Lunch at Redwood Park (long)
We had lunch today at Redwood Park. I was a little queezy about going there since my last experience in that location, when it was Vertigo. I wound up with a very bad case of food poisoning, that time. Also I wasn't particularly hungry, after gorging myself at BBQ tasting last night. But I'm always willing to give it a try. I had a strenuous 2 hour workout at the gym in the morning trying unsuccessfully to work up the proper appetite.
Given that caveat, I have to report that the place is doing pretty well, the food was presented very artistically, and for the most part was pretty good to excellent.
The room looks nothing like Vertigo, and you get some sense that it took a long time to redo it. It is a very appealing looking space with polished dark wood (redwood?) paneling
There was a choice of a 3 course prix fixe meal for $35 or a four course for $45. There was also a sampler plate for $25.
There were 4 of us. For appetizers we had Smoked Trout Salad, Dual Asparagus Soup, Tuna Carpaccio, and Cauliflower and Roqueforte Soup. The trout consisted of a very nice filet, skin on that was formed onto a little tower, wrapped around radish sprouts and diced daikon and jicama, and was quite tasty. The aspaagus soup was presented in a yin/yang fashion with white on one side and green on the other and a centerpiece of a lemon mousse. The green side was very asparagussy in flavor. The white side mainly tasted of cream and butter. The mousse went very well and wasn't too tart. The tuna was served with a rrasberry vinagrette salsa and looked very good and was reported to be very good. I didn't taste it or the cauliflower soup. The cauliflower was served in a bowl with a crust of roqueforte almost overflowing like a French onion soup. It really looked appealing and was reported to be excellent.
For main courses we had 2 New Zealand Strips, a Florida Yellowtail Snapper, and a True Cod. The strip consited of three slices of very good looking steak with a pinot noir sauce and vegetables (baby turnips and other small veggies. It was just ok, and both people who ordered it were dissapointed. The meat was as tasty as it looked and the sauce was too timid. The Snapper was terrific as was the cod. Apparently Morone's background from Aqua still dominates. The snapper was served with an apple and celery root salad, truffled cole slaw, and sauted wild mushrooms. The fish was very moist and flavorful, and cooked just right. The slaw was a typical slaw with tiny bits of finely chopped black truffles mixed in, and had a wonderful truffle flavor. The celery root and apple salad was interesting and went fine with the rest of the dish.
The cod was served with baby potatoes and other veggies.
For dessert we all resisted the Bubble Gum Ice Cream Soda, which someone at the next table had. It looked good. We went for two banana splits, a chocolate mousse, and a trio of sorbets. We were all very pleased. The splits were prepared tableside, starting with carmelized bananas and a scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. To that were added chopped walnuts, pineapple, marinated cherries and chantilly cream. Then caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and raberry coulis. It was terriffic. The mousse was a little tower of very flavorful chocolate with 3 little ice cream filled profiteroles.
The service was not completely up to par yet. It was very polite and solicitous, but little things seemed to be out of sync. For instance, I was not given a spoon with my soup until I asked. There was also a little longish delay between when the first and last person was served a course.
Overall we liked the place. I would stick with the seafood, and I expect the little serving glitches will work themselves out with more experience.