After the celebrations of this Monday’s New Year’s Eve, it’ll be time to start planning for all your other — non-eventful — Monday meals. Here’s a terrific deal that’ll wipe the doldrums away: Corner BYOB’s Monday prix fixe menu, $25 for 3 courses. The Hampden restaurant, as you can tell from its name, doesn’t have a liquor license . . . but you’re welcome to bring your own and they’ll charge $1 a person for glass fee. Right behind the restaurant is The Wine Source, which I’m now convinced beats the pants off the suburban liquor stores I used to run to.
Make reservations for your evening at Corner BYOB, as it’s not a huge place and they make dinners individually. The interior is decorated in mid-cool earth tones while modern and classic rock plays in the background. Their chef leans towards Belgian, upscale peasant flavors, with a good deal of nose-to-tail eating.
As there were two of us dining, I got to try a total of six items. First was the watercress salad, but they subbed out farm-fresh arugula, as they were not pleased with the way the watercress was looking that day, goat cheese, jicama and balsamic vinaigrette. It had a pleasant crunchiness and was properly (lightly) dressed, so as to have the produce flavors shine.
Next, I tried the squid noodles with bok choy, enoki mushrooms, bell peppers, edamame, ginger and sweet chili. With the spicy items being julienned, the heat was manageable. The Asian flavors and seafood shine, with nice texture.
For an entree’, I ordered the “Shrimp and Scallop,” with seared shrimp and scallops, sun dried tomato fettuccini and spicy tomato sauce. It was spicy, but not overly so, more of a heat kick. The scallops were tender with a caramelized crust. The whole shrimp was a treat to have, with its fatty brains: they had a slightly more seafood-liver flavor.
I also got to try the Bistro filet: seared bistro filet (aka “rat steak”), asparagus and potato croquettes. I saw that on the regular menu, they serve fries with house-made aioli. So, I asked for some of the aioli with thin shaved garlic for the croquettes . . .it was a great idea! As for the filet, I ordered it rare, as it’s a lean cut. That preserved the juicy steak flavors with minerality, not livery.
For dessert courses, I tried a little of the cheese plate, which has smaller tasting portions and also, the Dulce de Leche: salty caramel ice cream filled crepes with caramel sauce. There were dark, robust caramel flavors in the dish, not just sweet cream.
Corner BYOB has this Gastronaut Society that I’m simply dying to join. You get discounts on their special dinners that include exotic game, wild flavors, etc. In my mind, the gastronauts would have a special Cracker Jack/enlisted Navy hat to wear.
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