A Nice New Year’s Eve Surprise

Sometimes the right meal just comes to you. As we jumped out of a friend’s car on New Year’s eve, planning for sushi at Ototo (a very good neighborhood place) an empty restaurant caught our eye. Opal has been open for a little over a year now, and had a few rave reviews and some mediocre ones, but sounded far fancier and more celebratory than a sushi joint we frequented. In we went, seated right away. Champagne was on special, so we ordered that up right away. Service was impeccable, which was not lost on our table full of long time restaurant employees. We started with the cheese plate, which was ordered from mildest to sharpest and each item explained by our server. Next up we tried the apples and fennel, which was dusted with pomegranate seeds. The crisp crunch of the apples matched surprisingly well with the pop of the pomegranate seeds for a delightfully fresh mouthfeel. The flavors were excellent. We then had the butternut squash soup, which held the title of my favorite soup I have ever had for 2 days (await my next post for its overthrow). It was a beautifully creamy butternut squash soup with little niblets of maple glazed pork belly. Now I know, I’m a sucker for pork belly, but this was delicious with or with out the little treasures. One more small bite, we had the sweet potato french toast with foie gras. Now, I’m not quite sure I would have known what I was eating if I hadn’t been told. It was quite good, but the flavors melded into each other and I wasn’t fully able to detect either sweet potato or foie gras. Finally, we ended with one of the entrees, sea bass over polenta with lobster essence. The fish was perfectly cooked, which gave the dish a heightened taste right off the bat. Again, the flavors (lobster, polenta) didn’t stand out as distinctly as I might have wanted, but having such a perfectly cooked piece of fish made up for that.

The meal turned out to be quite cheap (3 drinks a piece, all the food listed above) totalling $150 for three people, including tax and tip. It was the perfect celebration meal, and truly lead to the begining of a great night by putting us all in such a positive mood.

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One Response

  1. I had been to Opal once before and was not so impressed, a beautiful space with overpriced, underwhelming food. I recently heard through the proverbial foodie grapevine that a new chef fresh from Portland had taken the reigns in the kitchen. We decided to check it out… New menu format small/large plate pricing that includes 5 sections: Garden-Fish-Meat-Cheese-Dessert. We tried alot, Pork Belly with trotter fritters, marinated razor clams with mint and cilantro, beets with orange and avocado, sweetbreads with turnips, brown sugar and mustard. ginger panna cotta. We were blown away. Opal’s food rivals any restaurant in the city. Our waiter said that the menu changes daily and is focused on local and sustainable. I say check it out!

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