Friday, April 15, 2011

You ate WHAT?

I joined all the ladies for supper club last night, and this month we're on "U."  The selection was Uptown Cafe and, of course, being me, as soon as I learned where we were going, I just HAD to look up the menu.  Even before getting there, I was drooling.  They have an amazingly eclectic menu, for everything from appetizers and salads to entrées.

I got there at 6:30, and was just slightly put off that it's very unclear of who to approach to either get a table or to find out where your reserved table is, because there is no greeter's stand.  But the gentleman I found was very nice, so it was well-recovered.  After sitting down and visiting with everyone for a bit, we decided to try a few appetizers.  The Black Bean Cakes with tart cherries, almonds and a chipotle mayonnaise ($4.95), the Baked Brie in Puff Pastry with red currant jalapeno jam and fruit ($8.95), and the Escargot with garlic butter, Parmesan cheese and puff pastry ($8.50) were all selected.  The escargot was my selection...

Just the idea of snails...really...not appetizing.  But, for only $8.50 and not having to shell out over $30 for an entrée since it wasn't a fancy French restaurant was just too good to pass up, and I thought some of the other ladies would be a little adventurous with me.

When all the appetizers came out, they all looked delicious, even the snails!  They were served in a traditional ceramic escargot dish, and each one was bathed in a wonderful mixture of butter, garlic, and parsley.  Topping each was a small piece of puff pastry that had baked until it was just golden brown.  You just scoop up the bite and eat.  Wow!  Amazing flavor, not anywhere near as chewy as I was expecting.  I would describe it as the texture of a steamed oyster, and not far off from the flavor either.  Overall, I would definitely order it again.  The brie was absolute heaven.  The amount of pastry around the cheese was perfect and the fruits on the plate were crisp and fresh.  I also loved the jalepeno jam drizzled on the brie, added a nice spicy/sweet note to the salty brie.  The black bean cakes were probably my least favorite, although they were still good, they just weren't anything too exciting.  They were presented very well on what I'm guessing was fried spinach.  It was crispy and just crumbled in the mouth, but it was a very interesting and light texture against the heavy bean cake.

For my entrée, I ordered the Basa Fish Tacos with chipotle slaw and pico de gallo ($8.95).  The slaw was tasty, the fish was tender, and their pico de gallo was excellent.  However, putting it all together with the corn tortillas, it was just dry!  Another one of the girls ordered the same thing and we agreed that it just needed something else.  So we asked if they had any sauce that would be appropriate.  The server recommended their remoulade sauce.  When she brought it out, it was tangy, dilly, overall yummy and added the perfect extra layer of flavor to the tacos.  It wasn't thick like a mayo-based sauce, it was more like a tzatziki with the thinner, tangier bite of a yogurt sauce.  If you go, ask for it right off and save yourself a number of very dry bites.

Uptown Cafe was definitely a winner, and I'd like to go back again and try the asparagus and roasted beet salad, as well as the duck ravioli.

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