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Found Money = Niche blowout, naturally

September 2, 2010

Due to a pleasant turn of events, my friend E.C. and I came into a nice chunk of found money. That being the case, we decided to splurge on a fun dinner.  The selection: Niche.

The last time I went to Niche was about six years ago, right when it was building steam.  I had some duck I didn’t care for, and when I was ready to give it a second chance I was living out of town – meaning any trips home allowed for only visits to favorites.  Niche, round deux, however, did not disappoint.

To start, we split the Crispy Pig Head and Vitello Tonnato.  I am a card carrying member of the Pork Product Fan Club.  However, I found some of the fattier portions of the log o’pig head off putting and the white chocolate sauce just wasn’t up my alley.  The Vitello Tonnato though (“blows kiss*)…. that was right in the heart of my alley.  The base was a kind of thick crostini.  On top of which was layered varying preparations of tuna, crispy bits of marrow, and a zing of lemon.  Blam in the mouth, salty, savory, sour.  All the flavors just melted down into the crunchy bread below. (Which is nothing like traditional Vitello Tonnato as it happens).

For our entrees, E.C chose the pork belly and I chose the roast chicken.  The chicken was very well done and the sweet onion puree complimented the overall dish, but the fingerling potatoes were pretty dried out and I could have used more than three green beans.  E.C.’s pork belly was of course rich and tender — thought the grain paired with it was interesting/tasty.  For me, dessert brought the meal back up to the heights of the appetizers.  Mine, Chamomile pound cake + blueberry yogurt sorbet.  The sorbet was definitely the star of the plate.  Just amazing.  And the glaze on the cake added another flash of tart.  E.C.’s choice was equally impressive, but just slightly subdued: lavender custard over blackberry curd with little malted candies.  Wunder bar.

(One of the best bites I’ve food I’ve ever had)

(blueberry bonanza)


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