Chasing Sage is a medium-sized place that tries to focus on locally grown produce and locally sourced meat and seafood. They were scheduled to open in March 2020 but due to the pandemic instead sponsored a series of pop-up take-out meals. They officially opened for dinner in June 2021. The Chef, Walter Edward is a graduate of the CIA in Hyde Park, NY and then worked internationally before opening this place. His wife, Cindy Edward runs a farm, that has been in her family and will now supply produce for the restaurant. The space is long with a bar on one side, a long service table in the middle and small tables filling the rest of the space that ends with a window to the kitchen. Faint music is in the background, the lights are fairly low, candles are on the tables, and the walls have decorations of wine bottles, books and such. It’s a cozy feel but the food did not live up to my expectations. The menu is a la carte but they offer a ‘let us pick for you’ option which we tried. The pacing was varied as were the portions.
The amuse bouche was a cauliflower cappuccino with Vadouvan curry on the top. It was warm and nice with light curry overtones and a fairly thin viscosity. A Negroni cocktail was nicely made but mostly displaced by the giant ice cube. I really love the big ice cubes since they don’t dilute the drink but still cool it however, this cube filled most of the glass and got your nose wet whenever you drank some.
First was the rustic sourdough bread served alongside pickles, cultured butter and jam. The bread had a nice crisp edge and a doughy center. The jam was sweet and more like preserves as there were a lot of chunks of fruit in it. The butter had good flavor and the pickles were a variety of vegetables that had been pickled.
A terrine of Maitake and leek was wrapped with a leek piece and served alongside mustard, red cabbage sauerkraut and rye crackers. All were reported to be made in-house. The terrine was very mildly flavored and really needed the addition of mustard to give it a taste. The sauerkraut was so so and the thicker of the crackers had lost their crispness. The leek on the outside of the terrine made it difficult to cut but mostly it was texture more than flavor.
Butter-poached rainbow carrots were on labneh (a Middle Eastern strained yogurt) with Fresno peppers and herbs. The peppers had a nice bit of spice to them but the thick and pasty labneh totally dominated the carrot’s flavor. It was dull and monotonous.
Brussels sprouts were with kumquat, turnip and smoked rutabaga purée. Some rutabaga chunks were also in the mix but the smokey essence of the purée clearly dominated the flavor profile. Lots of lovely flavors and textures here but not a great blend.
Crispy spring onion dumplings were with chile oil, white soy and shiso sauce. These were really attractive with the lacey edging on the dumplings but underneath they were really greasy. The sauce was very salty and very one-dimensional. I finally met a Chinese dumpling I didn’t like.
Braised lamb ‘osso bucco’ was presented on chicories, pomegranates and walnuts. It looked like a huge piece of lamb but instead of being a shank it was from the neck and there was hardly any meat on it. The greens had a nice crunch, especially with the pomegranate seeds but overall this was mostly tasteless and frustrating.
Smoked butterbean cassoulet was mixed with Lion’s mane mushrooms and tomatoes. This was a salty dish but did have flavor along with textures. Unfortunately, it looked awful but it was way better to eat than the lamb.
A carrot sorbet was dotted with candied ginger and next to walnut buttercream. The server likened it to a carrot cake but the comparison didn’t happen for me except for the inclusion of carrots. The ginger paired well with the sorbet and the walnut cream was fine. This one was edible but not compelling.
Pear fritters were served with brown butter walnuts and miso butterscotch ice cream. There were pieces of several types of pears all mostly okay, but the fritters were good, especially with the ice cream. The nuts added character to this successful plate.