Thursday, June 17, 2010

EVOO @ Cambridge, MA

The husband and I picked EVOO for my birthday treat. The husband had wanted to bring me to Sorellina, an Italian restaurant which was given thumbs up and a must try by few of our friends. Dining at Sorellina will set the husband back easily $200 for some appetizers, entree, dessert and wine. Since the husband has gotten me a very nice birthday gift, I decided to be considerate and suggested we look for other fine dining place with an affordable prix fixe menu.
EVOO came up in the search and we can’t ignore the great reviews it was given by diners. And with a 3 course prix fixe menu of $38 (add $17 for wine pairing), this had to be the place!  Oh, and they try to use local ingredients in their daily menu. We were ecstatic to try out their eclectic menu.
We’ve looked at the menu online and somewhat made up our mind on what we were going to try. Upon arriving at the restaurant and being seated (a plus for the husband for making reservation!), we noticed we were given a daily menu. Some of the stuff we had seen online wasn’t there and was replaced by equally delicious selection.
Some bread and especially yummilicious grissini, olive oil & balsamic mixture was brought out for us to snack on.
All 5 of us took the prix fixe 3 course meal with wine pairing. It was a no brainer for us! There were about 7-8 kinds each of appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from their prix fixe menu. Here’s what we ordered:
1) Vermont Goat Cheese Pierogi with Roasted Garlic and Crazy Ben’s Locally Foraged Wine Cap Mushrooms (Bottom Left). Steve ordered this and if not for the goat cheese, I would have ordered this too! It looked so good, I think it tasted as good as it looks.
2) EVOO’s Country Pate with Pickled Fiddleheads, Boozy Fig Jam, Whole Grain Mustard and Grilled Bread (Bottom Right). Rob ordered this dish, and it must have been good coz he cleaned the plate.
3) Red Hot Oven Baked Pete & Jen’s Rabbit Empanadas with Peppered Celery Root Salad and Cilantro – Pumpkin Seed Puree (Bottom Left). Rabbit seem to be the thing for the husband, he will order rabbit if it’s on the menu. “Pete & Jen’s Rabbit” sounded like somebody’s pet, don’t you think? The husband thought the empanadas were just ok. I bet if it was fried, it would have tasted better. Who doesn’t like fried stuff?
4) New Jersey Asparagus soup with Parmigiano Reggiano, Red Chili Flakes and EVOO (Bottom Right). Seyda and I went for the soup. Seyda liked it, I wasn’t quite sure if I did. I love creamy smooth soup and this was something I did not expect. There were chunks of roughly pureed asparagus and it wasn’t creamy like how i like my soups. =)
5) Seared Golden Tilefish Fillet with Organic Potatoes, Fiddlehead Ferns, Wild Ramps, Cilantro, Curried Potato Broth and Minted Carrot Salad (Bottom Left). Seyda ordered this for her entree and I remember her loving her fish dish. It does look very good from the other side of the table. The skin of the fish looked like it was fried to crisp golden perfection.
6) Donnie’s spring Dug Parsnip Biscuit filled with Slices of Brown Sugar Cured-Hickory Smoked Leg of T’s Pig, Quick Pickled Sweet Onions, Equinox Farm’s Spinach and Caramelized Pig Gravy (Bottom Right). When this was first served to Rob, we all teased him that it was one heck of an expensive burger. =) It surely looked like a burger but definitely does not taste like your Mickey D’s or Burger King! It was delicious although we had a hard time trying to guess what was the grainy stuff in the gravy. r
7) Seared New Bedford Day Boat Sea Scallops with Smoky Pig’s Skin Risotto, Equinox Farm’s Spinach, Fennel, Crispy Onions and Sweet Pepper Vinaigrette (Bottom Left). This was mine, all mine and I love it. The sea scallops were huge, fresh and seared to perfection. The risotto; full of smoky pork flavors. Everything paired well together with my wine. =)
8) Turf in Surf; Crisp Fried Spicy Chicken Sausage Stuffed Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crab with Adobo, Smooth and Creamy Potato Salad and Spring Vegetable Slaw (Bottom Right). The husband and Steve ordered this and it looked SO CUTE when it came!! Portion was small, but it was good surf and turf!
We did not share/try each other’s entrees or appetizers but we surely pass the plate around when it  came to desserts. I unfortunately forgot to take with me their dessert menu. The name/description is to my best ability.
9) Chocolate Banana Pudding (Bottom Left). This was pretty good, although the chocolate flavors were stronger than the banana.
10) Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake with Toasted Marshmallow (Bottom Right). This was sinfully delicious. Very dense and rich with a slightly goey chocolaty “filling”. I would recommend this if you’re a big chocolate fan.
11) Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Crisp with Sour Cream Ice Cream (Bottom Left). I’m not a big fan of rhubarb so this is something I wouldn’t order. It is good if you like rhubarb. The sour cream surprisingly tasted better than expected. It reminded me of frozen yoghurt.
12) Sticky Toffee Parsnip Cake with Prune Raisin Ice Cream & Spiced Walnuts (Bottom Right). This was the yummiest dessert that night. Well, at least Seyda and I agree that I picked the best one. The prune ice cream was creamy good. The parsnip cake surpassed my expectation of a “vegetable cake” and was so rich and yummy. Spiced walnuts were the best I’ve tasted.
Service that night wasn’t the greatest for a fine dining restaurant. I guess, the casualness in the restaurant down played the service. The 3 hostesses were not very professional and looking at them work standing around looking awkwardly pretty doing almost nothing were to me a waste of resource. The place weren’t that big to need 3 hostesses. Our wait staff were also so-so; nothing to shout about. The one who brought us our wine pairing was so busy she didn’t quite stop and explain the wine nicely to us. She tend to walk away as she tells us the wine we were drinking.
Despite the somewhat poor service, EVOO scored an above average in my books. I give the place 2 thumbs up for its creative and quite delicious menu. The service does have room for some improvement. Portions were just nice if you take a 3 course meal, with no left overs to take home unlike when we dined at L’andana Grill. L’andana has one of the best service, and yes bang for my buck!! I do like that EVOO uses local produce and tells you where they got them from. =)
Head over to EVOO’s for some modern American cuisine! You’ll be surprised with their eclectic MENU.
350 3rd Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
(617) 661-3866

Simply June 

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