Lunch dials down at 2 p.m., but to-go prepared meals are available from the cold case until closing. In fact, I thought I had sampled plenty on my visits to Juicy Kitchen and had nearly finished writing when I checked the website. What I read there on the weekly special news literally pulled me out of my chair and into the car to go back.
"We're doing lots of comfort food this week," I read, "with an interesting twist: Chef Dan [Vernia, who was founding chef at Ravens Club] is using antelope, a lean source of protein coming from Texas, in his Italian Mole Stew called Dolceforte. Antelope is similar to venison but milder and sweeter. I hope that you try it, as Dan is a master of this type of dish."
As promised, the stew was rich but not gamey and the dark chocolate-poblano pepper mole was divine. Yes votes also are awarded for to-go desserts like poached pears in clove sauce topped with coconut cream and chai-spiced rice pudding with big raisins and big cardamom flavor. You could also enjoy them in the cafe with fresh Mighty Good coffee--if you can find a seat. This place gets pretty darn crowded. Fortunately, Todoroff and her husband, George, have developed a close working relationship with the owners of the new El Harissa Market Cafe (see Marketplace Changes, p. 59) a few doors down, so its spacious dining space can serve as Juicy Kitchen overflow space--at least until El Harissa is discovered as well.