Monthly Archives: February 2008

Goin’ South

Remember that CD “Goin’ South” from the ads on TV? You know, the one that featured all those trashy country-rock anthems like “Hold On Loosely” and “Bad to the Bone”?

Yeah, that was cool.

South Food and Wine Bar, though…not so cool. Not bad, per se, but certainly nowhere near as entertaining as an evening spent with a sixer of PBR and your boom box cranked with Georgia Satellites.

Perhaps I’m getting old, but the noise level at South verged on deafening. (Maybe too much Skynyrd in my past.) I’d suggest they invest in noise dampening tiles, but they already had them on the ceiling. Oh well.

They started us off with bread bits (think Fondue-sized chunks) served with Duka. Or is it Dooka? Or Ducca? Or Dookuh? Mac nuts, peanuts, cumin, coriander and sea salt, chopped up in a tiny condiment bowl, along with house-made olive oil. I guess I just didn’t get it. I mean, individually, all those ingredients are wonderful. In combination, however, South managed to create a flavor-free poultice that didn’t stick to the bread. (Read: Hard to get in mouth.)

My Haloumi Salad was tasty enough, with Apple, Fennel, Walnuts, Beetroot and Wild Rocket, but nothing about it wowed me.

I was psyched to see a vegetarian entrée on the menu—a Wild Mushroom, Sunchoke and Pecorino Pie—but again, it didn’t knock my socks off. It was good in that way that anything salty and bubbly and baked is good. So I suppose I ought not complain.

I dunno. Maybe I’m being overly harsh after my brush with heaven at Cyrus . But riddle me this, Batman—must every dish be served with a garnish of chives sprinkled atop it? Like, my partner’s Lamb, my friend’s Beef, and my Pie, all festooned with chives. It reminded me of the omnipresent sprigs of parsley at Denny’s. (Parsley with my pancakes? Sure. Makes perfect sense.)

I guess we could have been left with a more positive impression had we not ordered dessert. The Coconut Rice Pudding was a glutinous bore. I mean for chrissake, people, it’s RICE and COCONUT! Two of the most delicious things known to humanity. And yet.

So, in summary, points for having a veggie option—especially when the delicacies from Down Under tend to be so meaty—but the joint ain’t up to the hype. Unlike Pure Prairie League. They deserve the kudos, for sure. (Amie, what are you gonna do?)

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Filed under Mid-range Meals, Reviews

Cyrus

I cried.

That’s my two-word review. I think it just about says it all.

But being the long-winded rambler that I am, I’ll give you the full-meal deal.

Dinner at Cyrus was nothing short of transcendent. There were moments during my meal when I literally shook my head in disbelief. Where did these flavors come from? How did something so wonderful wind up on my fork? If I took smaller bites, could I make each course last just a little bit longer? It was like reading a book you wished would never end.

People, one dish included a flavor I had never tasted before. I think my partner said it best: “It’s like seeing a color you never knew existed.” At that point, the only thing I could manage to write in my little notebook was “WTF?! OMG.” I was reduced to text messaging-isms, for chrissake.

But let me back up. Continue reading

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Filed under Major Coin, Reviews

Countdown to Cyrus

Saturday night, people. It’s ON. Finally, dinner at Cyrus.

I just called the restaurant to let them know they’ll have a veggie in the house. They were sweet as punch about it.

I. Can’t. Wait.

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