Restaurant Epic

pen, 28. June 2007, 15:42

Restaurant Epic has re-opened and it is great. Four and a half stars!

Food: Amazing. There were a few hiccups, but only 1/2 a star’s worth. Reid, Larri and I checked it out last night. We tried a special appetizer of escargot with mushrooms, pancetta, and bleu cheese in what seemed to be a veal demiglace. Couldn’t really taste the pancetta. The sauce was awesome, but slightly overpowered the escargot, which seemed a bit overcooked. We did not care if it was uncouth, we both asked for extra bread just to eat that sauce (I know, I know, since when did we care about couth?)
The Epic sushi roll boasts scallops and crab, but they are not in the roll. I think the scallops were made into a mousse and put atop the sushi along with a crab/mayo salad and it was topped by caviar.
Reid had the Saikyo Miso Syle Butterfish. When the wait staff asked how he liked it (it is supposed to be one of the more popular items on the menu), he responded that the rice was a little salty and there was too much of a citrus bite (yuzu?) in the sauce. He said the fish was fine, but something that you could have anywhere.
I had the Daube or beef short ribs braised in a dark, meaty, slightly teriyaki-ish (sweet) sauce served with sauteed vegetables and potatoes lyonaisse. Yum! The meat was so tender and flavorful and just fell off the bone.
They also offer steaks, a lot of fish and seafood dishes, a duck dish that looks great and also a rack of lamb that I will have to try at some point. The surf and turf and seafood combos allow you to try different things and does not cost much more than a regular entree.
For dessert we ordered the Swiss Apple Tart, which was good, and made with fresh ingredients, but nothing especially noteworthy. It came with vanilla icecream and went well with the hot, rich coffee. I, of course, needed my chocolate fix and ordered the chocolate souffle. It was good, but just a bit eggy for my taste. I think Roy’s still reigns supreme. (I am being overly critical, because the food was of such great caliber that the tiniest imperfection was noticable).
When our waiter brought out a lemon sorbet with fresh strawberries, we thought he brought it to the wrong table. But then we found out the manager (or whomever it was my Reid gave his butterfish review to) comped us the sorbet due to Reid’s disappointment with his dish (which did not stop him from cleaning his plate, mind you. In Reid’s defense, he was asked his opinion before he gave it.

Service: Thus, service was excellent. Very attentive without being claustrophobic. They really care about what you say about their food. The wait staff was friendly, knowledgeable and quick to respond to any requests. Superb!

Atmosphere: Very cool vibe and classy. Dark lighting, but there was a warmth and intimacy to it. There was enough open space so you do not feel confined or part of the next table’s conversation. It is relaxed. You feel like you could stay all night and talk if you so chose. People were there in “date” clothes, there was the after work crowd and some were even in t-shirts and shorts.

Overall: A bit pricey, but worth it. The service is top-notch, the food is innovative, with lots of strong, bold flavors (our waiter told us the chef is a saucier, so the sauces were all awesome, except for the yuzu in the butterfish sauce, apparently). An overall relaxing and enjoyable dining experience. I will definitely go back!

Note: The lunch menu is quite a bit different from the dinner menu. There is very little overlap. Some things offered at lunch, but not at dinner: Calamari Fito, Cassoulet of Wild Mushrooms & Escargot, Grilled Basa, Kobe burger, Panini, Bouillabaisse, Veggie Ravioli, Ahi Nicoise, Asian Pesto Steam Tofu. None of the dinner meat (including chicken) dishes are offered during lunch except for the short ribs.

Just a few comments to add to the Epic review. I talked to Penny after reading her review, and I think she would agree that she was gushing a bit. (In her defense, she said her original review sounded too harsh.)

The food is not great, imo, but the entres look interesting–so much so that I do still feel enthusiastic about the place, even if the dishes weren’t entirely successful. What do I mean by that? The biggest problem was the combination of ingredients not really forming a satisfying whole. For example, the sauce with the escargot was really good, but it didn’t really match well with the escargot, imo. The approach is also different, which I liked, but it just didn’t work well. Same with teh butterfish. The butterfish was basically standard misoyaki that you could get at a decent Japanese restaurant, with that tangy sauce. The sauce was a little over powering, and didn’t quite fit with the fish, imo. The food wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t come together completely.

The ambiance her is also very appealing, and that’s another reason for going to the restaurant again. Plus, I love the downtown area, too.

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