Disher Review #10: Abacus (Revisited)

Here’s another review from Abacus that makes me want to go there right.now. Loves it!

Okay, now that I’ve mostly recovered from last night, I feel as though I can finally write this. Our reservation for Abacus was at 9:30PM, last night. We arrived on time and were seated immediately.

Our waiter made a quick, if not curt, appearance initially, simply to explain the menu and give us time to pick what we wanted. At that point, I was a touch concerned because it felt as if we might be rushed throughout the meal – this ended up not being the case.

He reappeared shortly thereafter and helped us pick our entrees and appetizers. We also had the CM fourth course coupon. We elected to go with the wine pairings, which I highly recommend.

Since we had the fourth course coupon, we opened with the lobster shooters, which were perfect. The lobster was cooked well without being tough or rubbery. The sake sauce (which was good) was a little bit overpowering, and I personally would’ve liked to have tasted more of the lobster itself.

For my first course, I chose the apple smoked bacon jumbo lump crab cake in a chive lemon butter sauce. I’ve had quite a few good crab cakes in my day, but this was tops. The bacon was prominent without being overpowering and the cake had the perfect crab-to-other things ratio. My wine for this course was a Chateau St. Jean Fume Blanc, which was fantastically smooth and light.

My date had the seared buffalo-shiitake potstickers in a spicy apricot sauce. The buffalo was tender and had fantastic flavor. Our waiter, Terry, took some creative license here, replacing the set wine pairing with a Macmurray Ranch Pinot Noir – ended up being a great pick.

Our intermezzo was a delightful watermelon-limeade slushie – yum!

For entrees, I had the wood-grilled Wild King salmon, which was a beautiful piece of fish. It was served with a tequila lime sauce and anson mills blue corn grits, both of which were extremely complimentary to the natural flavors and textures of the fish. For this course, Terry served me the Macmurray Ranch Pinot Noir.

My date had the pan-seared Chatham cod with a parsnip puree, crispy artichoke and tomato-butter sauce. The fish was moist, flavorful and perfectly seared. The parsnip puree was to die for and definitely an interesting twist. For this course, Terry served a glass of E. Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone Red.

Dessert, as others have said, was not the same as the menu on the website. It was a sampler of a pecan blondie, a cheesecake, a Vahlrona cream sandwich, a mini Red Velvet cake and a Scharffenberger Kit-Kat. All were excellent, but I think the Kit Kat and the Red Velvet cake were my favorites. For our wine pairing with this course, I went with Cockburn’s 10-Year-Old Tawny Port and my date had Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui. The port was one of the best I’ve ever had. Believe me, I’m feeling it this morning.

As I mentioned initially, our server was Terry Kranz, the director of catering. He was really a delightful wealth of information throughout the meal, telling us about his trip to Disneyworld with Kent and all of his other travels. He even taught us about wine glasses, grapes and the impressive training that all employees of Abacus receive. After we finished our desserts, we moved to the bar where Terry poured us each another glass of champagne on the house.

All in all, the food, the service and the atmosphere were fantastic for us.


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