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What to order at Saffron?

BlauerPlanet Apr 1, 2012 11:24 AM

We're having a staycation and plan on hitting some of the restaurants we've always wanted to go to.

So the first on the list for tomorrow is Saffron. A lot of the posts I found where from before the menu revamp. I found one recent post and it recommended the octopus, green beans and croquettes. Another post recommended the truffle gnocci. Seconds for those? Or other suggestions?

Thanks so much!

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  1. katebauer RE: BlauerPlanet Apr 1, 2012 07:38 PM

    We went way back last October, but the red lentil soup and seafood tagine were absolutely amazing. I don't see the soup still on the menu, and perhaps the seafood tagine has changed with the seasons, but I suspect the later is still worth a try.

    1. k
      kevin47 RE: BlauerPlanet Apr 1, 2012 10:33 PM

      The lamb brain is a must have as always. Really enjoyed the baba ghanoush (available as part of their traditional spread plate), but the hummus is excellent as well. Other favorites on the current menu: Haloumi cheese, lamb bacon BLT, kofta meatballs chicken w/ eggplant lavosh.

      The gnocchi and steak are great, but I feel like it's a departure from what the rest of the menu is about. Potato chips and anchovies were fine, I only recommend the tagine if you have a group. Portions are enormous.

      1. AnneInMpls RE: BlauerPlanet Apr 2, 2012 08:21 PM

        By coincidence, Mr. Tastebud & I went to Saffron on Monday night, too. We LOVED it! I'm not surprised that the chef / owner was nominated for a James Beard award. I'll bet he wins one in a year or two.

        Here's what we had:

        - Lamb Brains (Lovely and creamy and delicate and perfectly cooked)

        - Octopus a la Plancha (Wow - very tender, with lots of amazing olive oil and top-quality paprika; this was my favorite dish of the night)

        - Marinated Spring Beans & Peas (Fabulous! Tiny, tender fava beans, with peas, lamb bacon, and pecorino cheese - my second-favorite dish)

        - Chicken Bisteeya (The best version I've ever had; this was Mr. Tastebud's favorite)

        - Moroccan Duck Kofta Tajine (Delicious! It didn't knock our socks off at first, but it grew on us, and we licked the dish clean). We shared the smaller tajine between the two of us, and it was just the right amount.

        - Spiced apple trifle with creme fraiche & salted caramel (Again, we licked the dish clean)

        I started with a Saffron Rose cocktail, then had a glass or two of Lebanese red wine - a perfect match with the food. Mr. Tastebud was the designated driver, so he stuck to water.

        BlauerPlanet, I hope you had a nice meal here, too!

        1. m
          Maggie19 RE: BlauerPlanet Apr 5, 2012 08:02 AM

          Stopped by just happy hour - but the Kofta meatball appetizer in spicy tomato sauce is worth checking out. Interesting spices including just the right amount of heat. Our bartender suggested 'mystery drinks' and we ended up with vodka based margaritas that were great.

          1. clepro RE: BlauerPlanet Apr 8, 2012 11:39 PM

            The last time I was there was a week or so ago, and with five people we got to try a range of things. I'll just list everything we had, since there wasn't a dud in the bunch.

            The slow cooked green beans. DO NOT miss these.
            Octopus a la plancha
            White anchovies
            Fried cauliflower
            Chicken & porcini croquettes
            Romaine heart salad
            Chicken bisteeya
            Moroccan duck kefta
            Shortribs tagine
            Whole roasted branzini

            For desert, we all shared the olive oil couscous cake with Earl Grey ice cream and poached apricots, and the kunafa. I also had their outstanding Turkish coffee.

            There is a reason that Saffron is on my top three favorite restaurants list.

            1 Reply
            1. re: clepro
              KTFoley RE: clepro Apr 9, 2012 08:20 AM

              Oh wow oh wow. I have to get back there. Thanks for that inspiring list!

            2. b
              BlauerPlanet RE: BlauerPlanet Apr 11, 2012 06:49 PM

              We haven't been yet, ended up going to Piccolo instead that day, but I'm hoping we can go for my birthday that's coming up soon. My mouth is watering from reading your posts. :)

              1. u
                Ummm RE: BlauerPlanet Apr 14, 2012 04:12 PM

                Is Saffron a baby-friendly restaurant (let's say 2-3 month old), if we go early and not during popular dining hours?

                7 Replies
                1. re: Ummm
                  ibew292 RE: Ummm Apr 14, 2012 05:31 PM

                  I think it would be welcomed. Especially if you go early.

                  1. re: ibew292
                    Ummm RE: ibew292 Apr 15, 2012 09:07 AM

                    That's good to know, as I wouldn't want to disturb others, and that the staff is okay with it.

                  2. re: Ummm
                    AnneInMpls RE: Ummm Apr 15, 2012 03:49 PM

                    My guess is that it would be just fine. The place has good acoustics - not too loud, not too quiet - so happy baby noises shouldn't be a problem.

                    When we were there, there was a large, multi-generational family about 2 or 3 tables away. There were several kids, ranging in age from maybe 5 or 6 to preteen, happy conversing with each other. We couldn't hear a thing from this table, yet the place is quiet enough for normal conversation.

                    So I'd say to go with your baby!

                    1. re: AnneInMpls
                      dahlsk RE: AnneInMpls May 2, 2012 10:42 AM

                      Glad I found this post, as I decided Saffron is my choice for a (last minute) b-day dinner this Saturday. Last minute means we have to eat really early, but I'm glad to be able to get there!

                    2. re: Ummm
                      Rowdy RE: Ummm May 2, 2012 04:19 PM

                      We were there at 6:30 on Monday, and there was a 6 month old baby at a table with 6 women. Everyone was perfectly fine with it, and the two businessmen dining next to them stopped to admire the baby at length on their way out.

                      Personally, I never mind well-behaved children in any setting, and wish parents weren't made to feel so cautious about taking their children out.

                      1. re: Rowdy
                        Ummm RE: Rowdy May 12, 2012 12:57 PM

                        Thanks Rowdy for sharing that. I hope our child will be well behaved (not born yet :) but at the same time I wouldn't want to disturb others' dining experience.

                        1. re: Rowdy
                          foreverhungry RE: Rowdy Oct 13, 2012 09:20 PM

                          The key is "well-behaved children". If they are well behaved, then no, of course there's no issue. When they are not well behaved, and when the parents don't know how to deal with them, then yes, it is an issue.

                      2. r
                        Rowdy RE: BlauerPlanet May 12, 2012 06:01 PM

                        They have a killer black muscat dessert wine by Ferrari-Carano (2010) that was to die for with the chocolate ganache. I've been dreaming of it ever since.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Rowdy
                          kriminalrat RE: Rowdy Jun 1, 2012 02:10 PM

                          what's the best tangine?

                          1. re: kriminalrat
                            kevin47 RE: kriminalrat Jun 1, 2012 03:06 PM

                            I enjoyed the duck, but the lamb wasn't on the menu at the time. Can't see how that wouldn't be awesome, given the style.

                            1. re: kevin47
                              shadowfax RE: kevin47 Oct 15, 2012 11:51 AM

                              I can report that yes, the lamb is awesome.

                            2. re: kriminalrat
                              clepro RE: kriminalrat Oct 13, 2012 03:16 PM

                              I had the seafood tagine on my last visit. Mahi mahi, mussels and perhaps another fish, white beans, olives, red peppers, and I think preserved lemon, in a tomato-y broth. I got the small, and had enough left over for lunch the next day. Also, the charred rapini with bagna cauda was bitterly wonderful.

                              1. re: clepro
                                clepro RE: clepro Oct 13, 2012 05:35 PM

                                Yikes. Revisited the broth in my head just now and I'm pretty sure it wasn't tomato at all. I do think it had saffron it in though.

                          2. clepro RE: BlauerPlanet Oct 13, 2012 03:02 PM

                            I've had the good fortune to eat at Saffron twice in the past week, both times excellent as always. My impetus to post is a new item in the desert menu--new as in "appeared in the interval between last Thursday's and this Thursday's visit"--that knocked all of our sweet socks off. It's the salted caramel trifle. Rich amber salted caramel pudding, layered with slightly bittersweet chocolate crispy something and hunks of crunchy cashew praline, topped with a frothy whipped cream and black salt. I'm a salted caramel fan, so there was a high probability I'd love it, but it exceeded all my expectations. The contrast of the creamy caramel richness with the crunchiness of cashew and chocolate, and the addition of a little cream to cut the sweetness was perfect. A close runner-up: chocolate pavé with pistachio ice cream and blood orange sorbet.

                            I noticed that Saffron has the same salted caramel trifle, with chocolate cake rather than chocolate crisp, on its Restaurant Week menu, so looks like it will be around for at least a short while yet.

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