Mombo in Portsmouth:The Good and the Meh
I have to tell you, I felt so guilty not eating at Black Trumpet, our go-to whenever we go to a show or film at the fantastic Music Hall. But I just wasn't impressed by the BT menu of this week. We WOULD have gone to the Green Monkey, except that it doesn't exist anymore. I asked My Love to choose between Mombo and Moxy, and he chose Mombo.
-The room. Handsome comfortable open-to-the-rafters barn construction; wood, chinese red paint, subdued fabrics, antique paintings throughout, all due to Mombo being part of Strawberry Banke.
We sat by the fireplace and had a beautiful view of Prescott Park across the street.
- Bar drinks were good and generous.
--Crispy crusted hot table bread was a nice touch.
-Crab and Butternut Squash Chowder . Rich clean creamy base. Flavorful and lovely, no cornstarch.
- Duck (rare) cooked to perfection with unusually tasty meat.
- Lemon Ice Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream, house made
-Excellent, pleasant, efficient, knowledgeable waitress who was not on Automatic Pilot; she really thought about the details.
-- Special App of Octopus, cavatelli, white beans. I set aside the red pepper marinara sauce (which i detest w/ seafood) so maybe i shouldn't be dissing it because the dish lacked oomph in a major way. But plse tell me- have you ever been served octopus as part of a dish like this- that was MINCED beyond recognition- either taste or visual? Just plain weird.
--The mini torta of swiss chard and chevre, the side to that lovely duck, was mushy in texture and muddy with indistinct flavors. Sambuca demi was made well but i don't find licorice a good complement to duck.
My Love enjoyed his Scallops w/ Cajun Creme Anglaise but i didn't taste it.
Unfortunately, I think this young chef has a long way to go with his palate. (ymmv) Too bad because i loved the room and the feeling and service there. Is there any chef in Portsmouth as talented as Evan at Bl Trumpet?
Is there anywhere in Portsmouth you can get an octopus app that it isn't chopped up? I'm just wondering if maybe it's a regional thing, and they're scared that the local folks will be squicked by the whole octopus there? I could see that happening here in central Vermont because people are just.. often not that adventurous or something. There are a LOT of dishes that are "regionalized down" around here. :)
Hi morganna from my fav state of VT! YOU lucky devil- you can drive to Misery Loves Company in less that 4 hours!
Octopus- i love it, been eating it for a long tme. It almost all comes from Spain or Portugal (shipped frozen). But i have never ever seen it minced. Def not a regional thing. Black Trumpet's chef Evan, and surely Mombo's chef, know to serve the tentacles sliced crosswise. Only answer i can figure is that he was trying to stetch what little octopus he had- for this daily special app. Tssk tssk.
And yet, though we go up that way once a month, we haven't made it back to MLC! There are SO many awesome places to eat up there. We're even getting some really great ones that are worth a trip in Montpelier and Barre (of all places!) :)
Thanks for the info about octopus. Your explanation makes sense.