Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Bonus

As far as I know, this is the first year that Richmond Restaurant Week is happening in both the spring and the fall.  If you live in Richmond, you still have until May 1st to try or revisit one of the participating restaurants.  $25.11 for three courses is quite a bargain, especially considering that $2.11 of it benefits FeedMore.  

Davy and I went to Acacia mid-town last night, and it was a fantastic experience.  We'd only eaten there once before, and it easily met my expectations despite the frantic pace and heavy traffic of restaurant week.  The service was impeccable, my cocktail (a rhubarb sour) was creative and memorable, and the food was exquisite.

Everything on the menu appealed to me, but I'd spent enough pondering before we went, so I was prepared with my decision.  I ordered the "fried ramp and pinenut risotto balls, fresh shrimp salad, garlic butter sauce"; "sauteed local rockfish, creamy rice beans, roasted mushrooms and romanesco, mushroom rosemary nage" and "chocolate cremeaux, passionfruit sorbet, cocoa streusel."

I'll be honest and tell you that I don't know what all of those ingredients are (nage, anyone?), but every single flavor and texture melded perfectly.  My only criticism is that the risotto balls were a little on the bland side and I didn't detect much of a ramp taste, but they had a delicious crunch from the pine nuts and the shrimp salad was tender and creamy.  The rockfish combined several of my favorite foods: the fish itself, white beans, and roasted mushrooms.  If I could go back, I'd get it again.  The same goes for my dessert.  I don't usually care much for fruit with my chocolate, but the passionfruit sorbet was tangy and subtly sweet.  It cut through the richness of the chocolate and served as a vehicle to pick up all three components in one bite.

Davy ordered the "red wine braised duck leg, housemade pasta, soft-cooked quail egg"; "braised beef boneless shortrib roulade, spicy potato pancake, warm market vegetable salad, fresh herbs" and "hazelnut shortcake, berries, creme fraiche ice cream."  I would have eaten any of his dishes, too.  The bites I tried of the duck, shortrib, and dessert had the same phenomenal textural and flavor balance as my meal.    

Even if you aren't able to get to Acacia this week, keep it in mind for a special occasion.  Or maybe for the next Restaurant Week, which is a short six months, or less, away.

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