You thought we were done with this, didn’t you? But no! No, we’re not. As long as Dishers are eating RW-style, we’re going to continue posting reviews. So don’t hold back. If you’ve got one, email me. Come on, do it. You know you want to. And jump for the latest from Stephan Pyles.
Can I start with dessert? Because dear lord, Stephan Pyles’ Heaven and Hell cake was one of two options for dessert on the menu, and three of the four in the group got it. I don’t even remember what the other dessert was. It was unimportant next to that piece of cake as big as my head that combined nearly everything that is good and holy in the world – cake, peanut butter and chocolate.
Of course, since the portion was big enough to feed a linebacker, and I – alas, am not, I couldn’t finish it all. Truth be told, nobody at our table could finish it.
Actually, all the portions were pretty healthy in size. And they came with remarkable rapidity. Seriously – the minute we were seated, food started arriving. An amuse bouche of some sort of fig and bacon, then the most darling little blue corn muffins with garlic and cilantro that nearly made me turn into my grandmother, who used to hide bread and rolls in her purse when at a restaurant that served them. They were that good.
We opted for the southwestern caesar salad with jalapeno polenta croutons and parmigiano reggiano “chicharron.” Giant salad, lots of cheese, and the croutons – seriously, I would’ve been happy with a big plate of the croutons for dinner. Pan-fried polenta, crisp on the outside and wonderfully warm – seriously. PLATE OF POLENTA CROUTONS. We opted for the wine pairings, but none of us were ever really sure what we were drinking – the restaurant was pretty full, and a lot of people were talking.
The two girls at the table ordered the spit-roasted chicken served with mashed potatoes, while the menfolk opted for the shortribs, which were served with polenta. The guys liked their ribs – but one said they weren’t as good as his mother’s. The chicken was fork-tender and juicy at the edges, but kind of dry as you worked your way farther in. How do you do that? The wine – a red that I believe was a syrah – was good, but I think I would’ve preferred another glass of the first one.
And of course, dessert. The wine? Eh, is it a good thing when the entire table takes a sip and makes the same grimace? It was good, but very, very sweet. It did make more sense, however, once you tucked in to the cake – for some reason the very sweet wine with the chocolate paired a lot better. But solo? This wine was one step away from frozen Welch’s white grape juice – straight out of the can.
I was the only one of the four of us who had been before, and my experience was at the tapas bar, which I think I actually prefer. I think I might’ve been able to make a bigger dent in that cake if I had a lighter dinner.
But the service was wonderfully attentive without being intrusive, and really took pains to explain a lot (when we could hear it). All in all, pretty awesome dinner.
If only I could’ve finished the cake.