Jfood returns to Osetra (SONO) - Excellent & Thank You
- jfood Oct 5, 2008 05:03 AM
When you look at the menu at Osetra and the combinations that Chef David Nevins has combined, you are not sure whether he is inventive, brilliant, or just plain crazy. But after Jfood and a group of friends finished their meals, they were all happy they chose to return.
The first venture months ago was not a pleasant event with little guidance from the staff, an unclear method of ordering and everyone leaving hungry and disappointed. The change to the menu that allows for “normal” self-choosing in addition to the sharing method was the main driver in their return. And everyone left happy and content this time. Thank you for these changes. Plus the server this time was fantastic. Not only did she professionally handle Jfood's 10-top but she nimbly handled at least four other tables, all with a smile and knowledge that Jfood rarely sees.
As soon as they were seated the server arrived and explained the various choices, and also immediately mentioned two dishes that were unavailable on the menu. No one wasted anytime thinking of those. Jfood decided to order the Special of the day which was a Tune over Egg Salad, yes egg salad as the server explained, as an appetizer and the Filet of Striped Bass with Ragu of suckling pig, butternut squash puree, and vinegar syrup as an entrée. Unfortunately the Tuna is only prepared as a Large so he swapped the order.
Others ordered the Simple Green with Baby iceberg, mozzarella, grape tomatoes, olive oil vinaigrette, Island Creek Oysters on the Half Shell with Peach mignonette, Cast Iron Wild Fall Mushrooms and Fontina polenta, shaved Pecorino and "Biscuit & Gravy" with Creamy lump crab stew, buttermilk biscuit, touch of sherry. The lettuce was beautifully prepared and presented and everyone loved it, likewise with the mushrooms. The person who ordered the oysters was very disappointed at their quality and ate only half of them. This was the only mark against the evening.
Jfood's sea bass was fantastic. It was 2-3oz perfectly cooked atop succulent shredded pork nestled next to some of the most wonderful butternut squash Jfood has ever tasted. The bass was juicy inside, a nice brown outside, the pork was tasty and tender and the butternut squash, well Jfood wanted to take some home with him. It tasted of a vanilla-y goodness. Jfood gives this dish a solid 9.
The tuna arrived and it was a nice sized piece, cut on a diagonal and was a beautiful dark red inside and perfect on the outside. It sat atop diced eggs with a dollop of mayo and a surprise ingredient, anchovies. The dish was very tasty and Jfood really enjoyed it but he felt the flavors of the anchovies and mayo somewhat overpowered the delicacy of the tuna, that latter being lost a little when combined. Jfood loved the various textures and fortunately 2 others at his end of the table also ordered this dish so a nice conversation on the dish ensued. Everyone enjoyed. Jfood will give this dish a solid 8-9.
Others at the table ordered the Cranberry Braised Brisket "Pot Roast" with Puree of turnip, chestnuts (this was the big winner), the Flash Grilled Atlantic Salmon Crispy confit of duck, ginger soy, avocado lace, tendrils (photo on the website), and Seared Veal Sweetbreads with Creamy mustard polenta, kiwano melon, caraway butter. Everyone told Jfood they really enjoyed as well.
As you could probably guess from the comments above, Jfood also gives the server a perfect 10.
So Osetra now enters the power rotation and takes a firm position on Jfood's “A List”.
Thanks to the staff for a great evening and thanks to Chef Nevins for great food and evening.
Been on my A list for a long time.
I still wonder why so many had problems with the small plate concept to begin with - so disconcerting to some.
Food here is 5 star.
It will be nice to have a clam shack Sunday now, too. Chowder, lobster rolls, omelets - not sure about pancakes on that new menu but Dave always comes up with a few surprises as you note, Jfood.
They're also having a Harpoon beer dinner there on 10/14 - the menu looks divine.
I've just returned to Osetra for another excellent meal a few weeks ago. I too really enjoy this restaurant. Since moving here from NYC 3+ years ago, its the first place I've felt compared to some of the better places in the city. (Not to be confused with the many other restaurants in the area that like to charge NYC prices for an average at best experience).
We went back about a month ago after many very good meals, a couple of good meals, one not so good meal and about a 9 month hiatus. The food was okay, nothing great, not like when it first opened. Too many other good places around to make me want to go back here.
It was much better with the original small plate concept.