Monday, November 13, 2017

Another great gourmet gathering at GABRIEL KREUTHER in NYC (11-11-17)

Back in the spring I had an amazing dinner when I first dined at the Michelin-starred Gabriel Kreuther in NYC and knew I would be back soon. This past Saturday night I was able to take a handful of clients for an amazing dinner that lasted over 5 hours and truly will remain in the top dining memories of my life.
I arrived before the other 5 guests and ordered one of the "historical" cocktails from the ingeniously created "Bryant Park Cocktail Menu" designed to recreate drinks that might have passed through the famous park across the street. The Public Promenade is made with Grey Goose Vodka, Cranberry, Allspice Dram, Lemon & Sumac and has an egg white froth dusted with autumn spices such as nutmeg and sumac on top. It's an earthy drink that, while served cold, gets even more warmer as you quaff. Everyone seemed to want one as they arrived! As we pondered the menu we enjoyed a bottle of Saint-Chamant Brut 2005 Blanc de Blancs Champagne from Epernay that was superbly yeasty and tasty.  It took a while for us to settle on the Chef's Menu for all of us and then pass off our allergies and dislikes to our excellent server, Ronald, who noted every need and was there for everything we needed. We dine in many excellent restaurants around the work, many with Michelin stars as well, and the service here is some of the best I have ever experienced, especially in New York when the folks can be a bit abrupt; here it is relaxing, attentive and always top notch.
The Savory Scallion Kougelhopf arrived with its rich Chive Fromage Blanc and I warned everyone to pace themselves and not gobble up all the amazing bread, but this is an exception.
Two plates of Tarte Flambee started us off; one classic with bacon & onion and the other with hen of the woods mushrooms and formage blanc. These too were filling and irresistible, but luckily there was just one small square for each of us from each tarte.
Next was Siberian Osetra Caviar with Quail Egg, Buttermilk Panna Cotta and a Vadouvan Savory Cracker all in an adorable miniature eggshell dish. This was a superb dish and reminded me so much of our late friend Jean-Louis Palladin and his treatments of quail eggs, caviars and mousses for his amuses! Paired with the champagne it was brilliant.
The next plates (photos on FB) arrived with three each amuses and a shot glass on the side:
The glass contained a Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Mousseline and Five Spice Crumble on top which you drank as a shot. It had a nice spicy kick, but that was immediately cantilevered by the Pomegranate Negroni Gelee with Orange Confit. Sesame Marinated Spaghetti Squash came on a Chestnut Cracker with Pickles Asian Pear, and while we all tried desperately to guess what these were, few of us succeeded. The last amuse on the plate was a divine Porcini Mac & Cheese with Tomato Powder.

A number of the courses came out with two different plates for the six of, forcing some cross table tasting!
the first pair was Hamachi, Black Truffle & Foie Gras Mille-Feuille with Celery, Grapes & Truffle Vinaigrette which I had back in April and adored. Opposite was the Langoustine Tartare with Flying Fish Rose, Salty Fingers, Cauliflower-Macadamia Puree that had a sweet tuile but chili for spice! The lobster melted in my mouth and paired perfectly with our first white wine "Ohne" Riesling from Ulrich Stein 2014 in the German Mosel Valley that was amazing especially with the minerality in the post-swirl in the mouth. Our sommeilleuse, Kelly, had every wine ordered and poured in time for the food and each of them indeed paired to perfection!
Our third bottle was a magnum (we were drinking fast and this was the last bottlel in the restaurant's cellar!) of Coffinet-Duvernay 2010 Chassagne-Montrachet "Blanchots Dessous" that was also brilliantly paired with the next several courses.

Sturgeon & Sauerkraut Tart with American Caviar Mousseline and Applewood Smoke is presented by the kitchen under a glass dome revealed tableside and wafted up through our nostrils. Chef de Cuisine Joe Anthony was praised by all for everything we had eaten so far, and I commended him on the superb job even though Chef Gabriel was off in Spain for a conference; I would never have known he was gone!
French baguettes arrived (they were really batards) with Valley Milkhouse Farm's Cultured butter, which was funny as the guests were all in the opera business or singers and as such were quite cultured! many laughs ensued especially when I insisted the bread was a batard and not a baguette. (They were later listed on the menu as wholegrain ficelles!)

Anson Mills' Spelt Risotto is a vegetarian's delight with Confit Yolk, Chanterelles, Pumpkin Seed Crumble and Parmesan. This is a heavy grain so not a typical Italian risotto and so novel it really should be called something else; yet so delicious, we did not leave one grain in our bowls.
Grilled Maine Lobster with Toasted Cashews, Baby Carrots, & Jamon Nage was almost like a bisque with a Leek Saffron Puree as well had this shellfish in its sheer perfection and again brilliantly paired with the Chassagne-Montrachet, a Burgundy Chardonnay of true class. One of us did not like shellfish and got the Roasted Black Bass with Olive Oil Breadcrumbs, Garlic Confit & Shellfish Broth instead.
Rosemary Buckwheat Rolls arrived with Whipped Lardo/Chili/Garlic Spread...who could resist that?? I always want to package this spread and take it home....Alas, not as carry-on!
Meat was coming and Kelly suggested a wondrously aged 2010 Cornas from Domaine du Coulet "Billes Noires" that we all raved over with the Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Berawecka Brown Butter, Sage & Castle Valley Mill's Polenta. I was told berawecka is akin to fruitcake, but not the kind you buy in a package as this butter was divine with the tender pork loin. 

Our second red wine was one I had here earlier in the year and adored and is truly a superb red, Mas La Mola 2009 from Priorat was a huge red ideal with our last meat course: 7X Wagyu Beef Tenderloin from Colorado with Roast Salsify, Potato Dumpling & Juniper Jus. The meat was like butter and the dumpling (also made with veal breast) was truly spectacular and loaded with flavor. As if this were not enough, the palte was dotted with pieces of beef tongue as well as beech mushrooms! We were all nearing our limits, but there was more.

Pumpkin Cremuex was a Cider Sorbet with Red Currant Marmalade and Ginger SnapTuile was called a palate cleanser of sort, but was really a pre-dessert that we could not stop raving about. So perfect (as was every dish) for a bitter cold 20 degree winter night. 
Desserts were Decadent - Chocolate Caramel with Mixed MediaCrumble, Chocolate Mousse and Caramel Ice Creamfor three of us and the other received the amazing Harvest - Fig Crumble with Sauteed Fig, Pear Sorbet, Caramel Cremeux and Crystallized and Caramelized Pastry, Pear Gelee. They were both superb, but I have to say I preferred the fruit as I am a fruit dessert guy, but we all shared equally.
Not enough--there were Cheesecake Macaroons and Milk Chocolates with Saffron & Honey served in a Cacao Pod to finish and Chocolate packages to take home.

To quote the song: "Oh What a Night!" Kudos go to the entire amazing staff and team in the kitchen and front of house from everyone who greets, meets and even helps you find the loo, to all the chefs in the amazing kitchen where some of the best food in NY is always found!


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fuji Sushi in NYC satisfies once again for a deal (11-10-17)

I wanted a nice bite with a friend before the opera so I headed right to Fusi Sushi (www.fujisushi.com/www.fujisushi56.com) a block from my hotel on 56th Street.
The green tea was hot and warmed by cold hands (it was in the 20's outside) and the superb Tomio Hanaichirin "A Flower" Junmai Daijingo Sake was also quite warming.
My friend has the veggie soup while I enjoyed the always super Seaweed Salad and we went on to share two sushi rolls which were both excellent:
TOKYO ROSE-spicy tuna and cucumber topped with tuna, avocado and salmon to make an almost gorgeous colorful paint palette (see FB foto) and
SPICY CRUNCH which was spicy tuna with a crunchy tobiko top.
The prices for midtown cant be beat and the food quality is top notch. Fuji Sushi is forever in my return list.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

It's always amazing at Arlington's AMBAR (10-28-17)

As most of you know we have a few favorite spots we visit more than once, and since our first trip to Ambar just over 4 months ago, we decided to return for many reasons.
We expected the kinds to come and they love the flatbreads (although they both cancelled), it's only $35 per person for as many smallplates as can possibly consume, and I think the 6 of us must have downed over 30 for sure (so the math tells me that we paid under $6-7 per plate, if not less and the unique Balkan wines are pretty good as well.
We ordered two Macedonian wines to start from Stobi: a superb Rose($30-s range) with hints of lemon and tartness and a full bodied red Vranac Ventas(about $60--too high!) which still was not as good as out third wine, the 2011 Bulguriana Cabernet/Syrah blend from the Thracian Valley which was jammy and full bodied and rang in at way under $40 a bottle. We had to order some of the fabulous dishes we had last time that we adored (many are pictured on FB, along with some fun photos of our group featuring the two tenors and a travel agent with spouses!):
Almond Chicken is always a hit here as are the Kebabs with their pile of spicy paprika for dipping. The spreads are divine as are the breads, but we didn't get those huge fluffy pita-like breads this time. the spreads on the chef's three choices are a beet tzatziki, urebnes cheese and lamb pate (very reminiscent of rillettes).
Meat pies  are fab as are the Stuffed Sour Cabbage with melting Pork Belly comes with creamy mashed potatoes with chives, but don't skip the super veggie salads such as Quinoa/Broccoli and Slaw.
Steak Tartare here is done well, although I skip the raw onions, and the Smoked Salmon spread was also a super new dish for us. White Veal Soup is creamy and lemony, think the Greek Ovgolemono with meat base instead of chicken. Flatbreads seemed to come nonstop with just white ones, sudzuk sausage akin to pepperoni, and even one with grilled shrimp which I loved.
Mushroom Pilav treats the rice like a star, but it came with the unsatisfying Beef Goulash (although the spaetzle are nice on that).
If you want fish, the trout is superb with an almost crispy skin atop scalloped potatoes, but the calamari is not a winner, but then not rally bad, just soso. The Grilled Shrimp come over what is called a corn puree and I would simply say its Balkan grits with a hint of that salty feta-like cheese (urebnes, zlatibor or other?).
Veggies here also star with Brussels Sprouts and Grilled Asparagus always winning top honors.
There's something for everyone and nobody goes home hungry for sure, and we were there for over three hours, even though they warned us we could not keep the table over two!
We did skip dessert as they charge extra and we decided last time there were no winners and having more small plates is SO much better!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

MUZE makes me muse over the amazing food at DC's Mandarin Oriental Hotel (10-23-17)--oh, and delicious drinks and oysters at Hank's

Last night I was invited to dine at MUZE at the Washington Mandarin Oriental Hotel by the MO sales team from DC/NYC and National and I realized I had dined at now closed CityZen there ages ago, but never at the hotel's other spot, MUZE. Mandarin obviously fuses Asian flavors, but also has wonderful local cuisine.
A tuna tartare amuse was okay, but alas the tortilla chip on top was gummy. The Artichoke & Crab dip with crispy grilled bread was addictive for sure, but it was my Roasted Duck Breast with Curried Lentils, Baby Carrots, Smoked Tomato Jam and Curry Leaves that was a perfect fall chilly eve hit. even though it wasn't that chilly. There was a huge amount of confit in the lentils as well as three large perfectly cooked pieces of breast (check the FB photo). A glass of Lemelson Pinot Noir 2014 "Thea's Vineyard" reminded me of the first time I attended a wine dinner at the hotel by same vintner when the place first opened 13 years ago! Even our charming server, who has been there since the opening, remembered that superb wine dinner. Needless to say, the wine was sheer perfection with the duck. Another dish at the table was the sushi platter which went over well, but the most intriguing other dish was the Green Curry Chicken using the Asian influences at their best.
We shared three desserts:
Mandarin Orange in 5 Segments which was a bombe-like chocolate shell filled with orange cream, some foams and more orange segments.
Chocolate Delight was 70% Valrhona with brownie-pecan bar, dulce chocolate cremeux and crispy feuilletine; think dark chocolate bar with milk creamy mousse and crispy pastry layers.
Tops was the Mt. Fuji with Green Tea Meringue, Yuzu & Passionfruit Marmelade, Lime & Yuzu Gelee and aerated white chocolate....what a dreamy dessert, light yet full of flavors.

Afterwards, we headed over to the new Wharf, where huge lines waited to get into the new theater there and many of the restaurants were actually opening for their first night!
We stopped by our friend Jamie Leed's newest HANKS on the WHARF (https://hanksoysterbar.com/the-wharf/) where I nibbled on a 1/2 dozen top quality oysters and we all shared some Hushpuppies as well as novelty cocktails:
The dud was the flavorless "I have Stronger Feelings for Sauvignon Blanc than Anyone I Ever Dated" a blend of SB with vodka that just seemed so bland.
Two Bananas was slightly sweet banana mixed with Glenmorangie.
the winner was clearly my "You Had Me at Beef Jerky" which was Copper & Kings Apple Brandy with Ancho Reyes Reserve(a poblano chile liqueur), Hellfire Bitters, Melon and several shards of spicy tasty beef jerky; what fun and what a kick!
Speaking of fun, what a fun evening it was as it was 70+ degrees and balmy as we moseyed around the quite busy Wharf and soaked in the sites and scenes!



Monday, October 23, 2017

DC's TICO is tops for tapas and a terrific time (10-22-17)

Last night eight of us headed to TICO (www.ticodc.com) at 14th & T Sts, NW for the first time in its close to three years of being a major attraction in the neighborhood. We chose it largely for its variety, but also because of the large vegetarian optons for Samuel, and this was indeed a vegetarian's dream meal, especially if you like a lot of spice in your food. It was hard to decide as there were so many options, but our congenial server Dom suggested we try the multi-course tasting menu, which while everyone has to take it, he could tweak to allow vegetarian, non-shellfish and more dietary requirements, such as no red peppers!
There were three options:
Kind of Hungry for $35 per person
Forgot to Eat Lunch for $55 each
Full On Tico Experience for $75.
Dom warned that there was lots of food, so we stuck with the $35 option, and he said we could always order more afterwards, which was never in or minds as we got about halfway through the virtually 10 courses.
They all came tapas style with a small plate for every two people (except for the special diets) and we ended up taking home about 8 or more different things in multiples!
An aromatic Finca Sophenia 2013 Viognier Reserve from Mendoza started us off and while we loved the wine, we wanted something else to move on to and ultimately chose a Martino 2011 Pedro Ximenez also from Mendoza which was a super dry wine but with lots of minerality to complement the spices. Our third and final wine was so good, we ordered a second bottle of the Genium Cellars 2007 Garncaha Blend from Priorat in Spain full of jammy flavors and a hint of sour dark cherries. There are many wines from latin countries at very reasonable prices as well and a lot of American and non-Latin options, but we figures, let's stay with the theme, and it worked.

First came a Shredded Cabbage Slaw with Salsa Verde, Asparagus and Toasted Almonds that had a mild kick from the salas that we all adored and could not resist (photos as always on FB).
It was odd to find eight people who all love Brussels Sprouts, but we all oohed and ahhed when they arrived in a divine aj-limo honey with pickled curried onions and toasted peanuts. This is a recipe I must learn to duplicate somehow.
Chicken Empanadas arrived with huacaina, plaintain chips and an aji-gallina sauce to dip that I loved.
Another vegetarian dish that I need to get a recipe for was the Crispy Roasted Cauliflower with Chipotle Mayo(none for the red pepper allergy), Cotija Cheese & Crunchy Favas
On the side was a plate chock full of Shishito Peppers roasted with Crispy Shallots, Lime Zest & Sea Salt. The lime made them very different from just the basic roasting we do at home; next time.
Lamb meatballs arrived with Ricotta Salata in a hoyo tomato sauce with cumin & pine nuts, while our resident vegetarian enjoyed Mozzarella Sticks (one of his fave dishes on earth)
A novel and different dish which was more American than Latin was the Roasted Turnips in Huckleberry Sauce with Roasted Peanuts and Sliced Jalapenos. I liked it because it reminded me of Venison with Huckleberry sauce which would have been the perfect meat to pair it with!
Mac & Cheese is served with Serrano Ham, Manchego and a tasty crunchy bread crumb topping and the vegetarian gets the same without the meat; another super hit here.
We had requested the Nopal Con Queso which is a nopal cactus (which we loved in Mexico) flown in from south of the border, seared and served with Oaxaca cheese in a tortilla. I think the tortilla takes away from the flavor of the cactus and is too much; it was indeed the only dish we all really didn't adore.
Edamame Tacos are also served on the delicious soft tortillas and are seasoned with harissa yogurt with falafel as well. The combination of the falafel with the edamame again was too much inside the tortilla, but the flavors were superb. Even Sam, who does not like yogurt on most things, loved this combination.
This was thankfully our last savory dish as we were all way more than stuffed, but not enough to resist three fabulous desserts that ensued:
Tres Leches with Mango Sorbet, almond crust, strawberry and blueberry
Churros Con Dulce were super churros and a deadly Dulce de Leche Espuma Dipping Sauce with Dark Chocolate Pearls
Chocolate Devil Cake was a spectacular semi-frozen cake with Caramel Crunch & Gelato.

We all loved virtually every bite and it was a wonderful experience for all of us knowing we will return again (if only for the Duck Tacos!).
 

Monday, October 09, 2017

another beautiful birthday bash with a delicious dinner at DINO'S in DC (10-8-17)

Last night for Will's birthday we used yet another wonderful auction item and eight of us headed to Dino's for an awesomely super spread that lasted almost 4 hours!(FB fotos already posted!)
We started by sipping a sparkling Lambrusco from Fiorini in Sorbara, Italy called Corte degli Attimi.  It's always fun to taste and savor new wines at Dino's as owner Dean Gold revels in telling us the story behind each grape, varietal and label making it a ture wine experience and not just a meal. He also has an amazing staff at the Grotto Bar downstairs where there are happy hours from 5 to 7pm every Tueday to Saturday and all night Sunday & Monday with amazing cocktails. We next enjoyed a Negroni tasting of the 8 different Negroni cocktails he offers on his "Not So Secret Negroni Menu:"
Negroni (Classic) with Beefeater Gin, Campari & Cinzano
DC Groni #2 with 1-8 untitled barrel-aged gin, Don Ciccio Cinque Apertivo, Capitoline Vermouth
Luxury-Tanqueray, Luxardo Bitter, Carpano Antica Formula
Scofflaw's Negroni-Hayman's London Gin, Campari, Dolin, Orange Bitters
Dean's Gold-Beefeater Gin, Aperol, Carpano Antica Formula
Boulevardier-Old Granddad Bourbon, Campari, Sweet Vermouth 9this one packed a huge punch_
Virginia-XO "Virginia Moon" White Whiskey, Cappelletti Bitters, Cinzano--one of the more popular varieties amongst our crowd
Mexigroni-Mezcal, Campari, Cinzano & Rhubard Syrup which had to be the most popular amongst our group that tasted and passed repeatedly until we found one drink we really preferred as
Dean's DEVILLED EGGS arrived to start us off followed by SQUASH BLOSOMS filled with ricotta, Egg, Garlic, in Summer Tomato Essence with Parmigiano Reggiano.
Tintero Arneis 2015 from Piemonte was poured as we learned the story of how the Arneis varietal was almost wiped from the face of the earth.
All the dishes were served Family Style and they seemed to never stop arriving, each full of flavor and taste.
Classic Caprese was an awesome selection of local Heirloom Tomatoes with fresh Italian Mozzarella, basil, Occhipinti Sicilian EVOO and Hawaiian Alaena Red Salt. This was caprese gone crazy.
Chard & Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta came with the garlic and lemon scented filling on the plate and then topped with huge grilled slices of olive bread.
Grilled Pork Belly arrived with Asian Pear from Pig Crafters of Virginia. The spice cured, braised and crisped meat was superb and rich (not fatty at all) and the caramel spice grilled Asian pear a perfect foil.
Bardolino Chiaretto 2016 from Farina was a super rose with a hint of effervescence and just right to fight the richness of the pork.
Grilled Local Veggie Antipasto was a huge selection including Candy & Sweet Red Onion, Delicata Squash, Zucchini, Bok Choy that we loved and tasted but left to take home as we knew so much more was yet to come..such as Fregola with Grilled Shrimp & Ricotta Salata..OMG with heirloom tomato, chards, kales, cauliflower, broccoli, romanesco, zucchini and string beans.

Our first red was Jante Tereano 2011, a mineral-intense treat from Venezia Giulia (Fruili) that arrived with the Pasta courses:
Heirloom Tomato, Grilled Corn & Veggie Risotti with Basil & Walnut Pesto, Shallot, Herbs, Butter, preserved Lemon, Veggie Stock and 24month aged Parm. Leftovers for Samuel tonight!
Sausage alla Calabrese was Rigatoni with House Sausage that packed a mighty spicy punch in Spicy Pepper, red chili flakes, arugula and confit tomato
Duck Lasagna has to be one of the best pastas at Dino's with Spicy Bolognese, Fonduta, 24month Parm and Silk Road Spices for an amazing flavor bust that just makes you so so happy.

I have to give huge kudos to Omar & Gustavo whose service never failed or wavered despite the many large groups all around us and many tables enjoying long dinners as it was a holiday weekend. Next poured was Monferrato Ruche di Castagnole 2015 from Ferraris which was an herbaceous Barbera-ish wine, so lighter than most Italian reds, but gutsy.
It was ideal with our 3 main courses:
Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana (also leftovers for Sam) with smoked mozzarella that we all raved about.
Lamb Rib-slow roasted Shenandoah breast with grilled onion, tomato and chile salsa and potatoes with house ramp butter --this was the only item all evening that didn't impress me as much as the meat was on the fatty side as breasts tend to be and I think we all enjoyed every other bite so much, we moved on to the truly spectacular
Tagliata--Sliced Roseda Dry Aged Sirloin with Salsa verde that was cooked to perfection and melted in our mouths; no steak knife needed!

Cheeses arrived in abbondanza:
Robiolini
Gorgonzola Dolce
Note del Giusto Pecorino Tartufato(truffled raw sheep)
Abbondanza Caprino alle Fragole--goat cheese aged with strawberry
Mostardo was super, not to mention the Grappa, Strawberrycello and Butler's Newphew LBV 2007 Port which I adored.
of course Will had to have a slice of Tiramisu with a candle before we could all roll ourselves home.

Many thanks to the staff and also to Chef/Owner Dean Gold for his generosity!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUBBY!



Sunday, October 08, 2017

Bethesda's TRUE FOOD is truly delicious (10-7-17)

Last night 7 of us popped up to Bethesda's new "healthy" if huge and noisy spot, TRUE FOOD, part of a national chain that offers up some healthier choices and has a lot of vegetarian (and vegan and gluten free) options for Samuel (www.truefoodkitchen.com).
We started with a couple of bottles of "Belleruche" Rose of grenache from M. Chapoutier, this is a super wine that wortks well with many of the spicy foods here, and is also perhaps a last vestige of summer wine as we know the temps will be dropping soon. Our second wine was a superb Sicilian Nero d'Avola from Purato. There are over 20 wines here served in 6 ounce or 9 ounce pours(many of which are organic and/or sustainable) as well not to mention the healthy drinks which Sam tried and raved about the Kale Aid (ginger, apple, kale, celery, cucumber & lemon) and Lemonade. We arrived just before 6pm and the place was fairly quiet, but by our departure after 9pm, it was heaving and heard to hear speech across the table without really yelling. I would suggest earlier dining or weeknights as Saturday it is a zoo; this also seemed to effect the service quality. While our server Nini was a gem making superb suggestions and always trying to help, they just seemed to be short staffed whenever you needed someone or something, and the size of the place makes the effect multiply.
Speaking of the servers they wear T-shirts emblazoned with "HONEST," "TRUE," SHINE ON" and such, which is cute, and I have to give them credit for allowing us to skip the whole spiel on organics that the Post review plodded on about. Speaking of the Post review, the Guacamole is truly delicious and while it still has Pink Grapefruit (with Cilantro, Roasted Poblano & Sunflower Seeds and is served with Pita Chips) the grapefruit has been drastically reduced as per Mr. Sietsema's request. The Charred Cauliflower is either a veggie side or starter and is one of the big winners for sure with Harissa Tahini, Medjool Dates, slight hints of mint and dill and Pistachios.
The prices are quite low and the starter portions are quite large such as the divine Edamame Dumplings (again many photos avail on my FB page) which come in a rich Dashi broth with White Truffle Oil & Asian Herbs.
I had the fun Shitake Lettuce Cups (really wraps) with Tofu, Jicama, Sambal ( I adore this Indonesian spice), Thai Basil & Cashew. The crunchy tasty earthy mixture can be spooned into the large Romaine leaves on the side, so it's truly great for sharing as well. 
I could come back to True Food over and over just for the bowls and while there are only a handful each can be adorned (for a fee) with tofu, chicken, shrimp, grilled salmon or grass-fed steak. I chose the latter which was perfectly seasoned meat that was like filet as grass-fed always is so much better when it comes to taste! Mine was on the Red Chili Noodle Bowl with Gailan, Zucchini, Shitakes, Snow Peas and tasty Cashews for crunch. The bowls are perfectly sized and again very reasonably priced. Another bowl is the Spicy Penang Curry with Potato, Long Beans, Bok Choy, Carrots, Thai Basil, Coconut, Shrimp Broth which Will chose to have with Grilled Salmon. Each was so different and so completely tasty and full o fresh and fabulous veggies.
The Grilled Salmon was a hit, but I think the top entrĂ©e was the Moroccan Chicken with Mission Figs, Heirloom Carrots, Chickpeas, Olives, Spinach, Chermoula and Greek Yogurt. 
Dessert is novel here and worth the splurge. Will got a Flourless Chocolate Cake with Caramel, Vanilla Ice Cream and Cocoa Nibs with a candle as a birthday treat and Samul immediately insisted on having his own.
A simple yet filling Chia Seed Pudding with Banana & Toasted Coconut ws rich and creamy, but I loved my oh so simple yet bursting with flavor Sea Buckthorn Sorbet; it was even more special as it's not something we often see in the states!
Manager Greg Kopit clearly loves wines and pours them with glee, and the entire staff indeed exudes friendliness and cheer and is as upbeat as the food is tasty. It's a wonderful diversion, if you don't mind the noise or manage a quieter evening (maybe we will head there during the next snowfall, because we have to go back to taste more!).