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Goldfish Update

The restaurant was hoppin’. 

Michael (co-owner), previously cooking during other visits, was working the room being both Maître d’ and busboy as needed.

At one point, Michael told the staff around us, “Watch what you say, they can hear…”  We happened to be seated in proximity to the open kitchen.  It’s a wonderful concept, but guests may get an earful from frustrated wait staff to injured or ticked-off cooks.

Once again, I must go on my Wine WHINE.  Red wine temperatures are still too warm. They adjusted the temp. via an in/out of the ice bucket method – – am I the only one who complains about this?! Why don’t they just invest in a moderately sized wine cave to eliminate this issue.

The kitchen was staffed with the likes of Rob (Chef) and Phillip (Sous Chef) who clearly have youth, energy, and anger/passion on their side in addition to two very quick working latino assistants each in the role of stagere.

At one point the kitchen came to a halt — overloaded with unfulfilled tickets, plates sent back, with customer comments like, “I don’t want to see the fish’s tail and head on the ‘whole fish’ dish I ordered” – – to, “The plate is cold and so is the fish!”   This elicited many “F” bomb comments from the kitchen staff (Rob).  He takes his job seriously but will have an aneurism if he doesn’t chill.

Two interesting dishes of note.  The appetizer called Lobster Ceviche is really not a ceviche.  True ceviche is the process of “cooking” the meat in an acid, such as citrus (lemon, lime, and the like).  The lobster meat was removed from the dark red shell of the boiled lobster, put into a bowl to then be mixed with diced tomato (touch of tomato juice) squeeze of lime juice, a chiffonade of cilantro and finely minced jalapeño.  A fun, yet surprising addition was that the little bowl was placed on a plate and then they scatter salted popped popcorn around it.  The popcorn was some of the best I’ve had (without butter).  Fun.

A Fisherman’s Chowder arrived – – despite the fact that a lobster bisque was what we ordered – – fantastic!  Looking at the broth I immediately anticipated a deep arrabbiata experience.  It delivered a very heated punch.  So much so, that I think most of the gentle and sensitive public’s tastebuds might not be able to tolerate it.  It was really good, especially on a night where the temperature just dipped into the forties.  Comforting and cozy.

My new beef is the quality of the biscotti.  Biscotti in Italian means, “twice baked.”  The cookie is baked in a loaf.  That loaf is then sliced into the pieces we know as the biscotti cookie and baked off until dry and crisp.  Their biscotti are too flaky and moist – – think scone – – which doesn’t complement the Vin Santo for traditional dunking.  In addition, the wine was served room temperature rather than icy cold – – there is no preferred temperature rule surrounding this wine – – yet most places do serve it cold. I like it chilled almost like a good Gewürztraminer or Riesling. Vin Santo, in Italian, means holy wine and is a sweet dessert wine perfect for dunking the perfectly dense cookies which generally traditionally have nicely paired hints of hazelnut or anise.

More later – – tired, full, and curious as to what the next adventure here will bring.

Special Note:  Fred, the bartender of 30 + years is still working, has persevered, and taken risks through the transition.  He adapted well. 

There is hope for us all.

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