21 August 2012

Battersby and Jazz

Phor came into town on Friday which means it is time to eat.  I gave her a list and she chose Battersby.  I was nervous to try to get into this no reservation restaurant since it was the same week that Bon Appetit named it one of the best new restaurants in 2012.  We arrived around 5:45 and were seated at 6:25 so it wasn't too bad and it stayed that way until we left at 8:30.  I'm wondering if the buzz just hadn't hit yet.

We decided on the 5 course tasting menu as everything on the menu looked great but we did opt out of the sweetmeats.  I've had them but they are not my thing.

We sat at the bar and the bartender added to the overall experience.  There were some dishes that blew us away but others didn't.  I was only going to include the best but I may as well record the ones that were only meh.

I loved our view on both sides.  It's a gorgeous space and there is outdoor seating but we never ventured outside to take a look.  

On to the food -

The bread was warm and the spread was ricotta.  It was as things should be.

I cannot remember our amuse bouche but it was a nice fish.

This salad is famous.  It's been written about in many places.  It's a kale salad with green papaya, radishes, and peanuts.  It's like som tum with kale and the dressing is the best part.  I could happily eat this everyday.

Phor liked this more than I did but that's because it's squid.  I'll eat it but it's not my favorite.  The pasta was great with sausage.  I did realize at this point that the chef really knows how to make an incredible sauce.  Each dish was better than the last and it never overpowered the other components.

This Hake though was the best of the night by far.  We asked the bartender and he couldn't explain how the fish tasted so creamy but it does involve duck fat.  I don't remember what hake typically tastes like but this preparation makes it the best fish dish I've ever had.

The Berkshire Pork Belly Parmigiana made Phor upset.  It did not live up to the hake.  I liked it if only for the ricotta gnudi but it was not that exciting.

We received two desserts - one being our pre-dessert.  The panna cotta with berries was very good.

Our main dessert was this banana-lime tart.  We were both disappointed.  The bananas weren't ripe so we could barely taste them in the dish.  It wasn't worthy of the hake.

We ran out of the restaurant to make it to the 9 pm show at the Village Vanguard.  I've been wanting to see jazz in the city for ages and for some reason I waited until the last month.  My friend Dave suggested going here if only for the history.  I sat in the club and just thought about everything that has happened there for the last 70 years and I'm pretty sure my imagination didn't even come close to the actual.

We heard the Tom Harrell Quartet and it was very good.  I especially loved watching the drummer because he was excited by the music. 

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