Spoon aims for extraordinary yet remains inviting
Few restaurants can pull off upscale without coming across as uppity, unapproachable or just plain pretentious. Spoon pulls it off, boasting a modern elegance without going overboard.
The restaurant isn’t located Downtown, like some of the city’s new shining stars, and it doesn’t offer the grand views of Mom and Dad’s favorite fancy-schmancy Mt. Washington dinosaurs.
But it is a destination.
Situated on East Liberty’s South Highland Avenue, Spoon welcomes guests with a valet (a classy and welcome touch considering the oft-times nightmare-ish lack of parking in the area) and ushers them into a warm dining space with a muted color scheme and low lighting. The vibe is equal parts elite and inviting and the staff seems to cater to that vibe exclusively.
Having dined at Brian Pekarcik’s other establishments, neighboring BRGR and new-ish Grit & Grace, I came expecting the same level of top-notch service, and I wasn’t disappointed.
All too gracious in menu explanations, effusive in adoration of the chef team and kind enough to share personal recommendations, our waiter was attentive without being overbearing and always appeared at the table with a genuine smile. The authenticity was calming, and I settled in for what I expected to be an excellent meal.
Each experience at Spoon must begin with a beverage. Whether you crave a craft cocktail or prefer to partake in a glass (or bottle) of wine, they have you covered. With an array of wines from all over the world, local spirits and a team that includes an expert sommelier and talented bartenders, you’ll be served something extraordinary. After your meal, be sure to look at the “after dinner” menu, with its selections of port, sherry, brandy and coffee drinks.
The menu at Spoon is ever-changing, since it adopts local sourcing, as do many of the city’s top restaurants. Indulgence is a word that can be applied to many portions of the menu. Patrons can order with a portion of foie gras, although most dishes are decadent enough on their own.
For starters, indulge in the Gorgonzola Bleu Cheese Souffle. Definitely a standout on the appetizer listing, the souffle is easily shareable (we recommend you don’t try to take on this rich dish alone) and full of flavor. Beautifully presented, each plate was served with a balsamic tossed side of beets, frisee, arugula and candied walnuts.
The other appetizers on the menu differ from most first-course listings at other restaurants. The Chicken & Hominy Hot Pot and the Maryland Crab Salad are welcome additions to the tiresome rotation of regular apps we’re used to seeing.
The essence of Spoon is showcased on the entrees menu, a blend of approachable and exquisite. The chef team has carefully paired ingredients and ensured that all are prepared and plated masterfully. From the grilled hanger steak atop a shaved papaya slaw drizzled with chimichurri hollandaise to the stacked Spoon burger, attention to detail is apparent. The fries, dusted with freshly grated parmesan cheese and sprinkled with herbs, are the perfect accompaniment to the seasoned patty that nestles between aged white cheddar and a brioche bun.
If your tastes are not singular, your table can opt for a five-course chef’s tasting menu with optional beverage pairings. It’s a brilliant choice for Spoon newcomers to sample some of the best that the restaurant has to offer.
Spoon’s dessert menu continues the theme of indulgence with listings that range from gourmet candy bars to unique spins on tiramisu to classic carrot cakes with a twist.
Most impressive of all is the housemade ice cream and sorbet from Spoon’s pastry chef. Selections change daily, so be sure to check with your server. Flavors have included lemon basil, pineapple and coconut. Generous helpings are perfectly scooped and placed in bowls with caramelized sugar garnish. Each listing boasts a beverage pairing for those who like to partake in after-dinner nightcaps.
While you needn’t don a jacket and tie, dressing for dinner is encouraged, as is packing your appetite and curiosity. From start to finish, Spoon should feel confident in its place among some of the city’s most exclusive dining destinations.
Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/diningout/7959516-74/spoon-menu-chef#axzz3WXYRrCvt
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