Monday, May 27, 2013

Pre-Pimlico Racing Weekend Meal c/o b.

 A few weekends back it was time for the annual running of the Preakness. The big race - The Preakness - is run on Saturday, but the Friday before - known as Black Eyed Susan Day - is also a relatively big deal, especially in Baltimore. Historically my parents, the T.'s and a few others would do both days of races, driving up from Silver Spring each day and then driving back down at the end. Last year we all stayed in our cousin V.'s house in nearby Towson and it was decided that my father, me, and L. and Fat T. would do so again. L. and Fat T. couldn't arrive until Friday morning, so it was only me who arrived late Thursday afternoon. The drive was solid, nothing surprising. After a bit of chatting on V.'s delightful porch, we set off to the Bolton Hill area of Baltimore to enjoy a dinner al fresco courtesy of b. Bistro. The Bolton Hill area, as far as I could determine, has a pretty similar vibe to my own Art Museum/Fairmount Philadelphia neighborhood, and is not unlike Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. All to say that its lined with buildings I think you could refer to as brown stones, which often enough have nicely landscaped front stoops and streets that include the occasional shade bearing tree. It's cute, is what I'm saying. b. was also cute. The evening was lovely, temperature-wise, so we weren't the only ones sitting outside, enjoying the not-too-hot, not-too-cold environs. We started our dinner with a bottle of wine and fried oysters. The batter around each oyster was thick and crunchy, so much so that at my father's first bite there was a moment where we heard a sound that initially seemed to signify tooth against shell bit...but upon closer and careful mouth inspection on my father's part, it was determined that no, it was just an especially fiesty batter morsel. Oysters were nice and sweet and succulent inside their new battered shells. And the greens and dressing that accompanied them were also solid. I could have done with perhaps a little more of a lemon element, but that's my only complaint.
 Dad and the wine.
I chose the Organic Salmon with crispy skin pan roasted, green onion polenta cake,
sauteed spinach, and fire roasted red pepper coulis. The fish was excellently prepared, tender and not dry at all. I enjoyed especially the crispy skin element and the polenta cake, an element of some plates I really could take or leave, was a little more interesting than many. The coulis was also a nice touch.
Dad had the special fish of the day with a crab risotto with English peas and corn, which was also nicely executed. V. ordered the scallops and the bite of said dish I had was proof positive that the folks in the kitchen know their way around seafood. Everything was just on point.
What a wonderful first meal for the racing weekend. Thanks to V. for the suggestion and Dad for the meal itself.

No comments: