Friday, October 24, 2014

Fleet Street Kitchen

We chose to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary at a restaurant we hadn't tried before--Fleet Street Kitchen. To clarify, we had eaten in the Tavern Room part of the restaurant at the front, but had never dined in the more formal dining room at back.

The place is gorgeous, all wood and crystal chandeliers, but the unadorned row of windows on the west wall and horse-blanket upholstery on the long booth on the east wall give the place a more casual feel.

We started our feast by squinting at the cocktail menu. Honestly, with dim lights, serif font, and bad eyes, reading it was no easy task. Eventually we settled on our bevvies and proceeded to the food menu, which I had checked out earlier in the day. I settled on the scallops and halibut, with a side of broccoli rabe. Mr Minx ordered the short ribs, the rockfish, and a side of brussels sprouts. Everything was outstanding.

The scallops were aggressively seasoned, with a nice crust on the outside and properly translucent middles. The radish and radicchio salad offered both tart and bitter notes, and the broccoli puree was just plain pretty. (And tasty. And it didn't particularly taste like broccoli, which for some might be a plus.)

Mr Minx's tender short ribs came atop a mound of kale cooked with currants. A lot of currants. (From across the table, I thought it was a bed of lentils.) Leafy greens + raisins are a classic Mediterranean combo, and the deep, lightly sweet, flavors worked well with the beef.

I love halibut and wasn't disappointed by the perfectly cooked hunk of seared king halibut atop a veritable mountain of glazed baby carrots with lemon and hazelnuts. This carrot lover was quite pleased.

Mr Minx's rockfish dish paired the fish with elements of clam chowder, including baby white potatoes, bacon, clams, and a chowder emulsion. Turnips found their way into the mix as well.  The fish had a nice sear, and the elements worked well together.

We had gone for the four course prix fixe dinner, which included a vegetable course. The spicy broccoli rabe with garlic confit and brussels sprouts with marcona almonds and creme fraiche seemed more like side dishes than a course unto themselves, so we asked them to be brought at the same time as the entrees. Both were terrific, and I particularly enjoyed finding the nuggets of almond in the sprouts.

Those three courses provided a lot of food, but we had dessert coming, too. I had the frozen cappuccino, made with a frozen coffee-flavored cream (not sure it was technically ice cream, as it didn't melt) atop a thin slice of chocolate cake, topped with crunchy candied cocoa nibs and milk froth. It wasn't exactly like a frozen coffee drink, but the textures and mild cappuccino flavors were appealing.

I think I preferred Mr Minx's tender peach almond upside down cake with creamy mascarpone sorbet and candied almonds. Again, a lot of really pleasing textures and flavors there.

As expected, everything we ate was delicious and well-executed and service was friendly yet professional. The atmosphere was nice, too, that is until a large group of people who didn't have inside voices took over the dining room with their inappropriate shrieks of laughter. A shame there's no way to turn the volume down on other people.

Fleet Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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