Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Appetite Adventure - Crush, Belvedere Square

if you are just joining me for my appetite adventure and aren't really sure what it is, find out about it here. you can see the full list of reviews so far here or by clicking the appetite adventure tab at the top of this page - right next to "home" and "about PW".

Crush is one of the 10 restaurants on the list i have been visited before. in fact, one of the owners of a local joint - Christopher Daniel - split and created Crush. it has a great feel and a bit of nostalgia as it used to be an old hess shoe store in belvedere square back in the day. a lively bar greets you as you walk in while a slightly quieter upstairs and downstairs dining area awaits.

E and i settled in to our table in the back and i immediately checked out the cocktail list. i remembered liking their choices the last time and i quickly settled on the orange crush while E chose a margarita. they arrived in large glasses and i felt like i was getting my monies worth. i, or course, sipped both and love the margarita. it was the perfect balance of tequila, sweet, and sour. my orange crush was excellent as well. it contained orange vodka, triple sec, and orange juice yet it managed to be just orange enough without being too sweet or overpowering.

after some time with the menu, E and i decided to try several different things. i started with the fried oysters and E opted for the lobster macaroni and cheese. he always likes the lobster mac at Christopher Daniel so he thought he would give this one a try. it was creamy, cheesy, and decadent as all good mac and cheeses should be and topped with just a bit of crunchy bread crumbs. (but he mentioned perhaps CD has a slight edge in the lobster mac category.)

my fried oysters were as wonderful as i was hoping. just enough breading and fried until they were crunchy on the outside yet perfectly tender inside. they sat on a swipe of citrus aioli with a side of lightly dressed peppery arugula with a healthy dose of tomato and bacon with ribbons of cucumber - a fantastic pairing.

i had a hard time deciding on dinner because i knew i wanted the truffle fries but i didn't want to over-order. i narrowed my accompaniment down to two starters - the tomato soup or the barbeque braised pork. our waitress highly recommend the soup so i listened to the great recommendation by Jamie. the creamy tomato soup was decadent without being to heavy and was topped with creative grilled cheese croutons - actual small squares of toasted grilled cheese sandwich. original and tasty, a great combination. it paired nicely with my new zealand sauvignon blanc from their well prepared wine list.

the truffle fries were good but didn't crack my growing list of favorites. perhaps the garlic and parmesan overpowered the too-subtle-for-my-liking black truffle flavor? it is, however, worth noting i still managed to finish 2/3 of the fries.

E ordered the ribeye with sweet potato puree, potatoes, asparagus, and fried onions. unfortunately he ate all of his mac and cheese and was super full by the time his steak arrived. he said it was good but it didn't "wow" him. we will blame it on the full stomach, but he isn't ready to put this on his list of best steak places. on a side note, i ate some of his leftovers the next day. the steak was good but not great. it was cooked perfectly, but i think it could have used a little sauce.

by the time dessert rolled around i really wanted to order something. their choices looked enticing and i wanted to try one of their liquid desserts as well. alas, we were both too stuffed to partake. we have definitely added it to our list of places to return. we'll come back for just drinks and dessert and report back.

all in all, this is a fun place with a hip vibe and great food. add this to your list of places to visit, even if it's just for drinks and starters (where we had the most luck).

p.s. aren't i a lucky girl? that handsome man is my date for the rest of my life!

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