Thursday, September 25, 2008

At 8th Street Wine Cellar, the bacon dish of my dreams

Before I explain what you're looking at up there—no, it's not an ice-cream sundae—let me just say that it was one of the most friggin' delicious preparations I'd put in my mouth for a long time. Two months later, I still dream about it.

But first things first. The above photo was taken at 8th Street Wine Cellar, where I met up with BH for dinner for a few glasses of wine and an assortment of small plates. I had just gotten a haircut and she had come in carrying two huge picture frames, and so we ended up oohing and ahhing for several minutes before getting down to the business of ordering.
We began with a cheese plate…you all know, of course, how much I love cheese. I don't remember clearly, but I believe there was a morbier, a manchego, and something truffle-flecked, all from Stinky Bklyn. The three cheeses came with slices of currant-and-walnut-studded pumpernickel (probably from Amy's Bread) and I believe a tapenade and some kind of chutney. All were pretty good, but I admit to being partial to the truffled cheese: truffles = luv.
We also picked out a "Tuscan Grilled Cheese," which consisted of mozarella, tomatoes, and pesto pressed between ciabatta. Good ingredients, pretty good sandwich.
BH is no fan of seafood, but I had to order the yellowfin tuna sliders, which just sounded right up my alley (I like little burgers!). These came with a marinated cucumber and red onion salad on the side, which was a refreshing accompaniment. The burgers themselves were okay—the whole thing was going for some kind of "Asian" flavor profile, which in this case meant there was ginger in the tuna and sesame oil with the cucumbers. The patty was slightly dry, but maybe that's just the nature of a burger made with cooked tuna.

And okay, okay, back to the photo at top. That was our order of "bacon and figs," which ended up being several slices of very thick-cut bacon that had been broiled and glazed with sweet balsamic vinegar, paired with dried figs and a good dollop of crème fraîche, and then drizzled with more glaze. Altogether, the combination was downright amazing. Smoky, meaty, and savory skipped hand-in-hand with sweet, creamy, and tangy; we all but licked the plate clean. Both BH and I agreed that fresh figs instead of dried would have really ramped it up even more, but that didn't stop us from immediately contemplating another order once we finished it. Such is the power of figs and bacon.

I ended up heading to TL's place after that, bearing cream puffs from Beard Papa for him and his friends, which I thought I was too full to consume but then somehow did anyway. It's obviously true what they say about a separate stomach for dessert….

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