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Herbie’s – High Expectations Exceeded

January 31, 2011

A good meal is truly a wonderful thing.  Some of our fellow diners wearing Ed Hardy apparel though, somewhat less wonderful.

Yet, even the jovial (read, plastered) Jeff City natives, with interestingggg tastes in fashion, who sat at a neighboring table added another level of bon vivant to an immensely enjoyable dinner.  I had heard good things about Herbie’s– I mean, fine dining venue, same group as Monarch, knew it would be decent.  Came away quite impressed.  Pretttty.  Prettttyy.  Prettty Good.

So, per our waiter’s suggestion, we shared a small plate they had that night for our appetizer.  Basically, it was lobster mac n cheese.  Naturally, the description was much more impressive than that (“gemelli pasta, bla bla, chunks of live Maine lobster meat, bla bla, béchamel, bla”).  Damn tasty.  Great with a dirty martini (or dry and dirty, as PB requested).

Entrées – of which I have typically sub par photos below – just fantastic.  Now, my eye immediately went to braised short ribs given my love affair with slow cooked meat accompanied with mashed potatoes and green beans (or in their words, horseradish whipped potatoes and haricots verts).   But I said to myself, self, you are having your mother’s fabulous roast tomorrow night for sunday dinner and come on, step it up.  So, I pondered the Wellington of Beef, since that is allegedly a longstanding specialty dating back to Balaban’s, and because I’ve only ever had sub-par renditions off of a buffet.

What ultimately hooked me was the Crispy Raspberry Duck, and I was very pleased it did.  In the past, I’d had some unpleasant duck experiences, but my spunky selection was rewarded.  The thigh, leg, and breast of a duck was crisped to perfection (yummy yummy duck fat).  Sat atop a mixture of wild rice, cranberries, toasted pecans, and spaghetti squash – a mélange of accompaniments that was most effective at soaking up the moat of raspberry demi glass in the dish.  Hurt me. (said in elvis presley voice).  And, PB’s peppercorn and coriander encrusted tuna was excellent as well.  However, I had no regrets with my selection.

Dessert.  Too full to try their famed chocolate fritters or the enticing chocolate chip bread pudding, so we had a most refreshing dish of apricot sorbet.  Although, I do see a return visit for a cocktail and proper dessert in the not too distant future.

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