Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tasting Menu at Craigie on Main

I started this blog almost a year ago (November 4, 2010) and its amazing to see how far I have come since then.  When I first started, I really had no idea where it was going to take me but I knew it would be a great way to keep track of all the fun places I go and what I see - but also, it turned out to be a fantastic way to track all the restaurants I frequented.  Finally, I can recall what I ate and if I actually liked it!  Even better it got me to try new places rather than continually going to my comfort zone.

When a new internet venture, Tasted Menu, contacted me to help build up their website I was more that willing to help out.  Tasted Menu does not limit you to review the restaurant, but every menu item, so you have a good feeling about what the plates will look like when it comes to your table.  There is nothing worse than ordering a dish and being totally let down when you see it in person.  Since I loved the concept of Tasted Menu, I was more than willing to go into my archives and start add my reviews to the site.  As a thank you, the founder Alex took myself, RachelElizabeth and the One Food Guy, due to our number of photos, to Craigie on Main for the 8 course tasting menu.  Having been to Craigie once before for dinner and then for the BEST burger so needless to say I was excited for the tasting menu.

When I arrived, Rachel, Elizabeth and I were a bit early and decided to ask for some bread as we all had not eaten for most of day in order to leave plenty of room for dinner, but we were hungry!  Nothing like some fresh rolls to get things going for the evening.

Fresh Rolls
Once the rest of our table arrived, ordering went quickly because all we had to say was the 8 course tasting menu!  To begin, we were served three amuse preparations; house-cured Portuguese sardine, house-smoked artic char with a buttermilk vinaigrette and an Albacore tuna rillettes with hackleback caviar.  These really fit the definition of an amuse (something I did not know about until Top Chef), just a bite to awaken your taste buds to get you ready for the rest of dinner.  The flavors of these three bites did just that - fun combinations that just wet your whistle.

The Trio
The Tuna
Arctic Char
For drinks I was at a bit of a loss because the menu has a number of specialty cocktails, so special I must admit I was not sure of many of the flavors.  Rather than turning to my phone, I turned to our server who recommended the Northern Lights, which has St Germain, Scotch, citrus and Bittermens Tiki.  I love St. Germain but am not a Scotch person but decided  to just go for it.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my first sip and then the entire drink!

Northern Lights
Hiramasa Sashimi that was served on top of watermelon radish and topped with green apple with saba streaking the plate.  The apple provided such a good contrast in flavor to the fresh hiramasa (yellowtail) - just a taste but big affect.

Hiramasa Sashimi
Slow-cooked Tasmanian Sea Trout Mi-Cuit with a coquillage stew, pine nuts, golden raisins and cardoon puree.

Slow-cooked Tasmanian Sea Trout Mi-Cuit
House-made lentil conchigliette pasta with wild hare and lentil du Puys ragout.

House-Made Lentil Conchigliette Pasta
When it came time for my second drink, I decided on something a bit more sparkly, the Casino Imperial, which is sparkling wine, calvados and absinthe.

Casino Imperial
Ragout of local forest mushrooms, cock's comb, and wild boar sausage, with a poached farm fresh egg, forbidden rice grits, herbs and flowers.

Grilled pork belly with maitake mushrooms, rutabaga and foie gras puree, candied walnuts and a candied radish slice.

Grilled Pork Belly
Close up on deliciousness
Boudin noir stuffed and pork belly wrapped quail with an autumn olive coulis, farro and matsutake mushrooms.

Boudin Noir Stuffed and Pork Belly Wrapped Quail
Look at those little legs!
Since we were being indulgent and they are irresistible, we ordered a side of the brussel sprouts roasted in duck fat.  These are the brussel sprouts that I try to replicate but haven't been able to.  These are just so delicious!

Duck Fat Brussel Sprouts
The other side being offered this evening was bone marrow.  I have only had bone marrow butter at Mooo..., but that is less intimidating looking because it has been put back into a bleached bone.  This side on the other hand is basically three halves of a cow leg.  The plate is served along side a plate of Texas side toast, so you just scoop out the marrow and spread it like butter over the toast.

Bone Marrow
Marrow spread toast
As a palette cleanser we had a celery and green apple sorbet with candied celery and cheese.

Celery and Green Apple Sorbet
Then we were served four desserts to sample and share.  My favorite (and the one served to me) was the bittersweet chocolate mousse tart with smoked salt butterscotch, huckleberry, white chocolate-miso ice cream.

Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Tart
Finally as a special treat we had a...

Craigie On Main on Urbanspoon


  1. What a sensational meal, everything looks so beautiful! I have had the Ragout of local forest mushrooms, what a standout dish that is. and I really liked the Northern Lights too! that ones been on the menu forever. This whole meal reminds me how badly i need to go back here!

  2. I love Craigie on Main (and Tasted Menu)! What a lovely meal!

  3. Everything looks amazing... but I really, really want those brussels sprouts!

  4. WOW - no other words. Well maybe a few - Duck Fat Brussels Sprouts! I just made them at a cooking class at the BCAE the other night called "What the Duck?" and they were oustanding. This meal looks incredible. i need to get back there.

  5. I LOVE the tasting menus at Craigie. So amazing.


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