Perhaps I made fun of John Tesar, chef-owner of Spoon, a little too much on my Top Chef recaps, because that sucker sat me and Matt Shelley closest to the kitchen during yesterday’s media lunch. To keep an eye on us, I suppose. Nah, I kid. (Or am I? I can’t decide.)
Nancy wrote a stellar review of Tesar’s seafood restaurant in last month’s issue, and it looks like Tesar’s not ready to be forgotten by the press. He’s been busy getting his new brunch and lunch menus ready for the masses, starting May 12. (Necessary plug: check out this list of places to eat for Mother’s Day. Spoon is on there.) In Tesar’s words, he’s doing this so that guests can get an affordable “taste of Spoon.”
First things first: the lunch and dinner menus at Spoon are closely related, except Tuesday through Friday (between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.), you can order salads and sandwiches. It’s easy to walk out of Spoon, full and satisfied, with less than a $20 check, which isn’t bad if you, uh, don’t write for a living. Matt and I shared a knuckle sandwich with gem lettuce, zebra tomato, pork belly, lobster knuckles, and (surprise!) kewpie mayonnaise in it. Sure, there’s no way you can look pretty and eat that humongo sandwich at the same time, but at least you get to exercise your jawline and enjoy an uncommon combination of flavors. My favorite part had to be the sea salt-covered pomme souffle on the side, which were light and airy and almost beignet-like in texture. There’s no way you could not like those puffed potatoes, unless you’re a grumpy hermit who only eats pb&j sandwiches every day.
Matt ordered a lobster benedict with thick, fat crustaceous slices of ocean meat lying on top of two perfectly poached eggs. The crispy pork belly and diver scallop he had right before, I believe, wowed him so much that the lobster benedict seemed less showy of a piece. But it was definitely still generous, portion-wise.
I’m still kicking myself in the foot today for not finishing the entirety of my chocolate pot au creme dessert, made by pastry chef David Collier. I think I was too full from yesterday’s cuttlefish crudo and knuckle sandwich. The dessert we ordered came with these blocky crisp mousse biscuits that were excellent scooping instruments for the creamy custard. Chocolate was probably painted all over my face, but I couldn’t care a whip about it. I finished my meal and almost deep-Korean-bowed to Collier for such a fun treat that paired so well with Spoon’s rich French press.
Chocolate dessert and coffee after lunch at Spoon: that’s what I call a luxury.
For the lunch menu, click here for the pdf.