Auros (auros) wrote,

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foodpr0n: Astaria, for Xtauroversary VII

Now with more Roman numerals, and only about a hundred days until our wedding. Christa posted some silliness from our dinner conversation. (If you're unable to read it, well, how do you even know me without having gotten on her f-list? It's been seven years!)

wine: (we would've gotten cocktails instead, but the TravelZoo coupon thing we'd gotten specified two glasses of wine for up to $12 each, and even though the cocktails we wanted were less, they wouldn't let us make a substitution; which seems kinda dumb on their part)
Three Rivers Riesling, 2007, Walla Walla, WA (pleasantly sweet, very floral, maybe jasmine-y)
Hannah Nicole Viognier, 2009, Contra Costa, CA (Xta said it was tarter / sharper than she was expecting from a Viognier, but good as a crisp, palate cleansing kind of drink)

Ahi Tartare: Xta said this was a particularly good rendition; it came with what I'm pretty sure were Japanese yam chips (with pretty purple stripes and flecks), and the tartare had a spicy soy sauce that she liked, and some black sesame seeds and scallions.

Steak Salad: spinach and arugala, bits of grilled skirt steak, basil-balsamic strawberries, pickled red onion, feta, spiced pecans, strawberry vinaigrette (very tasty; the vinaigrette was a really good sweet/savory combination)

Lobster Ravioli with Summer Corn Sauce: Christa really liked this, and I liked the bite I tried a fair bit. I like both corn and lobster, but neither is a particular favorite; but the way the earthy, savory, and sweet notes that show up in each of them played off each other was really interesting.

Cordon Bleu Pappardelle: Kind of an inside-out chicken cordon bleu; noodles topped with a gruyere cream sauce and prosciutto (and asparagus -- though I think the vegetable may be a seasonal thing, since I noticed they were serving asparagus as a side with a lot of dishes at the tables around us, and it wasn't specified on the menu), with a crispy-breaded chicken breast on top. The thing with this dish is it seemed like they'd taken a truly spectacular pasta dish, and then dropped on a chicken breast that was... OK. The breading was really pleasantly crunchy, and there was nothing objectionable about the chicken, but it wasn't particularly flavorful or interesting. I feel like they ought to at least cut down to half as much of it, if they're not going to do something more interesting (maybe marinate it in something, or spice up the breading a bit more). Or just give me the pasta and skip the checken entirely -- it would've been plenty of food, and the prosciutto was already enough meat for me in an entree. (Actually, just the steak from the salad would've been enough meat for one meal.)

Buttermilk Beigneits with three sauces (raspberry, chocolate, caramel): All three of the sauces were excellent; but the beignets themselves were not quite what I expected. I've had beignets in New Orleans; the dough style was a bit more similar to a raised donut than these, which were very cake-y. That would've been OK, except that they also did not seem to have the balance of buttermilk to baking soda right; it tasted to me like there was just a smidgen of unreacted baking soda left in them, which left just a hint of an unpleasant bitter/chemical aftertaste. :-/

Overall, a bit hit-or-miss; if we'd been paying their rather exorbitant full price, I would've been pretty annoyed. That said, the stuff that was good, was good enough that I still think I might like to go back some time. I'd kinda like to try a different dessert (there were some other things that sounded interesting), and the cocktails. I'd probably just order appetizers next time, or we could split an entree. The entrees were gigantic, and IMHO overly meaty, though I guess most people like that. I could just try one of their other salads (the caesar with smoked trout, or the beet salad), and get the pizza with goat cheese, cherries, bacon, and caramelized onion. (The couple at the next table had the basic Margherita, and it looked and smelled good. And their pizzas appear to cost roughly the same as a comparably sized multi-topping pizza from Amici's.)

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