Many of you may have already heard that Ardeo and Bardeo combined, they acquired one of my favorite general managers, Dave Pressley from Eventide and Nate Garyantes as their new chef.
A few nights ago my family had a really wonderful night, all thanks to Dave Pressley who is just a wonderful guy. It was my brother's birthday and we booked a reservation at Aredo+Bardeo last minute. Dave offered to have Chef Nate cook for us just whatever, so we said go for it!
What then happened was a level of gluttony only held back by the size of our stomachs. We had a couple rounds of small bites and I am sure in the insane stupper of gluttony that I am still in that I will not be able to remember all we had, but I will try: We started with all the small bites on the menu: pork belly skewers with pineapple- really well balanced little bites, Smashed and fried fingerling potato topped with steak and some creme fraiche- I love the potato bite underneath with the steak, disco fries- I love these fries, onion strings with their burger sauce which makes me want to go back for a burger like now, and a flatbread that I didn't try, but looked good. This was like bar snacking at its best.
Next round we had all the charcuterie except the foie gras: Chicken liver mousse that rivals the faux gras and rillettes at Central the flavor was just fantastic, homemade mini bagel with lox and cream cheese, I didn't eat the bagel, but liked the rest, homemade mini english muffins with egg and ham and Tabasco, crispy head cheese with fried egg and lardons was fantastic I loved this, the head cheese had awesome flavor and the crispiness gave it great texture that I think would make it more accessible, it was really good. Another big winner was the Bresola with horseradish potato salad, the potato salad was fantastic and spicy, I really loved it, I will have to try to make a version of it at home, the bresola was really flavorful, it was a great bite.
Then we had the scallop schnitzel which again I really liked the flavors, the balance between the sweet scallop and salad and the crispy texture just balanced well, mozarella farm egg and house bacon was good, I really liked the homemade mozarella it was firm but so soft and smooth. Ceasar salad with gnocchi that I loved, I would never have thought to put gnocchi in the salad, but it was good, we also had this chicken soup with hominy and green chile broth that OMG had amazing Mexican flavors with lime and veggies and avacado, today with all the dreary weather I wish I had a whole bowl of it, it was so fresh and flavor packed. I know there had to be one more plate in that course but I can't for the life of me remember it.
We then had pastas: the oxtail ravioli with brown butter sage was really delicate, but very savory, the lobster with whole wheat spaghetti was a little sweet I think because of the squash, but done really well; the rabbit bolognese was a favorite the pasta was fantastic and the bolognese was so flavorful, the pork cacciatore was another favorite, the black pepper fettucine was really good. I was in fall off the wagon gluten heaven, but I was good and only ate a couple bites of the pastas and then ate braised leg of suckling pig with grits and black eyed peas, I loved the dish, the black eyed peas had a strong flavor int he dish, but I love black eyed peas, this was a dish that just made my Southern heart happy.
We couldn't do any more at that point and finished with some cheese, some on the list, some not- our favorite was this purple haze a chevre with lavender and something else which was really good. It was the crowd favorite, but all of them were really good.
At this point we were all too full for dessert. But it was amazing and so much fun. My family loves eating bites of everyone's stuff and getting to try a lot of things so this was perfect for them. And it makes me want to go back for more of the menu as so many things just knocked it out of the park. The chicken liver mousse and bresola with the potato salad and green chile broth soup and black eyed pea and suckling pork are all things I am still thinking about today.
The bill not including wine was extremely reasonable, adding all the individual items up then guestimating for a few non-menu items since I didn't pay the bill it looks like it was less than $240 for four people. We didn't have many mains or dessert, but we still had a ton of food for a great price.
What I liked is although not every dish was astounding, many dishes were, and this now makes me want to go back and try other things on the menu because many things were just really well thought out and executed, and some were just great comfort foods I would love to have again. Two days later, I am still craving that chicken soup.
We take the kids to Ardeo on Sunday before we go to the zoo...there's pizza for them an grown up food for us. On weekends I go with girlfriends or for datenight. The menu is interesting and sophisticated, yet comforting. Stupid people looking for soups, salads and white meat need to go somewhere else. I love it. And I never, ever, have room for dessert.
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