16 July 2008

market menu, stone park

I've sung praises to Stone Park Brunch several times before- and a few positive whispers to late night desserts and apertifs- This evening I had the pleasure of taking dinner. Four of us gathered for a cocktail at The Gate while we waited for Stone Park to open doors at six. Although outside of Restaurant Week, Stone Park offers a daily Market Menu: Three courses at $30.

We began with another round of drinks. I sipped on the Cava Brut L'Hereu from Spain. Delightful, meant for food and appetite. Our first bites: Asparagus Ricotta Gnocci, Braised Leek w/ Wild Mushrooms, Frisee & Poached Egg, Smoked Salmon wrapped around Roe and Greens. Warm bread came with a creamy sweet butter. Portions were approaching perfection- flavors marked balance and toyed with ecstasy.

For our entrees: Pan Seared Striped Sea Bass on a bed of mashers limon, Hangar Steak w/ greens, and the Seared Sea Scallops with Squid Ink Tagiealle, Espositos Italian Sausage and Saffron Beurre. We requested grilled asparagus on the side to share. The Sea Bass was light, flaky and exhibited a lingering flavor. Mashers- nothing to write home about, but anything next to the lovely fish would seem modest. The Sea Scallops were large, plump: serious business. My one complaint on the Hangar Steak was that it was requested at Medium and came in state more accurately described as rare-medium rare.

We sipped on espresso and nibbled on homemade biscotti and cookies while we waited for our third course. I couldn't say for certain the brand or origin of the beans, but it was spot on. There was a particular harmony of raw sugar and lemon peel. Next our servers brought blackberry cheesecake and a variety of sorbets. Port and Sherry to boot. The apertifs were appropriate- but the meal certainly peaked with the entrees. The desserts were short of spectacular and we would have been best suited to end of the biscotti note.

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