How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I’ll start with the butter. Brought to your table at room temperature, just this side of liquid, and sprinkled with sea salt. Spread on the crusty, chewy whole grain or sourdough bread, it literally melts in your mouth.
Next, the season-driven menu. There is truly something for every palate, and it’s arranged handily into cold and hot starters, land, sea, air, and ground. Loved the contrasting textures and flavors of the Cucumber Carpaccio with Crispy Shrimp, although I wasn’t sure whether to eat it or photograph it. An updated take on an old standard, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, was a crowd pleaser. The soup was luscious, with just the right amount of acidity and sweetness. I dipped the wood-grilled, herby goat cheese sandwich repeatedly while fending off my friends. Wow! Don’t know that I’d ever tire of that combo.
The Salmon entrée, served with an herbed crust and a side of Brussels sprouts tossed with bacon, mustard, cheese, and breadcrumbs, was a stunner. Likewise the phenomenal Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs served with a bleu cheese risotto.
I could wax rhapsodic about the inventive martinis — Lillet-Sage Tini or the pear-infused Quince Tini, anyone? — or the lovely, relaxed atmosphere and understated service. But truth is I’m still aquiver from the Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake with Dried Cherries and the Warm Sugared Doughnuts with Cider and Crème Fraiche. If this place doesn’t put you in the mood, not much will. I think I need a moment.