Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday Prix-Fixe Report Plus

First course last night was a spinach salad with roasted butternut squash, toasted almonds and an apricot vinaigrette...

...followed by pork loin with a mustard cream sauce.  The sauce was good all by itself.

A slice of mocha cream filled chocolate angel food cake rounded out the meal.  Not a bad deal for $20.11, eh?  We sold out by 7:30, I think.  

I got up close and personal with this pork chop, but it looks so good, it is definitely one of the winners on the new menu.  The glistening chop rests on a square of rice noodles that has been browned and crisped and topped with sauteed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.  The base is a smear of garlic ginger sweet potato puree.  What a feast!

Here's a head long view of that same plate.  This is going to be the winner, I'd venture to say.

The chicken gumbo has morphed into chicken with shrimp and andouille sausage gumbo, garnished with rice cakes.  Still looks delicious, and is such a great fall entree, although that portion sure looks wee, doesn't it?  Ha!

The new duck presentation takes us back to a more traditional style - sliced breast on Cherry Heering sauce with wild rice.  I'm sure it's extremely tasty - I mean, just look at that crackly skin! - but the plate looks a little "brown".  We need some contrast, which I am certain will come about before we see it again.

The new scallop plate is also a work in progress, and I have yet to get a picture of the finished product.  It's served with some of Kevin's house made lasagna, like we saw in last week's prix-fixe, and a creamed clam sauce.  I'll get a photo tonight, and of the steak too.  

Whenever we revamp the menu, there are always winners and losers, and often some that don't even make it out of the gate, but it does keeps the game interesting for both our kitchen and our customers.  Changing the menu with the season is imperative, especially when the ingredients are changing anyway.  Who wants asparagus in November when broccoli is at its best?  Why serve frozen or imported crab when oysters are fresh and briny?  Not to mention just getting tired of seeing the same old thing, over and over.  It's made for some extra work for Kevin this week - and of course we were very busy Tuesday night, when no one was yet familiar with the new menu items - but it is what our guests expect from Brooks Tavern. 

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