R and I did the Chef’s Whim this past Sunday with Peggi and John. The space is a vast improvement, although I find the drop ceilings a bit out of character with the rest of the space, which is to say, they are ugly. We chose the 6 course menu (was there ever any question?) and we had:
1. Fish rillettes with paddlefish caviar and 3 tiny potato chips. This was tasty, but I thought more appropriate for an amuse bouche, than an actual course.
2. Fried Essex clams with squid ink mayo. They were light, airy and perfectly fried. I could have eaten a basket of them and gone home happy.
3. Arctic Char stuffed with mussels and crabs. I thought the stuffing was great, the fish was perfectly cooked, but not that exciting.
4. Turnip and celery root soup with shaved truffles and a single
5. Our main entrée came and it was a young chicken stuffed with blood sausage. I thought, “Great, what are the chances of this? They took one of the 5 things that I don’t eat and stuffed it in to my least favorite protein.” But the chicken was marvelous; it was moist and juicy and the blood sausage was flavorful and delicious. I think will take blood sausage off the list of things I don’t eat.
6. They brought out four different desserts, which I thought was great. Unfortunately, the desserts themselves were only okay.
a. Sweet corn grits – It was more like a breakfast dish than dessert. It was my least favorite.
b. Apple crumble – very mundane.
c. Mocha Mille Feuille – I liked this one, it was rich and dark, with layers of dark chocolate mousse and chocolate phyllo.
d. Gingerbread pain perdu – this was the best one, nice texture and flavor.
It was a nice meal, with excellent service and a terrific bread basket. The Chef’s Whim is a pretty good deal. The new space has a completely open kitchen. I’m pleased to say that Tony Maws was in there overseeing the meals. I think it would be great fun to sit at one of the counter spaces and watch all the action. They also do a 3 course prix fixe menu for $38.