Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Eve 2012 at Crop - Cleveland

This year, since Julia's sister offered to watch Max on New Year's Eve, Julia and I decided to go out...

...dress up...


 ...and eat a fancy dinner at Crop Bar & Bistro.

The meal was exciting for various reasons....
  1. It was a surprise menu
  2. It was fancy (like I said)
  3. It was the longest and furthest the both of us have been apart from the little one.  Wowsa!
En route to the restaurant, Julia and I discussed what we hoped would be on the menu.  My listed items were...
  1. Scallops
  2. Pork belly
  3. Risotto
  4. Oysters
 Let's see how psychic I am...

Course 1: Amuse Bouche - Mushroom Cappuccino

With a gentle, yet enjoyable, truffle foam on top, the soup underneath was like a concentrated mushroom broth with butter.  I really enjoyed this dish.  I would have loved some bread (with more butter) to dunk into it!

Course 2: Oysters Cropeffeler - Crispy fried, spinach & bacon, hollandaise aioli

Oysters were one of my psychic hopes and they were pretty good, although not very crispy fried nor with enough salt (the bacon helped but some sea salt would have been better). 

Overall a good dish, but I should have asked the waitress for salt. 

My bad.

Course 3: Scallop & Foie Gras - Pan au lait, Maine sea scallop, Hudson Valley foie gras, truffle demi-glace

 Psychic hope number two - the scallop!  Whoo hoo!
The presentation was nice, but that was too much bread - especially with ingredients that could easily squish out.  Therefore, I took off the top bun and ate with a knife and fork, realizing that the foie gras was raw in the middle and not like a pate that I expected.

It was later that I would ask the waitress, "Was that a goose liver and not pate?"
She told me that it was actually a Mallard Duck liver and from a very good farm.

It was almost getting to be a little Portlandia-esque...

...but I stopped her before I got too many details.

This dish, honestly, was one of my favorites.  I LOVE chicken livers this duck liver was great.

The remaining top half of the bun was eventually slathered with Crop's honey/pepper butter before pulling a scarpetta to get the remaining sauce.


 Course 4: The Belly Bomb - Pork belly, wonton, kimchi, peking

 This dish was really cool to look ate...


 ...especially as that pork belly spilled on out.

Did you notice that this is the THIRD psychic hope?

Overall, it was decent with some tougher pork pieces mixed with the really tender fatty pieces.  Mmmm.

The slaw was okay.  I could have used salt here as well (or maybe fresh wasabi mixed in!).

Course 5: Intermezzo - Champagne Granita Siciliana

I got the granita and Julia got a blood orange sorbet.  Although the granita had a dried pear slice on it, I thought Julia's was much better.

Course 6: Roule' de boeuf - Tenderloin, spinach, mushroom, smoked shallot risotto, bordelaise

 I was happy to see that the last of my psychic hopes (the risotto) was present.

Good job, Crop!

The tenderloin was more tender in the areas that were a little more rare and the flavors were good overall.

A nice dish.

Course 7: Baked Alaska - dark chocolate cake, Mitchell's coffee ice cream, toasted Italian meringue

Beautiful presentation when served...


...and when eaten.

I wish I would have had more meringue for this one, but I mean this as a compliment to how good it was.

It was a really nice finish.

So that's how we ended our 2012.

Special thanks to Becca for watching Max and especially Crop for the grub.

We'll be returning in 2013...

...once I lose 20 pounds after all this good eating.


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