Terry B's reviewed
The kitchen uses a good cheese, made by Four Corners Creamery in Tecumseh, for its fried mozzarella, served with grilled fennel, greens, avocado, and grape tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The steamed mussels missed the boat-the broth, usually the most wonderful aspect of moules, was oddly flavorless, although that made it less disappointing that the kitchen forgot the promised crispy baguette for sopping up the juices. I loved the plump patties of ground tenderloin on a dense house-made herb roll set off with tart house-made pickles and served with almost airy gaufrette-style potato crisps.
Far and away the most interesting, rare, and refined starters are those involving meats and fish that Hewitt has smoked or cured. The restaurant has two smokers out back just off the kitchen, and meats are air-cured in the basement.
With its high-quality components needing no further to-do, the "Dexter Plate" is the most simply arranged appetizer-just slices of air-dried chorizo, layered chicken-vegetable terrine, duck "bacon," and prosciutto, each with a simple adornment-a dash of caraway mustard, a wedge of pickled onion, a sliver of baby artichoke heart. The smoked fish plate was similarly simple-and equally fabulous: thin rounds of sea scallops; a flaky dry-smoked salmon; a scoop of fish salad. The smokery meats also show up in two exemplary salads: a salty, crispy duck confit balanced with the sweetness of mango slices and berry fruits over tossed mesclun; and an update on the Waldorf salad with smoked chicken, cashews, cherries, and apples, and a swirl of a pomegranate reduction, topped with grilled bread and a little bunch of mizuna greens.
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