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Monday, March 19, 2012


A menu that pairs with root beer is an auspicious sign. 
Some days, it's great to be the guinea pig. Specially when you get to test out the new items on the menu. Steve Marques, chef at Tasting Room Uptown, invited me over for a working lunch to try out some items he's developing. 
Not many lunches begin with an appetizer. In this case, head cheese (here, properly served warm, although the gelatin has pooled around it), rabbit pate, mustard, bread and butter pickles, and oil cured olives, with warm crusty bread. 
Here, Steve presents his idea of the ultimate BLT: pickled green tomatoes from the newly opened Underbelly restaurant (doncha love collaborations?), chicken fried bacon, and an aioli made from the pickling liquid of the green tomatoes. But what about the lettuce?
That's in the form of a butter lettuce salad, with baby radishes so mild, they'd convert radish haters, and little tender zucchini. And Green Goddess dressing.
Perhaps I am a purist when it comes to a BLT, but I loved the fact the Steve didn't add more distracting items to the primal elements of the sandwich, instead melding the best qualities and forms of each ingredient. The only improvement I could ask would be of the bread itself, but the slices they served it on was pretty good. 

As a nod to St. Patrick's day holiday, a reuben made with house cured corned beef, slaw, sheep's milk brie (Steve said it wasn't funky enough - I can see his point), and old school Russian dressing, with caviar.

I called uncle after these hefty sandwiches, although one more had been planned. I hear that the reuben was a hit over the St. Patrick's weekend.

Disclaimer: all food was provided gratis. Thank you for the lunch. 

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