June 7, 2015, posted by Gina – My family went to a new restaurant last night and as you can see the atmosphere was great and the menu had a farm fresh vibe.
Our waiter recommended the poutine for an appetizer and even though we were unfamiliar with what poutine is exactly, we decided to try it. We were not disappointed, just look at that cast iron skillet of goodness:
Once home, I investigated this epicurean mystery and discovered that poutine is a Quebec (or French Canadian) staple of homemade french fries with white cheddar cheese curls and beef gravy. The version we enjoyed was a combination of french fries topped with black-eyed pea chili, sharp cheddar cheese and gremolata (a chopped herb condiment made of lemon zest, garlic and parsley).
My husband and son ordered a wedge salad. The chef took a little creative license and put a twist on this by using romaine lettuce instead of the traditional iceberg. The lettuce was topped with Asher blue (a naturally rinded cheese made in the US), country ham instead of the traditional bacon, spring onions, radishes and a buttermilk dressing that was smooth, creamy and full of flavor. While looking at this bowl of freshness, I decided that the next time I make salad it will be this one and making fresh dressing is what takes a salad from so-so to fabulous. Here is my recipe for buttermilk dressing:
GINA’S BUTTERMILK DRESSING
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 green onions, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients. Let sit in refrigerator a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to come together.
My entrée was a great combination of braised southern peas (black-eyed peas, field peas and butter beans), summer squash and sorghum grilled chicken breast. An interesting fact about sorghum is that it looks very similar to corn while growing in the field. This grain is best known for producing sweet sorghum syrup and is mostly grown in Kentucky and Tennessee but can also be found in Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas.
Back to my entrée, the sorghum flavored the entire dish giving the broth a slight sweetness that contrasted with the other savory flavors. The chicken had a sweet-smokey grilled flavor that put this main dish staple over the top.
My husband and son both ordered the catfish. I was fortunate enough to steal a bite or two and it was light and crispy with plenty of flavor. It was resting on a bed of mashed potatoes drizzled with a creamy tartar and hot sauce.
I was so full that dessert seemed out of the question until our waiter recommended the homemade banana pudding. I did not order dessert but I will confess that my spoon did take a couple of dips into my husband’s bowl. Fresh whipped cream, banana pudding, vanilla wafers, toasted macadamia nuts, strawberries and blueberries made a beautiful presentation.
Sitting in the middle of our table was this unpretentious crystal vase with three mini zinnias. This was just enough to make me smile. We enjoyed everything from the atmosphere and our fantastic waiter to the food that was creative and delicious. We will make a return visit.