Tasting Dinner at Fleet Street Kitchen
Ann Marie Brokmeier
Getting invited to taste food at a newer energetic restaurant is always exciting. It’s even better if that restaurant values local and fresh ingredients, as Fleet Street Kitchen does. This week, FSK hosted a five-course tasting dinner that was as welcoming as it was delicious. You may remember my recent interview with Dave Seel, the Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Bagby Restaurant Group, as Fleet Street Kitchen welcomed Chef Chris Amendola as their new Executive Chef. The tasting dinner was my first time to sample and review Chef Amendola’s crisp and creative culinary style. Not only was the food appetizing, but FSK’s Sommelier, Philip Lucas, perfectly paired wines with each course. I was thoroughly impressed.
Initially, when I was invited to the tasting by Dave, I responded with, “I’m vegetarian. Is this going to be okay?” Not only was I unconditionally welcomed, but Chef Amendola customized an entire menu just for me! I was astonished, and when I told Dave so, he said that, while FSK’s menu looks meat-heavy at first glance, the chef is happy to accommodate any vegetarian diners that walk through the doors. Music to my ears.
The meal itself consisted of five half-sized courses. Everyone started out with a rich Leaf Salad, comprised of spring vegetables, lemon vinaigrette, goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts, all of which – except the hazelnuts – came directly from Bagby Restaurant Group’s own Cunningham Farms. Next, while everyone else was dining on succulent Butter-Poached Lobster (with Tuscarora co-op rhubarb, pickled fennel and granola), I was given a sweetly-flavored Beet Salad, topped with pickled red strawberries, pine nut butter, and housemade yogurt. For our third course, I enjoyed a full-flavored Spring Onion Soup with confit garlic, while others indulged in the Crispy Pork Belly, topped with a poached egg, smoked maple glaze, and butter toast powder. My favorite course was the fourth; while others tried a Pan-Seared Halibut (with glazed confit carrots, hazelnuts, and lime), I was given a rich and earthy Vegetable Ragout dish made with fresh vegetables and heirloom grains. And when I say fresh veggies, I mean that Chef Amendola actually told me that he personally picked them at Cunningham Farms earlier that day! Finally, the dessert course (prepared by FSK’s talented Pastry Chef, Bettina Perry) was a Lemon Thyme Cake topped with lemon cream, smoked honey caramel with a side of honey-milk sherbet. Is your mouth watering yet?
The best part about this tasting is knowing that all of these culinary dishes actually exist on FSK’s menu for anyone to try. So, go ahead and make a reservation today!
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