Monday, February 23, 2009

Review: Farmerie 58

Out of the crop of newer restaurants, Farmerie 58's rich seasonal menu looked like one of the more promising. For Restaurant Week, my husband and I tried their prix fixe lunch menu yesterday, in spite of their recent chef drama and our still lingering wedding-bash hangovers. I'm glad we did. It's a study in understated luxury, and our experience there was terrific.

For first impressions, Farmerie's bistro has one of the most beautiful rooms in the area... cozy Asian chic with a generous dose of retro Modernism. I instantly wanted to return at night to see it glowing. Even so, the crowd was mostly casual 30- and 40-somethings enjoying lazy Sunday lunches. We appreciated the relaxed vibe and settled sleepily into our seats.

I woke up when I tasted what I think is a mark of a good restaurant: the butter. A place that's taken care to give you excellent bread and butter is rising above and beyond, and this little dream...had...truffle oil whipped into it. After my giggly endorphin-high subsided, I grabbed the waiter and pointed, "Um. This butter. Has. Truffle oil in it. Who's idea was that?" Convinced he was probably dealing with some sort of addict, he grinned and said politely, "That would likely be our executive chef." Note: New chef Nathan Kosakowski is keeper. Waiter is adorable.

We started with the lobster bisque and butternut squash volute. I surprisingly preferred the squash for it's unusually fresh, genuine flavor with only a touch of sweetness. The seasonal menu was heavy on red meat and chicken - not a plus for a pescatarian, but the waiter agreed they could easily modify the Salmon BLT for me. I loved that it was served on obviously homemade sliced, light rye bread, about the size of a sandwich your grandmother would make. (Remember RDA portions? So quaint, I know.) It was packed with flavor, and sitting next to a mountain of truffled pomme frites that I wanted to stuff into my handbag. Finally, our desserts, mine a perfectly executed ginger creme brulee, his a new-school innovative bread pudding - light and soft in texture - topped with drizzly caramel popcorn. It was a playful flavor/texture combination, and I hope they'll encourage more risks like this on the menu.

Farmerie 58 on Urbanspoon

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