It was last Tuesday night and vacation had officially started. R and I went to Garden at the Cellar. It seems appropriate that the year is half over and I have managed to hit 6 out of the 12 restaurants I listed in my 1/1/09 entry to try this year. Although it was 8:45, there was still a 20 minute wait for a table, so we opted to sit at the bar instead. This allowed us to order off both the dinner menu and the bar menu.
We ordered some plates to share:
Homemade “Tater Tots” - These were unbelievably good, elevating the humble tater tot to a sublime potato custard encapsulated in perfectly crispy shell.
Chickpea Fries – These were pretty good, however after the tater tots, they seemed like a sad runner-up.
Bacon Wrapped Dates with goat cheese and curried apple hash – It was the failure of the night. There was too much rich goat cheese (I just kept chewing and chewing and not getting anywhere) and the curried apple hash was something that sounded good in the chef's head and but did not work on the plate.
Seared Foie Gras & Doughnuts with rhubarb – They did the unthinkable, they overcooked the foie gras. The doughnuts and pickled rhubarb was nice.
Glazed Short Rib with sunchokes, ramps and fiddleheads – The short rib was great, but there was only one piece, which was not nearly enough for us.
Berkshire Pork Schnitzel with poached farm egg, artichokes barigoule, lemon brown butter – a breaded pork cutlet that is well executed is still a breaded pork cutlet, that said, the artichokes were great.
The service at the bar was good and Garden at the Cellar considers itself a “gastropub”, so the prices are quite reasonable. I think the menu has a good variety of standard fare and interesting and creative eats for a crowd. I will definitely return, if only for those tater tots. R said, “remember when I said that if the Local was local, I would go to it? Not anymore, I would just go here instead.”