Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Located in New Haven.

This was our first visit to this New Haven eatery.

You must know the address, as there is no sign announcing its presence on a crowded New Haven street.
We were greeted and seated promptly, upstairs.
Modern, barely hinting at a post modern motif, a narrow mirror the length of the wall, and a fireplace filled with round stones and votive candles are the only decorations.
Tables are arranged vertically along the two walls.
Service was prompt and informed.
One special, a salad for an appetizer, was on offer, otherwise it was strictly the items on the menu.
I chose the tamarind glazed pork belly with apple puree, my wife the spiced scallops with roasted cauliflower and dates.
Pork belly is one of my favorite foods. Much like steak, beets, and scallops, you don't have to do much to it. Bespoke did a wee bit too much to it.Did this stop me from cleaning my plate? No. So it is a minor complaint.
My wife's scallops were very good, the cauliflower being the star of the dish, reminding us that we don't this at home often enough.

My main course was the sugarcane lime glazed habanero pork ribs (yeah, I love pork!) with mofongo. My wife chose the lavender rubbed monkfish with charred tomatoes and two olives.

I like a bit of heat, so the habanero didn't scare me. And it needn't have. I didn't taste any habanero. In fact, I didn't detect a hint of heat. Still the ribs were very nice, juicy an falling off the bone. What saved the dish, however, was the mofongo(softened plantains)
and the bright, fresh cilantro in the relish. Both were absolutely delicious.
The ribs were much too rich, but still I had to force myself to push the plate away.
The monkfish was nice if not overly exciting.

We skipped the offered cheese course and chose a ricotta cheesecake for dessert.Though not as creamy or rich as I would have preferred, it was perfectly acceptable, and a nice, light end to a heavy meal.

We will visit again.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Union League Cafe

Located in New Haven.

One of our favorites, we dine here often.

Elegant and refined, it is everything it pretends to be.
Jackets aren't required, but why would you not wear one!

Our most recent visit was for lunch.

I started with the warm beet salad, my wife the lentil bacon soup.
As I have previously asserted, beets are an underrated,under used vegetable.
My salad could not have been better. The best part was not, however, the beets, but the cheese, ribiola cheese. I could have eaten this by the bowl!
My wife's soup was also very good, hearty and homey.

For mains, I chose the roulade of sole and scallops with a leek fondant and sauteed mushrooms, my wife the roasted salmon with fricasse of brussel sprouts and smoked bacon.
Both were excellent, as usual.Cooked and sauced nicely.
Rarely do we have even a minor complaint about a dining experience at the Union League.