we went to Oberlin this last trip and had a fantastic meal... Service is outstanding, the drink selection was great and the food was on point.. This is one of the few restaurants out of town that make me wish it was close to me.
We arrived after not having been there in a year and were greated like regulars.. they remembered us and Miss K and it was like we were there the week before.. We sat at the bar and split a delicious rare jar of Sake for 15 dollars.. While perusing the menu, there is a lot of value on the menu.. A Spanish Cider 6 ounce glass for 4 dollars? 4 dollars? Crazy good value, why they would put anything for less than 5 bucks on the menu, doesn't make sense to me but, it's not NY I guess.. But, that 4 dollar glass could be 5 bucks with very little issue I am sure.. Or just make it an 8 ounce pour.. Despite things like that, yelp still gives it $$$
Their menu has a pretty promient crudo section.. We started with two.. Scallops and a medium rare or perfectly cooked mussel dish.. The mussles had a coconut cream while the scallop now escape me.. but, they were raw and fantastic.. i will remember I am sure, just a little out of sorts right now.
We moved on to gnocchi.. this was the lightest damn gnocchi i have ever had.. I don't know how it was held together.. Alicia always says that I make the best gnocchi she has ever had and god damn it, I felt her affections start to stray. On top of the lightness, they were also pan fried on one side.. that had to be the secret to holding it all together.. it was browned but, in now way acrid or burnt even the slightest.. It was served with a delicious seafood sauce.. the menu mentions chives but, that was not the main component of the sauce.. i was thinking it would be like the scallion and clam rissotto I love but, it was various seafood and a light tomato.. but, light in the actual sense where the taste of tomato was barely present.
But yeh, if there are 1000 Italian restaurant, 980 of them have some seafood gnocchi on them and this is better than 99 percent of them.. a dish that is often pedestrian or just plain shitty, was elevated to something beautiful.. always a shock and surprise.
we had two other dishes, a summer squash and a kolrabi ceasar that were light and certainly good.. not outstanding but, certainly good... But, the last thing we had was something worth talking about for sure..
we ordered their special, for 25 dollars we received a huge black seabass had that was roasted in their oven...the bass was well over 1.5 pounds.. it was served with lettuce wraps and several accoutrements.. the fish needed salt badly, or perhaps a marinade but, the concept was amazing and the price was ridiculous for 25 bucks.. They also served it with a hot sauce that made up for the salt a bit.. But, it was way more than what we could eat..
I should say, that evening that also were selling a whole lacquered duck that looked ridiculous.. It was 65 or 85 bucks and fed 4 people.. I wanted to get it but, that would have meant we only would have eaten that. but, this place is certainly good for a group if you get the one large table.. (I am already planning Miss k's RISD graduation Meal)
We drank a few different glasses of wine that complimented the food.. It was a fun night, we were well taken care of and all were happy.. Miss A was blown away, outside of the gnocchi and one of the crudo, I was very pleased and more inspired but, none the less, it's a special place and they are doing very good things.
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.