Friday, January 28, 2011

Queen's Feast

It's Queens' Feast here in our lovely city.  And as you may have guessed I'm all about feasting in the Queen City.  So the way it works:  there are MULTIPLE restaurants offering a $30 / 3 course menu.  Whenever this lovely event rolls around I check out the list of options and go for the one we have yet to try.  As you may remember I like variety!

So this past weekend, I checked out the list to see what the contenders were.  My top picks:  Vida Mexican Kitchen,  Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth,  & Dressler's - Metro.  I was really intrigued with Halcyon - it's in the new Mint Museum uptown and I was able to get reservations = SCORE!  It's a date!

First of all let's address the name of the restaurant.  Different - yes.  Hard to remember and pronounce - YES!  I still can't really say it correctly.  Maybe it's just me but I don't know that it's the best idea to name your establishment something that people may not be able to remember or say.  For those (like me) that don't know what Halcyon means here's a little description from their website:
Halcyon is a Greek Goddess who turns into a bird and mates during the Winter Solstice. While her nest Floats in the ocean . . . All is peaceful and Tranquil in the World
and if you want more info here's the story of Halcyon

As you can already tell I did not take these pictures - which are gorgeous!!  It was too dark to get any quality shots and the sweet people @ Lunazohn gave me permission to use photos from Halcyon's website.  Go check them out here.  Beautiful work!

Now onto the - FOOD and DESIGN...

I loved the combination of rustic wood with sleek architecture.  There are large tables made from the trunk's of trees - giving a very organic feel to the space.  They've incorporated the natural wood into the menus as well.  They're little easels of sorts that hold the menu tied with leather.  There are also wooden chandeliers hanging throughout.  Loved this touch!!
The view itself is a huge part of the interior design - it can't help but be a component to the feel of the space.  The windows are HUGE and you are gazing upon Ratcliff on the Green, the old church that sits beside it and the contemporary skyscrapers behind.  They have a great patio space that I know will be a huge hit once we get through this winter! 
Here's the Queen's Feast menu:  (highlighted is what we chose)
Amuse Bouche

White Bean Hummus

First course (choice of one)
Farm Salad - local head lettuces, overnight Roma tomatoes, seasonal accompaniments
Pate Tasting - house crafted duck and chicken liver pates with cherry shallot jam
Cheese and Garniture - selection of artisanal cheese with accompaniments

Second course (choice of one)
Short Ribs - with pommes puree, winter vegetable mash, and red wine syrup
Roasted Chicken - with duxelle, spaghetti squash, and chestnut truffle honey
Winter Lasagne - crafted from housemade pasta and ricotta, seasonal winter vegetables, and winter pesto

Third course (choice of one)
Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding
Crème Brulee

The cheeses were absolutely amazing!!  They had a Carolina Blue that was delightful with a touch of honey.  It was a milder blue and the sweetness of the honey really made a yummy bite!  There was also a Cheddar made in the Asheville area - I love cheddar - and this was no exception!

I wasn't a huge fan of the pate but that was Joe's pick and he liked it.  It could have used a little more acid in my opinion but a pate connoisseur I am not!
The entrees were lovely. Joe and I love to get different things so we can taste as many options as possible.  The short ribs was good (a little dry in the end pieces but much better once you got to the thicker portion of the meat.)  The pommes puree was delish!  Just the right amount of salt.  The chicken was very moist and it was butchered with an airline cut, which made for a nice presentation.   The spaghetti squash was a nice compliment and a vegetable that doesn't get enough attention, in my opinion.
The portions were perfect.  There was just enough room left for a couple bites of dessert.  And they were some YUMMY bites!  The creme brulee was perfectly cooked with a nice hard but not burnt topping and creamy gooieness inside.  But I have to say the bread pudding stole the show.  Joe and I were both fighting spoons to have the last bite - divine!
We had a lovely bottle of Malbec with dinner and our server was top notch and took great care of us.  Overall this was a great date night.  I really appreciate when restaurants are involved in Queen's Feast that don't "dumb down" their food for the value price.  You can either win people over OR push them away during this event.  Halcyon (is that the right name?) definitely won us over!  We will be back!!

Have you gone anywhere for Queen's Feast?  Any spots we must try?  Do tell!

1 comment:

I can't hear you!! Unless you leave a message. Holler back now!