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Sunday, April 3, 2011

This Little Piggy Went to Market

I went to BLT Market on Thursday for a nice seasonal dinner.  There are several BLT restaurants around the city with the BLT standing for Bistro Laurent Tourondel, not the famous sandwich.  And don't expect to find a BLT on the menu at the BLT restaurants - they're a little fancier than that.  There's a BLT for everyone - whether you're a fish, steak, or burger lover, there's a BLT specializing in your fave.  BLT Market is all about whatever is in season, i.e. market fresh.  

We sat down and ordered wine.  I randomly picked a pinot noir from the Willamette Valley called The Four Graces.  Turns out Marissa, my dining companion, had actually been to the vinyard and gave me a little back story on the wine which is named for the owners four daughters.  Although I don't normally blog about wine, I thought this one was very tasty and I'm hoping that if I write about it, I'll remember it for the future (like how they tell you to always use a person's name in conversation so you'll remember it after meeting them at a cocktail party).  

Our waiter brought out an amuse bouche of hot dog in puff pastry - a pretty solid pig in a blanket.  It was good, but I'm not much of a hot dog person.  What I fell in love with was the warm bread spread with pesto they brought in a paper bag.  Plain garlic bread just won't do it for me anymore.  For apps, Marissa ordered the boston lettuce with blue cheese salad and I ordered the appetizer from the blackboard menu, white asparagus with poached egg, red pepper bearnaise, and microgreens.  Marissa's looked very fresh and mine was a delicious, creamy substitute for a salad.  Marissa chose the meyer lemon poached halibut with pea and fingerling potato mash, and chive blossom salad.  She said it was quite yummy.  I went with the blue crab and rock shrimp risotto with pea shoots, asparagus, and fennel pollen.  It was filled with tons of seafood and although risotto is typically rich, this one didn't send me immediately into a food coma state - a triumph in risotto world.  We skipped dessert, but I didn't mind because our waiter brought us each a mini doughnut hole dusted with cinnamon sugar with the check.  It was the perfect little bite to satisfy my sweet tooth.  Overall the meal was delicious - but sadly a little too pricey for me to enjoy on a regular basis, though I'm guessing if you're staying at The Ritz, which can be accessed from the restaurant, price is of no mind.  Must be nice.  

I love that there is a list of what's in season on the side of the menu.  I know some of the major seasonal flavors, but it's nice to see a full list of what foods speak to the season.  It was also nice to go to a restaurant that plans their menu around the seasons.  I needed to enjoy those bright flavors to remind me that although it was 30 degrees out, April was beginning the next day.  And by the way, this weather was the cruelest April Fools joke ever.  Good job Mother Nature, you out-pranked everyone with this climate.

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