Sunday, June 03, 2012

More bar dining @ Prospect

We've dined in the bar at Prospect a number of times, as it is right across the street from work.  In general, we've been very happy with the cocktails, enjoyed the bar snacks, but been a little disappointed with the main dishes.  They recently brought on a new chef, so we were excited to see what he's been up to.  As usual, since I've reviewed Prospect many times before, I'll skip the general details and let you read about them in my older posts.

We came in for some light snacks and of course, foie gras.  This was probably our best food experience at Prospect, so I'm very optimistic about what the new chef is doing, and can't wait to check out some of his new main dishes, and of course, the burger and fries that I've somehow still yet to try!  We sat at the bar, and really enjoyed the friendliness of the staff.  They were very busy as usual, but always made a few minutes to chat when they checked on us.  It was an enjoyable time, and we'll certainly be back.
Pompelmo Frizzante: Vodka, Sparkling Wine, Grapefruit, Vanilla, Lemon. $10.50.
I've really enjoyed all of the cocktails I've tried at Prospect, as they tend to be really well balanced.  This was no exception: sweet, but with some sour notes from the citrus as well.  Refreshing and enjoyable.
French Onion Dip, Potato Chips.  $5.
We didn't order this, but the bartender gave it to us as an extra treat.  It was pretty much the same as before.  I wouldn't get it again, but if you are craving chips and dip, it is a good execution.
Smoked Salmon Spread, Black Lavash Crackers.  $5.
The crackers (more like chips) were the same ones we saw last time in a smaller form in the wild salmon crudo.  I really liked them.  They were salty and had a subtle flavor from the squid ink that colored them, and added to the overall seafood flavors in the dish.  Crispy and fresh, not too oily.

The smoked salmon spread had pretty large chunks of smoked salmon in it, with a good salmon taste, but not as smokey as I would have liked.  The ratio of creamy base to salmon seemed a little off to me, too much of the cream cheese (?), as it overwhelmed the salmon flavor.

On the side was a little salad made from radish and arugula, dressed with a simple salty dressing, that was refreshing and paired well.

Emil really enjoyed this and at $5 it was a generous portion and good value.
Hot & Cold Sonoma Foie Gras: Plancha Seared, Terrine, Sicilian Pistachio, Local Strawberries, Aged Balsamic, Pistachio "Biscotti".  $22.
And the reason we were there, to check out the new foie gras preparation, a starter on the regular menu.

It featured both a hot and cold preparation, my favorite, as I can never pick!

The hot version was simply seared.  It had a decent sear on it, was served fairly warm, was nicely salted, and was pretty creamy and high quality.  It did have a few large veins in it however.  Good execution, but could be improved slightly by being served warmer, with a little more sear.  On par with most seared pieces we've had lately.  It was served on top of a very crispy, very oily, piece of toast.  It was too oily for my liking, but paired nicely with the foie.  The foie was also brushed with an aged balsamic, which added a subtle sweetness.

The cold version was a terrine.  It was incredibly creamy and smooth, nicely salty, and had one of the strongest foie flavors of any terrine or torchon I've had lately.  This was one of the best cold preparations we've had in ages.  Really nicely done.

The terrine was topped with a layer of strawberry gel, and there were some very flavorful compressed strawberry slices on the plate as well.  They were sweet and a good pairing.

Also with the terrine was a pistachio cream and a pistacho crumble.  I liked the crunch the crumble added, particularly given how creamy the terrine was, but pistachio isn't one of my favorite flavors, so I wasn't thrilled with this component.

There were also what was described as pistachio biscotti.  They were mush softer than they looked, and were packed with pistachio flavor.  If you like pistachio, you would probably like these, and the pairing with foie went well.

Finally, there was some lightly dressed watercress.  It was super bitter, fresh, and really enjoyable.

This was a very successful foie preparation, and makes me very excited to try out more dishes by the new chef!  Our favorite dish of the night, and at $22, a good portion size for the value.

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