We ate at Persimmon in Bristol the other night and enjoyed it very much. Good thing # 1 -- they had half bottles of wine which is great as my husband no longer drinks. I had a very nice half bottle of cabernet (donm't remember what) for $18.
My husband had the lobster risotto appetizer which, he said, was superb -- and more lobster than risotto! I had the crab salad with avocado, which was very good -- a circle of crab with slices of avocado and mini greens on top.
He had duck for his main course and I had the tautog with mussels -- very well done but not enough mussels!
He had lemon parfait for dessert and I had a taste - also excellent. We were very pleased.
We are Philly chowhounds visiting our daughter in Barrington and enjoyed Persimmon very much.
Honestly now, a few Marcona almonds, a brush stroke of reduced balsamic vinegar, a dabble of candied ginger and three cheeses and they call this a signature dish? I call it pretension.
Champe Spiedel is a talented cook who does a few things quite well, but in other regards he misses the point by stoking his ego more than being able to do well by his customer. He has moments of brilliance marred by uneven experiments. A term used when referring to his restaurant as being “a work in progress” pretty much sums up what the chef/owner delivers at Persimmon: inconsistent fair that ends up being a crapshoot. And that foam he serves on top of that Lobster Risotto noted above, egad, a twenty something chef in Bristol trying to emulate El Bulli??!!
I've never been to Persimmon and bewley's description of the cheese plate DOES sound extremely disappointing, but this quote:
"And that foam he serves on top of that Lobster Risotto noted above, egad, a twenty something chef in Bristol trying to emulate El Bulli??!!"
is a low blow and makes it seem like you have a real vendetta. I mean, if you don't like it you don't like it, but foam is a trend that any avid restaurant-goer or reader of the NY Times dinign section would be familar with. It barely seems like emulation. He's stolen a piece of El Bulli's repertoire that many other chefs have as well. It could be bad, but it seems like you're judging him for being experimental, trendy or young. Besides, who cares if he's 20-something?
Yes, you are right celeriac; I was a bit harsh and should not have made this personal. And the twenty something comment was also inappropriate (he’s actually in his 30’s).
The foam bit seemed, well, I don’t know I guess it’s like that “stacking” trend of the 90’s; it’s sort of “cute” and “contrite” in my opinion.
Please refer to this review of Persimmon written last November:
I think this is a fair restaurant review (one you hardly ever find in Rhode Island, where the reviews almost always appear to be advertisements). In it we read that the risotto app. was excellent, but the entrees were so-so. The meat was overcooked, the service uneven.
I think before a chef should paint his or her cheese plates and serve foams and whatnot, that the chef/owner should focus on the basics. To “experiment” on a paying customer is a somewhat risky affair. This is not so much so for “foodies” and those willing to forgive for the sake of art and innovation, but the average eater (possible a couple celebrating their anniversary or some other special occasion) may not be so pleased that their entrées were so-so, regardless of how lovely the cheese plate with “treats and surprises” may appear.
And yes, you are right, a nerve was hit and I should not have reacted as such. I get that way on and around a full moon. Also, my experience was over a year ago, so I'm sure it's probably much better now.
I love Persimmon.....have eaten there twice. Recently had the lobster risotto described above and it was excellent.
Also had a great halibut dish.
Had the lemon parfait dessert. Outstanding cappuccino. very nice glass of Merlot. Service was friendly but very professional.
Accompanied by two people from Dana Point, CA.....they were very impressed.