by Debby Critchley
A group of us had dinner at Restaurant Eve during Restaurant Week and it was amazing. Chef Armstrong offered the regular bistro menu with three courses for only $35. If I had to choose my last meal, it would have to be from Restaurant Eve. The appetizers we tried included the Filipino Street BBQ composed of two pieces of barbecued pork belly with a biting vinegar dipping sauce, beef tartar, and crab cakes. Each was beyond wonderful. We had to choose among a wide variety of delicious entrees including steak, soft shell crabs, Arctic char, sea bass, and skate served with ‘potato leek soup’. Words can barely describe how good the entrees were. Dessert choices were also amazing and included a deconstructed cheesecake (which was inhaled by my tablemate, Mary) and a chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream. A big shout out to our servers, Nick and Blake for making an outstanding dinner even better. Dining is more than just the food. The ambience and service all add to your enjoyment. Restaurant Eve does not disappoint. Every dish was served beautifully. Each plate or bowl complimented the item. My Filipino Street BBQ was brought on a piece of slate. The steak sat on a colorful artisan plate that complimented the vegetable relish.
I went back a second time with my cousins who had never been to Restaurant Eve before. I swear the food was even better this time. One of my cousins was lactose intolerant. We all agreed that we have never eaten at any restaurant that took such great pains to help her enjoy her meal. Our server was quite knowledgeable about what items she should avoid and what would be appropriate choices. We were served mini-appetizers of a deviled quail egg, a mini quenelle of rabbit liver, and a gougere. My guest was given a baby tomato salad to avoid the cheese. These delights were followed with an amuse bouche of fennel cream soup. OMG! Our appetizers were outstanding. There are just not enough words to describe how good everything was. I had galantine of rabbit for my entrée. The sear on the outside and tender meat inside was outstanding. Both of my cousins had the bouillabaisse. Now, I don’t want to say that one of them is a fussy eater but… when she used a piece of bread to sop up the remaining broth, I knew she liked it. I tasted the seafood and broth and had to agree, this was better than any bouillabaisse I had in Europe. The balance of saffron and seasonings in the bowl were amazing. Served in a small soup tureen, the dish delivered everything you want in a fish soup. Dessert brought difficult choices again. A trio of sorbets – apricot, cantaloupe, and plum – tasted of pure fruit essence. And lactose free! My cousin finished two scoops and said she couldn’t eat another bite. Then she ate the third scoop. I had the cheesecake and now know why Mary didn’t leave a crumb on her plate last week.
We also visited BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier. The menu was more limited and included a choice of three appetizers, a smoked trout parfait with French green beans and pickled onions; a cavatelli, and an heirloom tomato gazpacho. The parfait was quite lovely but I never found the pickled onions. My companion gobbled down the cavatelli so I can only assume it was delicious. Entrée choices were limited to a grilled Angus bistro filet with roasted vegetables and a red wine jus. We chose the Chesapeake blue catfish. The fish was perfect. The napa cabbage and red peppers under the fish stole the show. There were two desserts, a honey sagamite waffle with blueberry compote and corn ice cream. The ice cream was almost better than eating corn on the cob. The other choice, a chocolate mousse, was rich, creamy, decadent, and delicious. My advice to all – don’t miss the next Restaurant Week!