Friday, April 20, 2012

What's Up With the Best New Chef's Abigail Street Venture?

      Sometimes I have to be in the mood for a particular place and I hadn't quite adjusted to our spontaneous choice of Abigail Street.  We had been to Know with Marty and Michael and my first post-theater thought was Bakersfield's, but it was overflowing.  1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab wasn't much better and that's when we crossed the street to Abigail's.  FInally, OTR was hopping again!  

      Restaurants in the Gateway Quarter have one thing in common…a rockin' noise level neither conducive to relaxing or having an attentive conversation.  It's a trend that we can take only on occasion.  

      Our server, Teenwolfe (was he serious?), asked a few pertinent questions and allowed us to settle in with the menu.  It was late and all we really needed was
someone to tell us what was best to share.  Teenwolfe was more than happy to comply.  

      WIne is a huge feature.  It's on tap for freshness as well as wide selections for a glass, bottle, or flight.  We decided to go with another feature—the Turkish Coffee.  Wonderfully constructed with cardamon and sugar, it gave us the lift we needed.  

Turkish Coffee
      Now that we had settled in, I had a chance to look around at the décor—urban industrial with touches of Southern Europe and Northern Africa.  Think of an edgy Parisian bistro in Morocco, or vice versa.  Wood, brick, subway tile, metal, and wrought iron were backdrops for the more frilly and floral serving pieces.  The food descriptions promised a mélange of Mediterranean inspirations and the setting was there to complement them completely.

      All of our selections arrived in rapid succession, but in the proper order. We started with the Olives marinated in a Tunisian hot sauce (harrisa) and mixed with Marcona almonds that were slightly sweet and delicate.  We preferred the almonds to the olives.  Next came Borek, a pastry of phyllo filled with roasted peppers, eggplant, onion, feta, and mint.  They resembled two large eggrolls.  I was on the fence about them, but everyone else enjoyed them or thought they were the highlight.  
Our "entrée" of Skatewing was served atop a medley of fingerling potatoes, onions, and well—sorry we can't remember.  The delicate fish was way overcooked.  I poured some of the juice over my piece which added some necessary moistness.  If one was eating it alone as an entrée in the deep bowl it was served in, the juice would never find the fish.  It wasn't a feature on the original menu and not one that should stay around very long in our opinion. 

Lastly was the Baklava.  Two triangles large enough for the four of us and definitely the best I've ever had!  We all agreed.  Those were Teenwolfe's favorites, except for the olives.  (I'm still wondering about that name.)  His service was topnotch, but we'll have to disagree with some of his recommendations.  Maybe it was an off night in the kitchen.

Abigail Street on Urbanspoon

I have no opinion.  I was busy hanging out at the casbah that night.


Anonymous said...

the casbah? don't you mean the cat spa?

Who is Dexter? said...

Ah—my mistake. Thanks for paying such claws attention!