Relax. Enjoy. Share.Eat This! Thursday, February 18th, 2016
I hate being stood up, especially at the last minute. But accidents happen and “Pierce”, my sexy porn star dinner companion, was sincerely apologetic. Rather than being upset, I decided to press forward – spontaneity being something I’d resolved to work on in the new year. I squared my shoulders, strolled through the tall wide portal of The Patio on Goldfinch and, after taking my seat at the bar, met Aaron. Maybe being alone was better, I thought.
Aaron was knowledgeable, cordial and easy on the eyes. He’s been in the food and beverage business for years and really knows his stuff, much to my betterment. Aaron presented the hefty drink menu and a slim page of the evening’s dining options, then stepped aside to tend other customers.
My attention was drawn by the restaurant’s airy high-ceilinged mash of materials; an eclectic mix of woods, marble, concrete block and glass; a fireplace and green walls of living ferns. An open kitchen concept with the words “Relax Enjoy Share” cutout from the brushed steel fascia over the pass through. Classic British rock thrummed through the PA. Engaging. Comfortable.
Relax: The drink menu features pages of tequilas, mezcals, imported and domestic wines, craft cocktails and beers; too much to comprehend. Aaron asked what I liked and I told him, so he recommended a Boulevardier ($10). The cocktail is a twist on the classic Manhattan featuring Templeton Rye, Campari and sweet vermouth stirred with ice, strained, then garnished with an orange peel. Delightful. I was in Aaron’s hands from that moment on, and he didn’t steer me wrong.
Enjoy: I began with the Blood Orange and Beet salad ($10). The bowl is filled with mixed fresh greens tossed with candied walnuts and beet agrodolce (heirloom beets marinated in a sweet and sour sauce), lightly dressed with blood orange vinaigrette and served with goat cheese croutons (goat cheese boutons rolled in panko crumbs then deep fried to a delicate crunch). An exquisite balance of flavors – salty, nutty, earthy, slightly bitter and sweet in every forkful. Sublime.
The large plate options range from a 20 oz. braised pork shank to seared swordfish, from cioppino to vegetable pappardelle, but I chose the evening’s special – Lobster Consommé Risotto ($18). The fragrant full-bodied risotto, made with wine, heavy cream, butter and parmesan cheese, is served with spicy cilantro micro-greens, a drizzle of balsamic reduction and 4 oz. of lobster meat prepared sous-vide then flash grilled.
Aaron explained sous-vide is a cooking method by which food is sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a swirling water bath. A method of heating the item evenly, retaining moisture and ensuring the inside remains succulent without overcooking the outside. Flash grilling leaves photo-perfect sear marks and shades the lobster with a wispy smokey goodness. Divine.
I paired a glass of Regis Bovier, 2014 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France ($12) with the rich risotto. The hearty wine shows height-of-summer blueberry fruit, supple tannins and grapey youthfulness with a strong smooth finish. Respectable.
The meal ended with a Poached Bartlett Pear ($8). The firm fruit, braised in red wine, cinnamon and black-licoricey star anise, is served with housemade vanilla bean ice cream and tart pomegranate syrup. Light and not too sweet. Perfect.
Share: The Patio on Goldfinch is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. They also offer brunch, happy hour and late night dining specials.
The Patio on Goldfinch
4020 Goldfinch St.
Open Daily 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
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