Recap of Gargoyles

15Mar09

Okay, we just got back from Gargoyles.  It was a pretty good time….we did have some weird service, including a server who took our order and then left for the night and a mix-up with Marc’s appetizer.  But otherwise, the ambiance was nice and the food was generally pretty solid.  Now onto the battle…. (Marc is going to be a guest blogger today, so that he has a chance to chime in on his entrees, having eaten the majority of his — though we each tried the other’s entrees!)

Round 1:  Appetizers

Marc: Hawaiian Style Tuna Poke (raw tuna, hijiki, nori oil, red ginger)

Commentary:  This is unbelievably the first time I’ve ever had any form of Poke, even though I’ve had quite a bunch of raw tuna over the years (sashimi, tartare, etc.). It was quite exquisite to look at, and wonderfully tasty. The part that sealed the deal was the combination of the sesame oil and the various citrus flavors that made the sauce. It unified the subtle succulence of the tuna with the sharper ginger, hijiki, and scallions that ran throughout. The tuna was well cut and soft, and brought a small bit of nice fattiness to the overall flavor, and inside the sauce took on a small ceviche-ish quality. A hands-down winning dish.

Elysabeth: New Orleans Style Shrimp (shrimp, rye toast points, grilled lemon and a “Bayou” BBQ sauce)

Commentary:  I really enjoyed this appetizer at first.  To start out, the sauce was good and the shrimp was well cooked, but as I went on, the smokiness of the sauce started to get to me.  I am not really a fan of anything that is too smoky, so this wasn’t necessarily my favorite thing.  It was a bit hard to eat, because I wasn’t sure if the shrimp should go on the toast or if I should eat it separately or what.  I ate things separately, just because I didn’t want to make a mess.

Winner:  Marc’s Tuna Poke

Round 2:  Entree

Marc: Grilled Hangar Steak (steak, charred peppers, guacamole, tortillas, and guajillo bbq sauce)

Commentary:  This dish was essentially a deconstructed fajita (not in the usual sense) in a rich, sweet sauce. The steak was done exactly to my liking (the cold side of medium-rare) and sat on a slurry of peppers and onions, with a little scoop of guacamole on top. It had a very tender quality, stopping just short of falling apart. The sauce was sweet with a small hint of heat, and brought all of the pepper, onion, and steak flavors together. On the side was a folded grilled tortilla, which I cut with my knife and fork to eat with the steak and peppers in the same bite. The dish overall was nice, although the guacamole could have been a little less liquefied and better integrated with the other flavors. A gentle sprinkling of creamy but otherwise unflavored queso fresco was scattered around the dish.

Elysabeth: Black Truffle Arancini (black truffle rice balls — or arancini — with cauliflower puree, balsamic honey glaze, arugula and giardiniera salad)

Commentary:  When I looked online, the restaurant week menu did not include the arancini.  But, when we got there, the description was too good to pass up–plus, I didn’t feel like eating a cut of meat or a chicken breast.  Anyway, the plating was seriously extraordinary–four arancini on a bed of roasted, creamy, pureed cauliflower, with a small salad of giardiniera and arugula between the four arancini.  Everything about this dish was decadent.  The arancini were lightly fried, but when you cut into them with your fork, there was some sort of delicious, gooey cheese — likely provolone.  The roasted, pureed cauliflower was so creamy and SO sweet.  There was a delicious glaze of honey balsamic over everything and the little salad of arugula and giardiniera was totally delicious.  Its acidity kind of cut through the creaminess in the best way possible.  The only complaint I had was that the black truffle flavor wasn’t as prevalent as it could be.  I think the decadence of the dish made it a clear winner (though Marc thinks it’s a winner by a hair…)

Winner:  Elysabeth’s Arancini

Round 3:  Dessert

Marc: Caramel Apple Tart with dulce de leche and vanilla bean creme fraiche

Commentary:  The stars in this dish were definitely the accessories, the dulce de leche and the creme fraiche. The tart was tasty, and the apples were quite well flavored inside the crisp crust. I could have just eaten a dish of the rest and been just as pleased.

Elysabeth: Chocolate Brownie with cream cheese mousse and amaretto strawberries

Commentary:  Oh, chocolate brownie.  Is there anything more delightful than you?  In the case of this particular brownie, yes.  The most delightful part of this dessert was the amaretto strawberries and CREAM CHEESE MOUSSE!  (I love cream cheese, especially in desserts…)  The brownie was very tasty, but it was cold.  If it was warm, it would be perfect.  But it was chilly.  I only had half and then ate up the strawberries and cream cheese mousse.  Even better.  I probably could have eaten JUST that.  And how.

Winner:  Probably both of us.  Is a tie lame?

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5 Responses to “Recap of Gargoyles”

  1. 1 Jane

    Ties are handsome-making, and this dinner sounds amazing. Marc likes his meats raw, eh?

  2. Yeah it’s very manly of him. 🙂 It was pretty delish.

  3. A tie?! A TIE! I’m so disappointed. I read in eager anticipation of a win the whole time. But really… putting aside all the diplomacy, who really won?

    🙂

    • Honestly, if the brownie was warm, it would be me, hands down. It was hard to tell. Maybe that’s a sign of a good restaurant?? I’m not sure.

  4. 5 matt

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).


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