Scott Howard Dine About Town report
I was with a group of 9 for a Dine About Town dinner at Scott Howard last Friday, 12 January. Some details escape me (blessed wine!), but my taste buds have a good memory.
Overall it was a very enjoyable meal, and $32.00 was a good price for the three courses, though I didn't care for dessert. That said, I would re-consider this restaurant for a night of fine dining, but only during the week. Service was attentive and friendly once we were seated.
The table started with some nice raw oysters and a tasting of the cauliflower soup; gratis because we had to wait 45 minutes for our table (due to lingering early diners).
- Hama hama oysters Serrano chili salsa • Rice vinegar & sake mignonette
- Cauliflower soup Ancho chile syrup
Wine #1 was the Sauvignon Blanc, Pascal Jolivet, Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, 05 and #2 was a Pinot Noir (I didn't pick so i don't recall the name). #3 and #4 were suggested by the Sommelier in our price range.
To start I had the Hamachi appetizer
- Hamachi Pickled cucumber • Curried mayonnaise • Ponzu • Herb salad
This was three generously cut pieces of fish, not too chilled, with very nice accompanying sauces and greens.
We ended up passing our entrees around, and I liked everything I tasted on my side of the table.
- Maine scallops with Maitake mushrooms • Potato puree • Saffron sauce
The scallops were perfectly cooked, generously-sized and the sauce well-balanced.
- Pork Shoulder with celery root puree, braised kael, maple syrup glaze
Another fine combination of flavors. Succulent pork.
We also had two orders of the signature Pork Belly, which I happily ingested.
- Pork belly Celery root puree • Mustard greens • Cider glaze
I tried another entree, I think the Lamb Loin, but at this point our wine drinking was in full effect...
- Lamb loin with sunchokes, artichokes, endives, olive jus
Desserts were fine I suppose, but I don't generally care for dessert. I enjoyed the cheese selection, and we shared a bottle of Roederer Estate, Brut, Anderson Valley, California, NV
Thanks for the report, as I am planning to go next week with a few other hounds: we've been interested in trying the cooking there, and it appears to be one of the better deals, price wise for DAT. I've had my eye on those scallops..
Your comment on waiting 45 minutes does give me pause; that is a longer wait then I would find acceptable (I am assuming you had a reservation.) Was it very crowded, or was it just a lack of larger tables? How noisy was it?
What did you think of the pricing on the wines?
Our reservation was 9 people at 8:30 on a Friday, which in theory past the first seating rush. As I understand it, one of the tables they needed to form it was occupied past that time. We did feel compelled to complain (nicely), and the meal was hardly ruined.
As for wines, I was pleased to to find a number of non-California selections below $50. I enjoyed every wine we had, and the sommelier was helpful at that level.
My mother and I dined on MLK evening, choosing the DAT menu. Our reservation was for 3 people at 6 p.m. We arrived a few minutes early, and one of companions was turned out to be a no show (headache). We ordered happy hour drinks and oysters in the bar while we waited. ($2.50? well drinks and $1 oysters.) Our drinks came, but no oysters. We moved to our dinner table, ordered . Smoked salmon with crostini and microgreens was fine. Smoked trout withegg salad on crostini was really good. Pork shoulder was really good, pancetta wrapped monkfich with sunchokes was really good. Dessert of warm chocolate cake and dense butterscotch pudding was okay. They have a DAT wine pairing, which was $15 for two small glasses. The first was an Albarino, the second a Pinot Noir, I believe. All of the food was interesting and good. Including a wine pairing and four choices in each category were great touches. The DAT menu is printed on the back of the regular paper menu, so we did not feel slighted or cheap when we ordered from it. The missing oysters? Turned out a large party in the bar had ordered every bivalve in the house, so we were too late.
I really enjoyed this meal. I personally had the pork shoulder which was just fatty enough... succulent and porky. I also had the hamachi app... clean and fresh, large fleshy pieces. I also enjoyed my panne cotta dessert even though I don't usually care for dessert.
Out of the other people's entrees, I really liked the scallops. Someone from our table also ordered venison which was delcious. I didn't like the pork belly as much as I did on a previous visit. I don't think it was done in that same 52 hours at 112 degrees sous vide thing I had prior.
IMHO, this was one of the best DAT's I've ever gone to and I've gone to many DATs at higher end places.