Had 30% off from Blackboard Eats and a $20 OpenTable dining cheque, so our final bill was some $60 off. Tom and I split beef carpaccio, chicken liver mousse, pappardelle with truffled kobe beef ragu, and a most delicious bass–miso marinated with wasabi beurre. Oh yeah, and a side of mac and cheese from their bar menu. I have this habit of mentally evaluating all the dishes at the end of the meal to see how much I could have saved by not ordering a certain item. For instance, our bill would have been $9 cheaper had I just ordered a bottle of wine from the start rather than a glass, and the beef carpaccio just really wasn’t worth it. In fact, aside from the wagyu carpaccio at Alexander’s (priced at $13.00/oz.!), the beef sashimi at Kazoo’s, the amazing carpaccio/tartare combo at Lido, and the overly generous portion of steak tartare from Red Lion Tavern, I’m beginning to find beef carpaccio and steak tartare way underdone (haha, pun) at restaurants. Often, the portions are ridiculously small and the taste not nearly as good. I know that some Grana Padano and greens are traditional with some carpaccio, but sometimes I want to appreciate the quality and taste of the beef, not have it masked by cheese. Or perhaps I should just stick to tartare instead of carpaccio, as servings tend to be more generous and I like little quail eggs and onions.
Anyway, this mac and cheese was pretty good, standard. Crispy on the top, creamy in the middle, and a good mix of cheeses. $8 price tag is a bit hefty, but they give you more than, say, Taste on Melrose.
The other food, though, was excellent. Pappardelle with ragu is usually a pretty simple dish and it’s sometimes hard to justify $15-$20 for what is essentially spaghetti and meat sauce. But I love pappardelle and the ragu had the perfect hint of truffle that makes all the flavors go salsa dancing in your mouth. The bass was also good–although not sure how sustainable it was; I rarely order fish in a restaurant and this seemed like a much tastier choice than short ribs, which I’ve had a lot of lately–and got me thinking about making some miso-marinated fish at home. So yesterday, I picked up some cod on sale at Ralph’s and a tub of white miso paste (shiro) from Nijiya, and I’ve got some filets soaking in the fridge. Yay!