I’ve decided that a large factor in determining how excited I will get about a restaurant is how many things I’ll be able to eat in one visit.
More is better, it turns out.
So, by more, I don’t mean large portions. I just mean an assortment of foods to try. I’m not a one-entrée and done kind of girl. I like to have an app, I like to have an entrée, I like to have dessert. And I prefer not be stuffed. Well, let’s clarify. I don’t think I mind being stuffed. Uncomfortably stuffed, I don't like. Got it?
So last night when our fabulous waiter at Heidi’s (I have finally made it to the new Heidi’s) told us that the menu is designed to let people create their own little tasting menus, I was sold. I immediately decided I liked it there. A lot.
There is an hors d'oeuvres section of the menu, with items comprised of a bite or two. There is a grouping of appetizers that are maybe twice that size. Regular sized entrees. Regular sized desserts. There are a lot of things you could do with this. You could create a meal of hors d'oeuvres. You could create a meal of hors d'oeuvres and apps. You could go the traditional route and pick one in each section.
And just while we’re talking about love—loved the décor in this place. A huge modern tree in the middle of the main dining room. A tasteful graffiti wall. Cool bright-colored chandeliers. A kitchen you can see into as you walk to and from your table.
And a great wait staff.
I started out with this uber chic cocktail that was as tasty as it was pretty. It was called the Pamplemousse, and it had a white wine base with Meyer lemon, grapefruit, and oranges. I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet. I hate overly sweet drinks.
And then I had the instant pork bun off the hors d'oeuvres list. It created a dose of excitement when it came to the table in a little pot with the lid shut tight. It was tasty, but it surprised me a bit, with a barbeque-ish flavor. It was okay; I didn’t love it. Probably my least favorite part of the meal.
But...oh how the Shefzilla Surprise app made me want to squeal with delight. Here's the deal: each week a new version of the Shefzilla Surprise makes it way onto the menu. You tell them if you have any food allergies, they tell you if you’re safe, and then you take a chance. They do a fantastic job at creating excitement about it without telling you what it is. I had to give it a whirl—and I’m glad I did. Ready for it? A big crouton….(the second they revealed a crouton, I was smitten)...fried in…duck fat. Duck. Fat. With an egg yolk prepared sous-vide. And cute little pea shoots. Can we say delicious?
Yes. Yes, we can.
I licked that plate clean. Well, to be honest, I dragged the last bit of crouton across every last remaining component on the dish. As my dining buddy Lizzie called me out on. :)
For my entrée, I picked the anise-scented lamb shank, which apparently has generated quite a following. It was very good—savory, falling off the bone tender, seasoned well. By that point in the meal though, I’d kind of had my fill of rich, so I’m not sure I ejoyed it as much as I could have. But still delicious.
By the time dessert came, we three were ready to share, and split the nitro chocolate mousse. I’ll let the menu description do the describing—you’ll get the point. “With roasted marshmallow, peanut butter bliss, and honey.”
Watch-out, friends. I have become obsessed with tasting menu-esque places. Had a similar experience at Meritage for brunch recently and was equally thrilled—details coming soon!