Thursday, April 24, 2008

A China 1 risotto no-no, but a high from Little Pie

Braised short ribs and coconut rice, China1
In celebration of BH's birthday, ten of us gathered at China 1 for an evening of dining, dancing, and drinking. Most of us had hung out at China 1 several other times for parties, but no one had ever eaten a meal there and I didn't know what to expect.
Seared scallops and risotto, China1
OL and I split two entrees, the braised shortribs with jasmine rice and roasted carrots, and the seared jumbo scallops and risotto. Both of these were mediocre (and they weren't that cheap either). The ribs and scallops were just okay and the carrots were almost raw, but the risotto was the real problem. While its flavor was good, the grains of rice were hard and undercooked.

Normally I'm not one to make a fuss in restaurants, but the rice was so gummy and stiff we asked our waitress for a more thoroughly cooked portion. She replied that this risotto was her favorite because of its texture, but when we insisted, she brought out a small plate of what turned out to be the same, still-undercooked dish. When she came over a third time to check in, both OL and I just sort of shook our heads. "Still kind of hard," we said, "but it's fine, forget it." It was at that point that another server came over and snootily informed us that risotto "is supposed to be like that." Well, well.
Ben's bday pie
So the highlight of my meal was actually the dessert that JS and TC had collaborated on, Little Pie Company's incredible Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie. I first tried this when DL brought it to a Thanksgiving potluck several years ago, and I've loved it ever since. It's filled with tender, creamy layers of thinly sliced apple, and topped by an insanely rich and delicious streusel—so thick and hearty it's like having a giant cookie baked on top. It's really sweet, but despite my aversion for too much sugar even I could have gone for a second slice. It's Little Pie Company's top bestseller and a total crowd-pleaser, both for good reason.

This can be a lesson about sticking to specialities—China 1 is a fun bar but a meh restaurant, whereas Little Pie Company, which bakes pastry and not parties, gets a big thumbs up.

1 comment:

  1. time's like that i wish i could send in gordon ramsay to tell them where they can put their risotto.