Chef John Fraser, the owner of Dovetail, is no stranger to me. Well I do not know him personally and would love to meet him; it is more that I have a personal story related to one of his restaurants that unfortunately closed few years ago: Compass, located few blocks down from Dovetail. That is where Jodi and I went for a drink on our first date. We went back few times to celebrate our anniversary or other occasions, always having a great experience there.
Anyway, Chef Fraser has an impressive resume: he worked at the famous French Laundry and Taillevent, an award winning restaurant in Paris. I was so thrilled to see how he works his magic.
So, this time I was at Dovetail, located few steps from the Museum of Natural History. I like the place: the decor is simple and elegant. I went with some friends on a Monday night and, to my surprise, the restaurant was packed.
Menu wise, they offer seasonal dishes. For dinner, you have a choice between the vegetarian menu and the Chef's menu. I went for the latter.
To accompany the meal, we decided to order a bottle of red wine. A Crozes Hermitage 2010.
At first, they brought us some amuse. It started with truffled arancini, rosemary crackers and white cheddar corn bread that were all very good and a great way to open our appetite.
Then, they brought us a delicious leek panacotta topped with honeydew.
I think the most difficult part of eating that was the tiny spoon they give you...
For the appetizer, I decided to try the steak tartare that one of my friends recommended.
I rediscovered steak tartare during my last vacation in France and started to really enjoy it. This one was prepared with preserved eggplant, brown butter and capers. It is not your usual steak tartare, served with an egg on top, often a quail egg in elegant restaurants. If you always wanted to try, but found that raw ground meat does not look appetizing, you may want to try it as it does not look exactly like a steak tartare, the ingredients being mixed together, the sauce hiding the raw meat color (and the dimmed light helping even more). It was really good and original. They were served with some very thin crackers for added texture and I truly appreciated the fact that it was well balanced, the capers standing out from time to time.
The second course was a vegetarian dish. I went for the ricotta royale with Summer truffles.
This was my least favorite dish, missing some freshness and I was expecting that the summer truffles would be tasty, with this pungent taste so particular to this fungus, but it was not the case. I should mention the nice presentation of this colorful dish, especially the peas.
For the third course, I went for the Colorado lamb.
I love lamb and was very excited when it came as I could smell it and admired the plating that made that dish very appetizing. If you love lamb, I really recommend this dish: it was served with peas that were crunchy and tendrils that I did not really like, served like small quenelles.
The meat was cooked perfectly (I asked for medium), being slightly pink n the center, tender and juicy, with a bit of fat that was delightful.
After that fantastic dish, here comes again the all spoon! It was for a watermelon sorbet topped with Korean chili flakes.
It was like a palate cleanser, very refreshing. I did not find any particular taste to the chili flakes.
For the last course, dessert, I ordered the soufflé.
In lots of restaurants, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to prepare a soufflé and they often ask you to order it right away or mention it on the menu so you are warned that it takes some time. At Dovetail, it takes 9 minutes. It is served with a macadamia-pineapple ice cream and a caramel sauce very buttery, not too sweet.
That was a fantastic soufflé: perfectly cooked, with the outside a bit crunchy on top and the inside deliciously liquid and very chocolate-y. I loved the combination caramel / chocolate (and even ice cream), that make this dessert delightfully decadent and a must have.
I then finished my dinner with a decaf espresso:
And some petits fours: coconut macarons, tamarind pates de fruits and green tea and chai chocolate:
This was a great dinner: the food was well presented, delicious and the service perfect. No wonder why this restaurant has one Michelin star and I would not be surprised that they get a second one ! Chapeau Chef!
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!