Friday, August 22, 2014

Three Three Five | Anniversary Dinner

If you live in Green Bay, by now you've probably heard of the downtown restaurant Three Three Five. It's certainly deserving of all the buzz. Owner and head chef Chris Mangless has created a dining studio that is worthy of Chicago or New York's critical eye. The open kitchen concept is fascinating and friendly, as you can see your food being prepared in front of you. It's an art form, really. Chris pairs creativity with a considerate and thoughtful mindset that has SLO food (Sustainable, Local, Organic) fans in the area excited as well. Only open to the public on select Wednesdays, Three Three Five is somewhat of an illusory place, second only to Narnia, or perhaps Hogwarts or The Shire. Patience pays off, however, and the good people at Three Three Five try to accommodate as many people as they can when they are open.

I frequently tell people that Three Three Five is the best restaurant in Green Bay. You could say I'm a little biased; I consider Chris a friend of mine, and my fiancé proposed to me at Three Three Five. That being said, I would consider it disrespectful to give a less-than-honest review of any restaurant just because I am acquainted with the owner or staff. I have many friends in the service industry ranging from servers and cooks to owners and investors. I have been blessed (and cursed) with the knowledge of this industry from growing up in it and working in it, as well as the opportunities to dine at some of the best restaurants across the globe. Constructive criticism can sting, but it can lead to reflection and improvement.

Be that as it may, I have little to say in the way of constructive criticism concerning Three Three Five. Our meal and experience was wonderful. When I made our reservation, I mentioned that we were celebrating our anniversary. Upon arrival, we were greeted with two complementary glasses of sparkling wine served at the perfect temperature in lovely Reidel glasses. I adore a place with great glassware. We also ordered one of the house cocktails, "The Mangler". Comprised of bourbon, earl grey tea, absinthe, and Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, The Mangler had a much lighter, more refreshing taste to it than I expected. The ice ball was very welcome, as an ice ball prevents dilution better than regular ice cubes.

We ordered a variety of shared plates as our meal. The Wisconsin Artisan Cheese platter is a guilty pleasure of mine. We were served Hooks Four Year Cheddar, the Carr Valley Ba Ba Bleu, LaClare Farms Evalon goat cheese, and the Wisconsin Sheep co-op triple cream, along with an assortment of crackers, dried figs, and apricots. They were all delectable, providing a wonderful array of flavors and textures, although I personally loved the Evalon the most. 

The Cape Cod bay mussels were tasty, but I think the sauce they were served in was the real star of the plate. It was reminiscent of a hearty tomato soup beefed up with small strings of onions and bits of smoked ham. I lapped up as much as I could with the sourdough toast that came with it. Perhaps a few more mussels could have been thrown in.

The Wagyu beef was the risky delicacy of the evening. I say that because what often happens when my fiancé and I eat at someplace like Three Three Five is I look over the menu, pick out what I think will be most interesting and delicious, tell him what I think, and he usually agrees without looking. He claims that I know what the dishes are better than he does. This may be true a certain percentage of the time, but I definitely took advantage of it in this instance. You see, the Wagyu meats in this dish were braised tongue and shaved tenderloin. I knew Tyler hadn't looked at the menu and read the ingredients. I gleefully informed him after he ate every last bite. We have since taken up a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when we dine out: he doesn't ask, and I don't tell. The Wagyu dish with the meats, polenta, kohlrabi, and salsa verde was crisp, savory, and filling. The Wagyu was tender and juicy with great flavor. The kohlrabi was the perfect texture contrast in the dish.

Although it is always hard to choose a favorite dish, I must say that the 335 Patio Figs were divine. The thick slices of sourdough toast topped with chèvre, fresh figs, La Quercia prosciutto, saba (sweet syrup from grape must), and nasturtium leaves left me yearning for more. I enjoy a great dish that makes me close my eyes and enjoy while wondering if all of this consumption will give me a heart attack an an early age. I would rather die fat and happy anyways, especially if my last meal was at Three Three Five.

To top off our celebratory dinner, we satisfied our sweet teeth with the Meyer lemon pound cake and the bittersweet chocolate budino. My heavens. The whipped creme fraiche with the pound cake tasted like angels' wings had graced our plates. The budino itself was so silky and sexy with it's cocoa nibs and gingersnap, I would have taken it home any night of the week. We could not get enough of them. On the outside, we may have looked like a sweet couple sharing our spoons, but on the inside, we were calculating exactly how many bites were left and how we would get more than the other person without them noticing. It was a draw.


The only fallback to our evening was at the end of the night when we asked for our check. From the moment we asked for our check to the moment we signed our receipt, it took roughly eight minutes. Eight minutes may not sound like a long time, but when you're sitting at a cleared table ready to leave, it can feel like an eternity. We had also asked for a specific way our payment be handled, and it wasn't taken care of the way we asked. We were aware that our server had gotten more tables seated in his section in the meantime, and he thanked us for our patience. However, a rule of thumb when a server gets unexpectedly overwhelmed is to ask for help from your fellow servers. Certainly no one is perfect, and it by no means ruined our evening. 

Overall, I would give our experience a 9 out of ten. I have yet to be dissatisfied upon leaving Three Three Five, and I will still tell anyone who will listen that it's the best restaurant in Green Bay. If you don't believe me that such an enchanting place exists in Green Bay, follow the yellow brick road north on Broadway, click your heels three times, and enter Three Three Five. If you can't people-watch at a window seat, be sure to ask for a table at the bar and watch the action. You won't be disappointed.

No comments:

Post a Comment