Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nick and Eddie

First of all, if you have Anchor Steam on your drink list, then you are alright by my standards, so Nick and Eddie was off to a good start. I had heard a lot of hype about N&E on various local food blogs and other credible food sources and hadn't found the time to make my way over there to check it out yet. A gorgeous July night presented a fine opportunity to head over, so I jumped and brought my empty stomach and girlfriend along for the ride.
I called the day before to get a reservation, but found that it wasn't too jammed on a nice summer night when I arrived. I was glad that there was outdoor seating available, mostly because it was one of those rare Minnesota nights where the temp was comfortable and the mosquitoes were merciful, but also because although the restaurant is very nice and well designed on the inside, it's also very loud. Anyways, we cruised out side to soak up some sun and the seasonal offerings on the N&E menu.
The first thing I noticed was that almost every entree was grilled, which I guess is fine for a seasonal menu - it is grilling season, but a bit more variety would have been nice as well. Anyways they had a few steak options, a fish special, a pasta and some other misc entrees (chicken of course) that sounded nice too. I was leaning towards the ribs, but that's not a good move on date night, and the lady was already set on the Duck, so I resisted the urge to pig out on my own bar menu (the bar menu looked great by the way) tasting feast and opted for the grilled Mahi-Mahi special - simply grilled with a simple herb rub.
We tore into the bread basket and the dense, pillowy slice reminded me of the pull-apart bread I used to fiend for when I would visit my grandparent's old lake home in Alexandria. A few minutes later, the waitress brought out a perfectly cooked plate of fish, accompanied with a intensely green pesto and some salty, citrusy, perfectly fried fries. Although the plate lacked any color balance, the dish worked well. I think eating fries with grilled fish is a lot like eating salad with polenta, but the odd combo was still good. The fish was huge, and although I enjoy my Mahi-Mahi drenched in butter, wine and lemon, I dug this preparation too. The herb rub was subtle enough to taste the individual essences (I loved the oregano), and the pesto was a nice twist too. I will say that I am used to a more traditional italian pesto with plenty of cheese and olive oil, but this was a bit more balanced for a lighter finish. Needless to say, it was gone quick.

As mentioned before, my girlfriend ordered the duck which was served up with an intensely colorful summer succotash. The succotash was really quite good. I love lima beans and the accompaniment was light and fresh - in my mind a nice match for some succulent duck in a summer preparation.
The duck itself was pretty fatty (as duck normally is) and was a bit chewier then I'd like (it was pretty ashen and not the deep brownish pink you normally see), but it was still fair. To me, duck is better reserved for heavier preparations more suitable for the cold months. There was almost an equal amount of fat to flesh ratio and if it would have been a bit more balanced, it would have helped the dish. It's tough to have nice crispy skin when you are fighting a thick layer of fat. Anyways, I dug my fish, so it would have been hard for the duck to stand up to it - I couldn't think of two proteins that have less in common.

So, when it comes down to it, I would go Back to Nick and Eddie, but I would wait until I could check out a different seasonal menu. When I go back it will likely be for their brunch, which I've heard a lot of good things about, or to try their bar menu with friends and plenty of cocktails - that is if I can resist the urge to stroll right down the street to pillage the mecca of all bar menus at Cafe Lurcat.

Happy Eating,


1 comment:

Bhobbs said...

The photos really add a lot to your posts. I could see how visually the duck was more appealing than the mahi mahi - funny how sometimes you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Also, I notice how you connect food with fond memories - I am glad you are enjoying so many meals with your family and significant others - I think we can gain a lot by way of social stability simply by giving thanks for our food with the people we care about.

Thanks for making meals an emotional and spiritual occassion for your readers, lest we take the simplist and richest of pleasures for granted.

Related Posts with Thumbnails