A dining event! This place started as a dinner party in the chef David Barzelay’s home in 2009 and grew so popular it made sense to become a regular venue and thus the physical restaurant opened in Sept of 2014. He wants to recreate the feel of being at a friend’s dinner party with folks encouraged to interact with one another as well as the many chefs in the open kitchen. It starts in the balcony area of the large room where you may buy cocktails or wine but everybody is welcomed with a cup of punch and the waiters are good about bringing around water. We visited with a couple that was on their 3rd visit and several other first-timers. It was a comfortable setting with tidbits being passed by waiters except for the heat factor, which affected the second story more.
All the passed items were good with the exception of the Firefly squid which were just yucky but the foie gras was most excellent as were the sweetbreads. The crudités were wonderfully fresh baby vegetables and the dip of marrow and cheddar was a novel concept that worked nicely.
Downstairs seats are assigned and we asked to be near the kitchen on the advice of one of the repeaters and they were able to accommodate the request. In fact all the folks working there were very pleasant and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. At the table everyone is given a cute little booklet with the courses all described on their own page with lines to write notes.I particularly appreciated that! Your accompanying pencil has a cute little saying on it. Mine was “Do a good turn daily.” Chef David welcomes all and then the food starts coming with each course introduced by a different person in the kitchen. They sell wines as well as liquors to go with your meal and we chose their wine pairings which I would not suggest doing mainly due to the timeliness and amount of the poor.
So the food started with a crusty excellent bread and butter. The asparagus was mild but overall made a nice dish with the yolk jam. I really liked the onion broth probably because it was seasoned with Benton’s ham but wasn’t sure they should have served another egg yolk dish. The trout needed a touch of salt but overall was a nice combination of flavors. The rabbit was a real treat with the dark meat making a ring around the whiter meat and served with a goodly serving of nettles. The lamb was cooked beautifully. The rhubarb was a real surprise as it
wasn’t tart but was good enough to drink all the juice left after all the solids had been scooped out. The beets were topped with a sheet of meringue and the last tray of treats were all quite good with the s’mores being a real hit as well as the strawberry caramels. I finished with Lazy Bear’s own version of ice coffee and it was good to the last drop.
A mixed meal but overall quite tasty and a tremendous experience!