Reinstituting the dining out Mondays we went to Lola tonight! A good change of pace from what was going on.

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Wine: Meuller Block 11 Syrah

After we had an idea of what we were going to have I picked out a middle-of-the-road Syrah. It worked out well with a bit of tannins up front, but not overpowering. It was big enough to keep up with the foods without trying to steal the spotlight. It worked great with our food.

Appetizer: Charcuterie

Prosciutto, duck, ham mousse, salami and more… I can’t remember all of it. It was all great though! When the waiter came back and asked “how did you like your meats?” it became very clear that this was a Michael Symon restaurant. All of the meats were cured in-house and they were uniformly great. This serves as a great primer in all sorts of European cured meats.

Soup: Baked onion soup over bacon and micro parsley

This is a very smooth and creamy, pork-y version of a French onion soup. Very pork-y, like like grandma’s bean soup that had the ham hock in it. Very rich tasting. The soup had been stewed for a long time before being pureed and strained. It came served as a two-part presentation: the bowl with the garnish and the hot soup came out as two different parts. The two were combined in front of you. Hidden in the garnish were a few think cuts of bacon that were cooked to a delicious crisp.

George: Duck

Seared and roasted duck sliced over a couscous sourced with a duck (maybe chicken) reduction with apricots, sultanas, pine nuts, thyme, red pepper, salt, pepper garnished with watercress. It was perfectly balanced. I’ve had duck in a number of places before and this was without a doubt the best. Most places seem to somehow dry the duck out — if that even seems to be possible. The preparation here turned out beautifully. The duck was cooked just right to a perfect medium. And more and it turns dry, any less and it’s just rubbery. They got it right. The couscous under it was as good as, if not better than, the duck itself! The flavor was nicely balanced with the earthy duck flavor balanced with the sweetness of the apricot and the nuttiness of the pine nuts. The raisins bursting in your mouth just kick it up another notch. Good stuff!

Ennie: Smoked Berkshire Pork Chop

George: Berries and Cream Parfait

The cold graininess of the berry granita mixed with the creme anglaise made for the perfect finish. The strawberry, blackberry and blueberries (all in season) under it all finished off the meal without overdoing it.

Ennie: Pistachio-Strawberry Bavarian


Awesome place! Only cons I can think of is the silverware, while stylish, isn’t very comfortable in my hands and it was louder than we were expecting. The food though was amazingly good!