Carinena, 30% Garnacha, and 10% Syrah aged for six months in French and American oak. It is fairly good value, but might be better in a year or two. Supposedly is exhibits an “alluring bouquet of smoke, crushed stone, lavender, leather, black cherry, and blueberry”. Honestly after a few glasses and lively conversation all I can say, is that we enjoyed it, oh and that I ordered another bottle.
Between the 1st and 2nd bottle was dinner. As a grouped we shared:
The Smoked White Fish- red flannel hash hollandaise sauce
Pork Cheeks – tuscan kale, lardons (this is just the French word for bacon), crispy polenta with a pork demi glaze
Pheasant – cooked two ways pheasant confit (aka the lollipop) and braised (I am terribly sorry but I have forgotten it’s accompaniments, the lollipop was the highlight either way).
For me the most notable items: the tenderness of the pork cheeks and the amazing flavor of the red flannel hash with hollandaise. I think I could put that sauce on anything.
Most would think that we would be full be now, well you would be wrong, well partially. My mom always told me there is a different stomach for dessert and tonight that was true. After three hours of drinking, eating and chatting – we sat down to:
Pumpkin – spice cake, cream cheese mousse and pumpkin ice cream
Marshmallow – graham cracker, house-made fluff, chocolate and strawberries
Nut – (Whole) Pecans, short-dough, apples and lavender ice cream
So lots of my favorite things here… pumpkin, chocolate, lavender. Honestly, I walked away a little disappointed with the Pumpkin spice cake. I was expecting amazing, when really it was just good. The lavender ice cream however, scrumptious. It tasted like it was made with steeped dried lavender instead of just using the oil without an overpowering creaminess.
If you’ve never had lavender ice cream I highly recommend it.