Monday, May 11, 2009
And Without Tasting It, You Call for SALT? I Hate You With a Passion You Can Only Dream of.
(The title of this is from the best episode of Chef! One of my most favorite lines ever.)
Okay! Here is a picture Triana took of me outside Hen of the Wood. I finally found the menu, so I can share. For the first time, one of the dishes was slightly disappointing. Triana and I shared two appetizers: the wild leek soup and the Niman Ranch pork cheeks (I thought, "what if I never eat here again?" and promptly decided we must have pork cheeks, especially as Triana has never had them). The pork cheeks were, naturally, most tender and sublime. The wild leek soup? It was perfectly smooth. It had lovely little crisp flavorful croutons. The soup itself was bland. I think it actually needed salt. There are no salt shakers or pepper on the tables here, of course. There is usually no need. So while we had no trouble finishing it (for while it was bland, it also not hard to eat!), I would not order it again, and found myself wishing we had ordered the hen of the woods mushrooms. Or the oysters. Or the calamari.
For entrees we shared the Sheep's Milk Gnocchi. I cannot remember what it was served with (the menu I have is from the previous day, so it is slightly different from what we actually had), but the gnocchi was lightly seared so they were a bit crisp on the outside with a creamy, herby inside. Great texture. I do remember there was lemon and pine nuts. Outstanding. We also ordered the short ribs, which I believe was served with kale (always done perfectly) and more gnocchi--but different gnocchi! Two kinds of gnocchi! It is not on the menu, and as I'm writing about this two weeks later, details escape me. I will say they were a delight to eat and creamy.
We finished with three kinds of local cheese (going to have to hunt down some Vermont cheese sources while I'm in Texas). Oh, the wine! I didn't take a picture. We had the Orogeny Pinot Noir, 2006. It took about 20 minutes to really open up, but it had a great blackberry jam thing going on. Not so great with the soup (also not a surprise), but quite complementary with the other dishes. Even the Sheep's Milk Gnocchi!