Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Local Resturants Part 3. The Berkeley Hotel Thanksgiving

We made our yearly thanksgiving reservations again this year, and since we had plans in Richmond Friday, we decided to go with a restaurant there. So I looked around to find something that had a bunch of options for us and made our reservation at the Dining Room at the Berkeley Hotel.

They still have their menu up from Thanksgiving so at least for now you can take a peak here. http://www.berkeleyhotel.com/pdfs/thanksgiving2013.pdf

No pictures again... I fail at food blogging. Sorry- ill add some stock photos to jazz things up a bit.

Amuse Bouche- Broiled Brie, beet puree, walnut.- I'm not a huge fan of brie, I avoid it when I can. That being said other than the proportions of brie/beet/walnut. it wasn't bad. The piece of brie was overly large, and the walnut was just that- a full piece of walnut- which made it an awkward bite. The beets were nice and sweet to go with the salty cheese.
Appetizers- I got the Purple potato croquettes. Which let me tell you was amazing! It is SO fun to cut into a fried ball of potato to see that it is bright purple! The Mornay sauce with Harvati was so good- especially combined all together with the croquette and the country ham which they sliced super thin and fried up like bacon. Savory and salty and so full of flavor. MBM got (of no surprise) the cold smoked salmon. He loved it- I didn't try it since Im not a fan of salmon. But I did try the haricots verts that came with it as a side. WOW. Lemon and dill on cold green beans- they were fantastic. The kind of thing you want to eat as a snack like potato chips!

Salad- Candied ginger, almonds, champagne vinaigrette. Lackluster at best. The candied ginger was great, I love the sweetness followed by that spicy ginger bite. My biggest gripe was there was little to no dressing on the salad. And I LOVE champagne vinaigrette so I was very disappointed.
Entrees- I had the smoked pork tenderloin with fingerling sweet potatoes, roasted haricot verts and cranberries. Firstly, Im not a fan of sweet potatoes- and these had no sugar added as many of our families do with brown sugar and/or marshmallows. But they were ok. I certainly ate most of them- provided they were coated with a bit a salt first. The green beans (different from the ones in the appetizer) but were still very good, fresh and cooked perfectly to still have that little bit of crunch. The pork tenderloin was definitely the star of the plate. Smoky and more tender than any pork loin Ive ever had. MBM had Orange and Pepper rubbed lamb with acorn squash risotto. The flavors of the risotto and the orange/pepper I found to be muted a bit by the cranberry demi-glace, but everything was still very good, and the lamb was delicious.
Dessert- For me- pumpkin creme brulee with more of the candied ginger. For MBM- apple butter chess pie. The creme brulee was so good. I love pumpkin pie- and this was like a creamier version minus the crust plus that nice caramelized sugar crunch on top and the spice of the ginger. 

The Friday after Thanksgiving was dinner with MBMs family. His Mom, Grandmother, 7 of the 8 kids (we were missing one who is off at college) plus family friends M&C who are also in our wedding, and the next eldest brother's girlfriend and her mother and step-father (who incidentally doesnt speak english). Makes for a very large but very fun group.
MBM and the next eldest brother dont always get along well. But it was a pleasant weekend, and it was nice to get to know his girlfriend who is very nice- especially since I heard from a little bird that I am likely to soon have another sister-in-law.

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