Monday, December 21, 2009

Dinner at Mezzanine in Richmond

Recently, Patrick and I found an excuse to go down to Cary Town in Richmond, VA. I wanted to eat at Mezzanine, a place I had wanted to try on a prior trip but found it closed. Once again it was closed, it only serves dinner and I always seem to be out looking for a meal at 3 in the afternoon. Mezzanine supports the local food movement by using local farm fresh ingredients. I am disappointed by their website and menu as it really did not give much of a back story for the restaurant.

Patrick started with the beet salad which was served way too cold. The layers of goat cheese were creamy but tasteless. The citrus reduction and the beets were delicious. The salad had potential but serving cheese cold prevents the fats from giving their flavors.

I had a spinach salad with fried oysters, sun dried tomatoes, and bacon vinaigrette. The oysters were amazing, fried crisp outside and tender inside. The bacon vinaigrette had a nice smoky porky flavor but I could have used more bacon. I also could have used a bit more vinaigrette and a few more oysters. We wanted to order a whole basket of them.

Patrick had the Shrimp and Grits because he loves grits. This restaurant seemed to love grits as my entree was also served on a bed of them. Patrick's shrimp were overcooked but they are his least favorite part of this dish for that reason. The shrimp flavor in the grits is more enjoyable. I had the beef short rib that was swimming in hosin ju. The hosin ju was too sweet and needed balance, maybe something smoky. The first beef rib was fall apart tender but the other two were not. I like my meat to fall apart and these ribs fell short.

Their menu was promising and pretty decent despite a few differences in taste. The service was relaxed, laid back, and unremarkable. Our server was happy to tell us which items he liked and which items will soon be leaving the menu.

When we first sat down we were served a basket of New York Flatbreads. These crackers needed to be served with something to spread on them or dip into. As I was eating wheat at the time I really wanted hot fresh bread and butter. If I was in Richmond often, I would try this place once in a while as their menu changes frequently.

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