Holiday 2011 - Spring, Au Passage and Rino
Quick update to my prior post -
Were a little hung over but managed to drag ourselves over to Spring for lunch yesterday where we had a lovely meal. Very comfortable, pleasant room with open kitchen and accommodating service. Started off with small plates - bluefoot in vinaigrette, jerusalem artichoke splashed with citrus, some type of charcuterie, and a cured trout. These were nice, jerusalem artichoke was the best, mushrooms were a little too vinegary/soggy. Had an incredible panko-crusted sole topped with truffle butter over sliced raw radishes, frisee, truffle vinaigrette and egg yolk. Next was an oyster that seemed to be in a soy-based mignonette, topped with a little toasted buckwheat. Also very awesome. Meat course was a melt-in-your-mouth venison plated simply with a reduction and a turnip mash. Dessert was a gorgeous roasted apple with rosemary and goat milk sorbet, followed by a tropical fruit pavlova and some little pastries. Not an earth-shattering meal but very delicious.
Dinner at Au Passage (not to be confused with Bar Passage or Passage 53). Very casual spot and affordable prices and extremely spot-on, soulful food. Amazing value for the money. We had a burrata topped with bottarga, cockles with parlsey and garlic puree, trout with raw and cooked fennel and buttermilk (this was terrific), scallops with root puree. Loved loved this food. Can't recommend enough. Nice to have a break from the tasting menus too.
Dinner tonight at Rino. Very good but not as good as the other places we tried. Started with a chevre ravioli (beautiful, tender homemade pasta) topped with sea urchin and herbs. Thought the sea urchin got a little lost in this dish. Dorade with peanut sauce this was the one miss of the evening, was a little fishy. Sweetbreads with cooked Jerusalem artichoke, buttermilk and mint - this was splendid, best dish of the meal. Duck with beets and cabbage was a little boring, very sweet. Lovely cheese course of chevre sorbet over thinly sliced poached pears, topped with a little bit of pepper. Cereal flavor dessert (noticing that toasted grain flavors are a theme in many desserts here) which which excellent.
Thinking of trying Akrame for dinner tomorrow...anyone tried it?