Friday, February 5, 2010

Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar

Everyone is losing their minds over Snowpocalyse 2: Electric Boogaloo.  I, on the other hand, have been calmly going about my typical food adventures.  Last night I had the great pleasure of dining with Mark and two of his friends, Anne and Byron, at the wonderful Mendocino Grille in Georgetown.  I love dining with a group of people, because it means I get to try more stuff!

Click below to see what we ate!

We started out with four appetizers and a cheese plate.  I'll get the least successful thing out of the way first:  The Jonah crab claws with yuzu mayonnaise were completely unexciting and fairly bland, and the yuzu mayonnaise was more of the same.  It was a shame, because I think everyone had been kind of looking forward to the dish.

Jonah crab claws

But, that being said, the rest of the appetizers were truly outstanding.  The butternut squash risotto showcased firm, yet creamy rice, and had a wonderful saltiness and subtle butternut squash flavor.  

Butternut squash risotto

The goat cheese tart was a great study in contrasting textures:  crispy flatbread, crunchy pine nuts, velvety goat cheese, and tender caramelized onions.

Goat cheese tart

For our cheese plate, Mark's friend Anne chose the Cabot clothbound cheddar, which had a Brie-like creaminess with sharp undertones, and the Oldwick tomme, a firm sheep's milk cheese, which had a nice nutty note to it.  The plate also included a fig jam, which I would normally hate, but it paired nicely with the cheese.

Cheese plate

The last appetizer we selected was the best, a walleye pike dumpling with brandied shrimp bisque and emmentaler cheese.  The kitchen had somehow managed to blend the pike into a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth dumpling, which was nicely complemented by the rich bisque.

Walleye pike dumpling

The deliciousness did not end there.  For our entrees, Byron and I both ordered the prosciutto-wrapped Pocono trout, with root vegetable puree, pea shoots and citrus brown butter.  The trout, served with its crispy skin on, was perfectly cooked and paired with a salty (in the very best way) prosciutto wrapper.  The root vegetable puree served as a lush and buttery foil to the fish.

Prosciutto-wrapped Pocono trout

Anne got the special, a red fish, which our lovely server described as Tilapia-like in texture with a seabass creaminess.  I don't remember what the accompaniments were, but I really enjoyed my bite of the fish, which was very simply and cleanly prepared.

Red fish

Mark went with the bistro steak, which is unusual, as he doesn't often order red meat.  It was flawlessly cooked and incredibly flavorful, and came with a sumptuous Béarnaise sauce.  The mashed potatoes were really great, too, garlicky and cheesy. 

Bistro steak with Béarnaise sauce

To finish the meal, the boys got dessert.  As soon as Mark heard the dessert special, a chocolate terrine topped with peanuts, served over a banana puree, he was committed.  He really liked it.

Chocolate terrine with banana puree

Byron had the brown sugar and vanilla ice cream, which I did not try, but he and Mark both loved it.

Brown sugar and vanilla ice cream
*Photo credit to Byron A. Gronseth 

I had my typical after-dinner Moscoto, which was very good.  With the exception of the crab claws, everything about the restaurant - the beautiful (tiny) interior, the great service and the exceptional food - was really terrific.  I would absolutely recommend it for any occasion.

No comments:

Post a Comment