Had a great meal here tonight. I'll start by saying that, honestly, I don't really love the space/decor at Tallula -- some white tablecloths would make a nice difference, in my opinion. I also wasn't so impressed with the wines that were chosen for us the previous time that we ate there, but after tonight, I'm thinking that was just a miscall by the server rather than poor choices available. I don't have the names of what we drank tonight, but we had a red that was pretty darn nice! Now, for my favorite part -- the food!
We chose to have a tasting menu, which they'll do for anyone who asks for it -- a great way to sample a bunch of fabulous items. We started with a triangle of chicken liver pate on toast with orange/shallot marmalade -- excellent. I've not always enjoyed chicken liver in the past because of the intensity of flavor, but this was light and almost fluffy, and particularly with the marmalade, it was excellent. The next course was a surprise for me -- octopus tentacles with chickpeas. Man, was this dish good!!! The texture was almost creamy, the flavor roasted and crispy...fabulous. This item is apparently on the menu for EatBar and is definitely going to appear in front of me again in my near future. Next we had tempura soft shell crab with a lovely schmear of avocado cream. As much as I hate to admit it -- particularly on this board -- I still have trouble eating whole crabs. There's a story Tripewriter tells about his cooking instructor and soft shell crabs that I think about every time I eat them...still, Tripewriter thought this dish delicious. This was followed by one of my favorite spring dishes that we've had -- pea ravioli -- it's tangy and creamy and delicate -- a beautiful dish. Next we had olive oil-poached halibut. Delectable. It was so delicate and so flavorful -- very, very nice. I usually prefer my fish seared, to give me that delightful crispy edge, but this dish surprised me in how much I enjoyed it. The fish was cooked perfectly and was accompanied by a couple slices of Nate's sausage -- slightly smoky, slightly spicy, juuuuuust right...yum. Next we had some beautiful lamb -- again, perfectly cooked, with just enough sea salt to make the flavor pop. Also with this dish were sugar peas, artichoke, and fingerling potatoes (with a secret flavor -- I got it a little bit right, but not all the way). We ended the large-knife courses with a gorgeous piece of beef. Perfectly seared, perfect temperature. The accompaniment for this one was a combo of radicchio and pine nuts. I thought it was very good, but I'm not convinced that it totally complemented the beef. Tripewriter, however, thought it was a nice contrast. We took a pause to digest and then continued with beer and cheese -- love it! We were pretty full at this point but couldn't possibly have resisted the desserts -- I had the rhubarb cobbler with a miniature goat cheese cheesecake -- so light and creamy. Tripewriter had a turtle chocolate cake that was simply irresistible. It was a good thing he was so full because I was able to snag almost half of the cake, along with a good portion of the house-made pistachio ice cream.
All in all, it was a great evening -- so good to see Barry and Joey rocking out the kitchen so soon. Rumor has it that the brunch menu has been overhauled as well -- so chances are good you'll see us at EatBar and for brunch soon!