unpretentious and unexpected. two very good features when trying out a new restaurant. we went to the elm last night with friends and really enjoyed the experience. the space was sexy, modern and the gracious open kitchen made for quite a show during dinner.
my favorite part of the meal was the artichoke salad i ordered as a starter. the tender artichoke, crunchy toasted nuts and creamy buttermilk dressing paired perfectly with the delicate toast and razor thin slice of speck it was served with. small but really very flavorful. jack’s foi gras was also impressive. it was rich and decadent tasting on its own but was served with a very simple slice of cornmeal-type bread which seemed to humble the dish. thumbs up for the starters.
the mains were portioned small but were full of flavor. my duck was cooked perfectly and served with a tender little fig and delicious sweet sauce. jack ordered the dry-aged burger which was equally as good (this would be a great dish to order if you just wanted to grab a quick bite at the bar one night after work). our friend carolyn ordered the skate; she really enjoyed it but again, just wished the portion would have been a little bigger.
i thought the simplicity of the menu set the tone for the meal. you order from one of the groups: ‘raw, land, sea or share.’ we didn’t try anything off the share menu so that will definitely be on our list the next time we go. we also didn’t try any of the desserts as i had whipped up something at home but we did really like the little petit four that were delivered to our table as we were packing up to go. a complimentary bite of sweetness can really put the finishing touch a good meal, right?
the elm isn’t your run of the mill tuesday night dinner spot but i do think you’ll enjoy the unexpected yet simple flavor combinations chef paul liebrandt has put together. put it on your list-