Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hinterland | Restaurant Week Dinner

This past weekend, Tyler and I had a chance to venture out and join other gastronomics for one of the more ingenious tourism schemes in our area, Restaurant Week. This year, Restaurant Week featured 60 restaurants offering reduced lunch and dinner menus for $10, $20, and $30. When culinary delights like Hinterland and Three Three Five partake, one would be simply foolish to not enjoy a night out at one of these establishments.

We started our evening with cocktails expertly crafted by the bartender Christina. My favorite was the Bourbon Peach Old Fashioned made with Four Roses Small Batch bourbon, peach purée, bitters, and press, pictured below. 

Our three-course meals began with appetizers. Tyler chose the pork shoulder, I chose the Ledgeview Farms tomato salad with sunflower sprouts, chèvre, basil vinaigrette and balsamic reduction pictured below. I'm normally not a fan of tomatoes, but this salad was excellent. I do wish there had been more chèvre, however. 

For our entrees, we both selected the Branch River Trout with Indian couscous, pole beans, chanterelle mushrooms, and lemon caper emulsion. It was decadent. The flavor combination was perfect and had me practically licking the plate. 

For dessert, Tyler selected the milk chocolate peanut butter silk with strawberries, and I selected the vanilla gelato with pomegranate and pickled blackberries. Personally, I loved the silk exponentially more than the gelato. The milk chocolate and peanut butter silks were separated by a thin layer of wafer crisp, providing an unexpected, but welcomed, texture contrast. I eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Needless to say, it was so good, we didn't document it before it was eaten...

Overall, I would give the experience an 8 out of 10. The food was great, but the service could have used a nudge. While I recognize it was a busy night and know from personal experience how unnerving a busy night in fine dining can be, a busy night is not an excuse for inattentiveness. Our server was pleasant but didn't stand out like some of the previous servers who have taken care of us at Hinterland. Multiple servers did not fill of our rapidly emptying water glasses even while carrying water pitchers, one of the service steps I pay high attention to when dining out. That being said, it's very difficult to have an absolutely perfect experience anywhere you go. We appreciate what Hinterland has always strived for: sustainability, thoughtful production, and creative culinary delights. We will definitely return!

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