We have to admit, Brooks Tavern is not a hipster hangout. We are a fairly normal Eastern Shore restaurant. Our food is solid. Perhaps even a little "safe". Certainly not trendy or edgy, and definitely nothing molecular happens in our kitchen except when some half and half goes bad. And that's all fine, we don't really need to be cutting edge to be happy in this county. But, that being said, we did serve two dishes this week that may have tested the limits of our clientele and found them to be more adventuresome than maybe we are giving them credit for.
The first was a cake Kevin alerted to in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook we currently have out from the library. He had a little dab of ricotta cheese he wanted to use up before shutting down the kitchen for vacation, and this recipe called for one cup. Perfect. The problem was, the cake is an "olive oil and ricotta cake", which didn't sound too delicious. Still, we figured, what the heck. So, we went over the recipe with Cherelle and she gave it a whirl.
It turned out to be a delicious cake! Tender and sweetly vanilla flavored, we paired it with some strawberry coulis and let it loose on the dessert customers. Would they order it?
They did! I think the fact that it was made with healthy olive oil instead of saturated butter attracted them, plus the strawberry factor. And it tasted really fresh and light and sweet without any residual heaviness - what a lot of people look for in dessert but don't always find. Who knew?
The other dish we've been serving this week with amazing success is that SBF tongue. It was on the special list last night, garnished with oysters poached in the sauce, and we sold a dozen orders! Many people came into the dining room after reading it on the special board with their minds already made up to order it! And once more, they were rewarded with a tasty, beefy dish that may not have been what they expected, but was maybe even better than what they remembered.
With vacation mode approaching, it could be a good time to come up with some other "daring" dishes to tempt our guests. While I doubt it will be anything like what is on the menu at Baco Mercat in LA, you never know what Kevin will do after a trip to Southern California.
Rockfish collar anyone?