Sunday, December 9, 2007


Note: Bite has closed.

Visited this incredibly hipster place in Hillcrest with D., my uncle, aunt, and cousins. Great food, but the ambiance was a bit much. Loud music, bad acoustics, and a very stark contemporary decor. Friendly staff, very helpful. Our server was the exception, unfortunately. Our server seemed almost contemptuous of our group from the beginning, which was a little shocking. Even though she came close to sneering at us, at least the food arrived warm and our drinks were refilled occasionally. They started us off with crostini topped with eggplant tapenade, which wasn't on the menu. The rest of the items, except dessert, were from the menu.

Potato Pancake with Smoked Trout, Dill Crème Fraiche and Apple-Apricot Chutney- Pretty good dish, especially the chutney. I'd say, if anything, I didn't really taste much of the potato pancake, but the accompaniments were delicious.
Yam Gnocchi with Rock Shrimp, Toasted Hazelnuts, Haricot Vert and Sage Butter- The worst dish of our meal... the gnocchi were mushy and greasy and the shrimp had an overwhelming "fishy" flavor, like they weren't fresh.
Deconstructed Nicoise with Seared Ahi Tuna “au poivre” in Tellicherry Peppercorns- One of the best dishes of the meal, with crisp green beans, delicious slices of hard-boiled egg, and perfectly seared tuna. The components were so fresh and well-prepared that the dressing was almost unnecessary.
Pizza of Rock Shrimp, Grilled Corn, House Smoked Tomato Sauce and Feta- very good with a crispy crust. The rock shrimp worked better in this dish than the gnocchi.
Housemade Duck Proscuitto with Wine Poached Seckel Pear and Mache- I liked the flavor of the pears, but they completely overwhelmed the proscuitto and I couldn't taste the duck at all.
Foie Gras Crème Brulee with Anise Fig Bread “Panini” and Intense Herb Sprout Salad- I loved the creme brulee, which had the nuttiness of the foie gras, the fluffiness of a mousse, and topped by a caramelized sugar crust. My uncle felt that the anise fig bread was a little too strong and kind of dominated the creme brulee's flavor, but I liked it.
Steak Frite, Red Wine Marinated Flat Iron Steak, Garlic French Fries, Béarnaise and Lamb Meat Balls, Rich Spicy Tomato Sauce with Grilled Polenta and Wild Arugula- my reaction to both these dishes are "they're very good". They are, but nothing outrageously special about them. (picture below of the meatballs)
Hand Rolled Raviolis of Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Demi Glaze, Marscapone and Porchini mushroom salt and Crispy Veal Sweetbreads wrapped in Pancetta with Red Onion Jam- I didn't try these, but everyone else liked them. I don't eat veal and sweetbreads are brains... even I'm not brave enough for that, yet.
They had a dessert special that was almost like a mini-baked Alaska. Pistachio ice cream covered with meringue and sitting on a little piece of molten chocolate cake. The meringue was toasted. It was served with little bits of cherries (like the multi-colored maraschino cherries). It was incredible. Hopefully they'll serve it for a while.
For wine, we ordered a bottle of the Ercavio Tempranillo. I'm not big on wine, but I really enjoyed it. It's not dry at all and slightly sweet. I'd definitely go back, as I thought the food was fairly inventive and generally well-executed. I'd probably ask for another server, though.

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