Café Ena – Dinner – Restaurant Week

Starter:
Crab and avocado terrine with roasted peppers, chili oil, and tortilla chips

Entrée:
‘Mero’ – Proscuitto wrapped grouper stuffed with crab meat, with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, saffron butter sauce, sautéed spinach and mango salsa

Dessert:
Churros with chocolate ganache and cinnamon ice cream

Choosing Café Ena wasn’t as easy as it should have been. Having apparently been dishonorably discharged (just ahead of La Belle Vie) from the Institute of Reasonable Information and Thoroughness, the menu they submitted to the Restaurant Week web site was just a liiiiittle bit short on details. Indeed, the entrées section starts and ends with only two nonsensical, maddeningly inadequate words: ‘Mero’ and ‘Lomo’. Actually, there’s three words if you’re feeling generous and count the ‘or’ that someone thoughtfully stuck in between.

That neither of these useless words appear on the full menu on Café Ena’s web site further annoyed me. However, regular Café Ena patrons convinced me that it was imperative I eat there, so reservations were made.

Thankfully for all, someone took the time to expound on ‘Mero’ and ‘Lomo’ in the printed menu that was presented to us upon arrival and it is my pleasure to report that, apart from the especially uncomfortable waddle home, there was very little to complain about for the rest of the evening.

terrinemixedgreensmango

My crab and avocado terrine was exceptional. I hesitated as I’m one of only six or so people on the planet that don’t really care for avocado, but combined with the crab, the tang of the roasted peppers and the subtle, delayed ‘pwang’ of the chili oil and I couldn’t have been much happier.

My companion fell on her mixed greens tossed with fresh pineapple, sliced mango, cucumbers, and panela cheese in a citrus herb dressing, consuming them hastily with little commentary, apart from some intentionally tongue-in-cheek, cliché-riddled comments about “an explosion of citrus flavor dancing across my tongue” that I didn’t give her the satisfaction of writing down. It featured many of her perennial favorite ingredients (mango, pineapple, cheese) looked fresh as hell and there was nary a shard of greens left when she finished, so either she loved it or there’s someone in a parallel universe somewhere who got too close to a decompressing rip in the cosmic curtain and now has salad on their head.

grouper

It was a difficult decision, but I settled on the so-called ‘Mero’. My trepidation over white fish two nights in a row was over-ridden by the presence of the crab and prosciutto. It took a few experimental bites of the grouper combined with various ingredients to figure out that an eye-roll into the back of the head could be achieved by carefully including a morsel of every element into each forkful. Not an easy task, but I applied my Norwegian ninja hand-eye coordination and was suitably rewarded.

porktenderloin

My companion went for the ‘Lomo’, which turned out to be a “herb crusted grilled pork tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus in a guajillo shallot demi glace”. She was smitten with the perfect combo of sweet and savory. The pork was tender and peppery, while the caramelized shallots and asparagus had married well with the demi glace. I was once again called upon to use my super power, bestowed by your yellow sun, to finish other people’s meals. Though everything my companion had said about the Lomo was true, I’d already been enslaved by the Mero and will likely join its 2012 presidential ticket.

churroslemonpie

The meal had started out great and progressed onto epic, so it pains me to report that my dessert, comparatively, was only ‘meh’. It’s been years since I’ve had them, but the churros were just… churros. Sugary and flaky, but that was about it. In fact, the liberal coating of sugar virtually erased the highly anticipated taste of the chocolate ganache. The cinnamon ice cream was wonderful, however.

My companion enjoyed her dessert, the lemon pie, quite a bit more, being that it was accompanied by mango coulis (ding!) and vanilla ice cream. Not normally being a fan of lemon desserts, I nevertheless tried it and I too was surprised by how much I liked it. It wasn’t too overpowering or sweet. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I’ll choose chocolate over lemon. This was simply one of those times when I chose wrong.

I’m awarding this dinner 4 and 1/2 “Oh Gods” out of five.

The fixed price dinner is $30.
For what it’s worth, Café Ena’s full Restaurant Week dinner menu is posted here.

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Eating | 30.09.2009 9:35 | 1 Comment

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