A friend and I ended up getting dinner at T.W. Food the other night. The tiny restaurant, which I’d never been to before, was offering three different tasting menus for the evening, letting diners choose between a three course, four course and six course offering. We decided to go with the four course for $65 (wine pairing optional for an additional $40).
Before I really get into the mouthwatering meal, let me say that T.W. Food is a very unique and special restaurant. Owned by husband and wife duo Tim and Bronwyn Weichmann, they’re sole focus is on cooking and service, plain and simple. That is how it should be. And let me just say that they master it to a T. Everything they serve stems from the purity of ingredients they use. Given their obsession for all things organic and locally produced, the menu is almost always changing to accommodate what is available. Their creative French flare lends itself to the modern cuisine that is both innovative and delicious, and their fun, experimental style is quite handy when it comes to Wednesday nights Kitchen Improv, a weekly affair which features a 5 course tasting menu spontaneously created by the chef.
There’s something about tasting menus that I just love, rather than letting the diner pick their destiny, going on a chefs whim allows you to experience a restaurant in the absolute best way as intended by its creators. Like watching a theatrical story unfold, or hearing your favorite band play a live set, there’s something unbelievably exciting about being along on someone elses ride, and totally reaping all of the benefits. That’s essentially what I did this past Monday. I will say that I am sort of embarrassed by my photos seeing as they don’t really do the evening justice, but alas dim lighting will continue to be the bane of my food-photogging existence.
Upon being seated, we were greeted and offered a serious selection of nom-worthy breads paired with some accouterments. Let’s just say, between the sourdough, the spoonfuls of monk fish, the chicken liver pate and the perfectly smooth unsalted butter, it was quite the bread basket. My absolute favorite was the ciabatta topped with bacon, it was buttery, flaky and the bacon fat gave it the perfect je e sai quoi. Followed by our first course…
After trying the Roasted Parsnip Salad it almost made me wish I had gone with the vegetarian choice. It was light and full of flavor, served with a chilled shallot parfait and curry pecan vinaigrette. The Smoked Gilfeather Turnip Bisque was a little heavier, topped with Maine crab salad, radicchio, tahini and lime slaw. There were a lot of different things going on with that bisque, but everything paired together pretty well. I’ll admit I couldn’t finish the whole thing but that’s because I was saving some room for the next course.
Absolutely perfect, and on the doughier side which is how I like my homemade pasta. Another spectacular flavor combination, the hint of grapefruit added a perfect touch and almost made me think of Summer (which is quite impressive given the below freezing temps). The third course was the cheese course. MmmmMmmm cheese…
The cheese plate included a selection of comte le fort, aged cow’s milk; jura roquefort, sheep’s milk; and aquitaine brebis collines, sheep’s milk, basque. Paired with some roasted walnuts, sliced apples and some toasted bread it was light and mine was obviously devoured within moments, although I must say it wasn’t the most memorable cheese plate I’ve had to date.
For dessert we were served a puff pastry filled with chocolate cream and accompanied by spiced pineapple puree and a lemon verbena caramel sauce. The pastry itself was a little less flaky and buttery than I would have liked, but the chocolate mousse inside was beyond heavenly. So smooth, rich and OMG awesome I couldn’t help finishing every last bit.
Overall the experience at T.W. was amazing, the staff was superb and I had a wonderful time. Granted there are some things I would have changed about the menu, and it wasn’t the most phenomenal food I’ve ever tasted but I can’t help but love what the Wiechmann’s are doing on Walden St. Everything about it was totally upscale without being pretentious, which I love and can always appreciate. I must admit I harbor a certain hatred for uppity frou-frou eateries that owe their fame to a name or a location and not necessarily the quality of work and deliverance of bomb-ass food. T.W. has charm, charisma and a lot going for it. With lots of great ideas and ingredients, and equally exciting weekly events, I’ve already promised myself I’ll be going back for seconds soon.
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