Seared Diver Scallops, Chorizo Cream, Salsify, Nasturtium Leaf, Grapefruit
Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin, Blue Cheese Potato Gratin, Asparagus, Green Peppercorn Demi, Truffle Pommes Paille
Mocha Parfait, Chicory Coffee Cremeaux, Chocolate Ice Cream, Sea Salt Toffee
I’m not gonna lie to you. Cosmos was a last second substitute. Initially, I had foolishly intended to start Restaurant Week off privately, with the sure thing that is the Signature Cheeseburger at The Capital Grille. I had this exquisite plan to sneak in this meal on a Sunday afternoon to start the week off right and rekindle a dangerous addiction that I barely eluded last winter, which would have ended in my certain financial ruin. Having been home from Italy for five months, where limited serving hours demands that every restaurant meal be judiciously planned, it never occurred to me that anyone in the US would be batshit crazy enough to close up for Sunday lunch. Alas, The Capital Grille proved me wrong and, after some heavy sighs bookending short, expletive-laced commentary about the continued lack of any evidence of a higher power, I poured through the Restaurant Week list and settled, not unhappily, on the Cosmos dinner.
Being that we’d made old people dinner reservations (6:00pm), my companion (attractively attired) and I (cargo pants, Old Navy t-shirt, three year old hiking shoes, messenger bag) were among the first in the door and therefore enjoyed doting and charming service despite my appearance. An amuse-bouche was promptly delivered, a “duck prosciutto” sprinkled with various unidentifiable garnishes that were nevertheless delightful.
Our first portions were both of the high caliber of presentation where you feel like a vandal simply by eating them. The already lengthy description of my scallops didn’t include several other little flourishes and artistically dribbled sauces that, when combined correctly, were an outstanding balance of taste and texture, though, eaten alone, the scallops themselves felt like they could have been jazzed up a smidge. My companion chose the Arugula, Port Wine Vinaigrette, Flexible Blue Cheese, Bartlett Pears, Candied Pecans, which I did not try, as it looked far too healthy, but I gathered from her approving nods that the grocery list of ingredients achieved a pleasant effect.
The wait in between courses wasn’t long, but it was long enough to relish in the spontaneous delivery of an “lime-aged shooter with fruit punch explosion”. It looked like a mini-raw egg in a shot glass. It tasted like being shot in the face with a Kool-Aid paintball.
My beef tenderloin (medium rare) was appropriately pink and textured. Mixing up the dainty bites that I indulgently carved (my companion finished eating a full 10 minutes before me) alternately with the asparagus, potato gratin, and lavishly truffle-bathed shoestring potatoes gave each bite a very different and always pleasing sensation. I don’t get nearly enough beef in my diet these days, so it’s possible that the mere presence of beef alone was making my eyes cross. Or perhaps I need to change my contact lenses.
Though I only had a small bite of my companion’s puffed wild rice encrusted ahi tuna medallions, after several bites of my much stronger beef, I had trouble appreciating what I understood to be an equally well prepared dish. Also, fearing gluttony, and possibly spreading the Swine Flu that I’d just exposed myself to an hour earlier, I didn’t scoop up any of the squid dumpling or the bed of wakame seaweed (whatever that is, it looked like spinach) that accompanied.
The mocha parfait was one of those chocolate lovers’ joy rides, replete with death-defying richness and about a cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine (which is why I’m writing this now and not tomorrow morning). I didn’t say it at the table, but my companion’s festival of white Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta Poached Pears, Herbs Meringue looked both less attractive (something about meringue has always underwhelmed me) and less likely to appear in a decidedly unwholesome dream sometime in the near future.
I’m awarding the meal four “Oh Gods” out of five.
The fixed price dinner is $30.
Cosmos’ full Restaurant Week lunch and dinner menus are posted here.
Apologies for the lack of photos. My Blackberry took horridly washed out pictures in Cosmos’ low-lit dinning room. I’ll bring a real camera next time.