Life is delicious at Bankers HillEat This! Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Tiger, my handsome well-muscled dinner companion, and I visited Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant one recent balmy evening. We crossed the open-raftered high-ceilinged dining room to our seat at a rough-hewn wooden table on the intimate patio. Sitting beneath the stars on a sultry summer night, we viewed the living wall of bromeliads and ferns, and the white marble topped bar extending from the main seating area, piercing the multi-paned glass wall. Expanses of reclaimed wood and exposed brick complete the establishment’s rustic retro industrial vibe.
Richard, our upbeat and well-versed server, walked us through the succinct menu and highlighted a few of his favorites. We began our evening with craft cocktails; I ordered a Painkiller ($12) and Tiger chose the Cobra Clutch ($11). The Painkiller is a refreshing sweet combo of crushed ice, Jamaican and dark rums blended with sweet pineapple, orange and coconut juices, and garnished with a small orchid. Cobra Clutch is a satisfying union of smoky Tequila and mezcal, coupled with fresh pineapple and lime juice, with cane sugar and anise-flavored absinthe.
For starters, we chose the Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup ($11) and the Bankers Hill Vegetable Salad ($10). The south-of-the-border inspired gazpacho is a rich puree of vine ripe tomatoes lightly seasoned with kisses of cumin and coriander, with bites of firm Mexican white shrimp, smooth avocado and crunchy cucumber, and thin mild jalapeno slices and minced cilantro. The salad is a medley of locally grown fresh greens, including arugula and red leaf lettuce, tossed with crisp snap peas, baby asparagus and halved heirloom cherry tomatoes in a tangy vinaigrette. A lightly breaded then grilled goat cheese patty nestles atop the colorful mélange.
Our entrée selections were the Black Angus Bistro Tender ($25) and Coriander Spice Local Yellowtail ($25). The Bistro Tender is a unique cut taken from the shoulder with the flavor and texture of filet mignon, except without the marbling. Grilled to a turn, the filet is served on a confit of onion and peppercorn butter, with asparagus and a twice-baked potato topped with bacon bits. The translucent perfectly grilled coriander rubbed Yellowtail is served atop savory braised spinach with tart tomatillo sauce, sweet corn salsa and a smoky jalapeno-bacon black bean puree. A little bit of every flavor profile in each forkful.
I paired a glass of the 2011 Maison L’Envoye Pinot Noir ($13) with my main dish. The deep garnet wine from Burgundy, France, features velvety tannins and a nervy acid backbone, which support the raspberry and cardamom aromas, and red fruit flavors.
Acquiescing to the demands of our collective sweet tooth, we chose the Butterscotch Pudding ($8) and Raspberry Sorbet ($3.50) for dessert. The silky pudding is topped with a dollop of light-as-a-cloud whipped crème fraiche and served with pecan toffee crumbles and powdered sugar dusted shortbread cookies. Raspberry sorbet, an icy blend of fresh fruit puree, is garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. The palate cleansing selection is also accompanied by crumbly shortbread cookies.
Bankers Hill is open seven days a week for dinner service with happy hour Monday-Friday, and for Sunday Brunch. Reservations are highly recommended. Please note the dining room can be noisy during maximum capacity making conversation difficult. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.
Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant
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