Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Great Meal at Last

There have been many uneven meals at Ox and Fin reported by many of my friends, so hearing that Mike, the chef from Red Agave had taken the reins, I took a chance.
I use Open Table a lot, even for local restaurants so I booked a early dinner. I was greeted and shown to a nice table with a view of the courtyard. One of the owners, Betsy Bills Montoya, came over and introduced herself. We chatted about the food and their history with the restaurant and I gave her some feedback from prior visits.
The menu was heavy on meat and is one of the reasons vegetarians such as my wife are not fond of the place. We talked at length about adding something besides pasta to the menu.
My waiter, Jessie, was prompt and personable and was very knowledgeable about the food.
I ordered my usual Martini and ask about what local gins they had :Smalls (warm and sweet), Ransom(warm and complex),Aviation(Cooler but nice), Crater Lake ( a bit harsh).
I ordered a Ransom with a twist, then THE best tomato salad I have EVER tasted appeared before me. Shaved fennel, at least 5 heirloom tomatoes types, and  small slices of hot pepper over greens with a tasty vinaigrette dressing. I will go back just for this!
Next came a superb steak with spinach and thinly sliced squash that was perfectly done but too many mashed potatoes (I left some on the plate). More greens would have been nice.
I ordered Westry pinot noir and they brought it one of those un-stemmed glasses I hate. Someone in the restaurant biz decided that it would be great not to have stems that break so they got manufacturers on the bandwagon. They suck for Pinot!
Betsy brought a real glass to the table and I had her taste both glasses and she found the difference amazing. The wine was perfect in the right glass. Black Cherry, notes of rose petal, and rich soils with a jammy finish.
Dessert was Fagatto, Vanilla ice-cream from Stella with two shots of espresso. A nice complete. evening.
I think I have a new restaurant on my list of favorites!

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