Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Restaurant Week Series Part III: Artisanal

Foodie Fish

A simple atmosphere with nothing special really. However, service felt personalized. The wait staff was very friendly. Appetizers were good, but nothing out of this world. Salmon rillettes lacked in some smoky and dill flavor and it was a bit bland. The country pate was better, and the pickled vegetables it came with were nice and crisp—not over marinated.

The plats principaux were unique and a bit unexpected. Wild mushroom risotto was nice and creamy. There were corn and fava beans inside, which was very different from many other mushroom risottos. Black truffle butter enhanced the soft texture as well as the bite to the wild mushrooms. Poularde Albufera is not to be missed though. Tender poached chicken, stuffed with an excellent forcemeat of sorts. The tenderness of the chicken was nice in contrast to the spring vegetable fricassee with whole grains. The savory sauce that the dish was doused in really made it something that you cannot stop eating, even though the portions were generous.

Artisanal cheesecake was a surprisingly light finish to a rather filling meal. The cheesecake part spoke for itself: light, fluffy, rich in flavor without being too dense. The gram cracker base/crust had a nice hearty texture with a sweet cinnamon taste. Chocolate marquise is another sweet way to end. Hazelnut feuilletine gave the creamy chocolate part a nice subtle crunch. Vanilla salt sprinkled on top made the contrasting flavors of dark chocolate and salt very sophisticated.

This meal could please many diners from all backgrounds. You leave Artisanal with a satisfied smile, along with some fine cheese from their fromagerie.

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