But it's okay because I'm not the only one that spills their heart and soul on the table at this restaurant. The owners -- and especially the Chef -- have a passion for each plate that's palpable.
|Satis Bistro - 212 Washington Street in Paulus Hook|
|(Cauliflower, Mahon and English Pea Croquette, Romesco Sauce)|
|(Grilled Lamb Merguez, Flatbread, Sweet Tomato and Red Onion Chutney, Greek Yogurt Cucumber Sauce)|
|(New Jersey Asparagus, Spring Onion Galette with Oven Poached Quail Egg, Frisse)|
|(Housemade Chorizo, Duck Liver and Marcona Almond Pate, Pan Tomate)|
And no, we aren't even close to being done yet.
|(Cast Iron Cauliflower Steak - Pan Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Pearl Tomatoes, Watercress, Golden Raisin and Pinenut Steak Sauce)|
I don't care if you are a vegetarian or not, this dish will get you coming back again and again. Vegetarians, though, should rejoice. Finally a restaurant is preparing a meal for you that isn't a pile of sad stir-fried veggies. The cauliflower steak is robust and hearty with a crispy, pan roasted exterior and a tasty, creamy interior. Exactly like a good filet. But the piece de resistance is the sauce. I might have mentioned something about wanting to jello-style wrestle in it. Sweet and spicy. Smokey and tart. It's everything a good steak sauce should be and more.
|(Pork Tenderloin - Serrano Ham Wrapped Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, Melted Leek and English Pea Polenta, Spicy Carrot Broth)|
And this is where the beasts smell blood and really go in for the kill. This dish is so good -- the true sleeper hit -- that it needs another photo before a full description.
I can taste the memory of this dish while writing. Like an elusive and slightly sexy dream that starts to untangle its tentacles as you wake up, this dish makes me want to close my eyes and slip back into its warm embrace. I want to run my fork along the bottom of the bowl and scoop up piles of polenta. Slice away portions of ham-wrapped pork. Dip remnants in the spicy carrot broth. I want to make inappropriate noises while consuming this dish and then forcefully tell my indecisive neighbor at a nearby table that they would be stupid -- possibly suicidal -- if they didn't order this dish. It's the good kind of surprise you rarely experience at a restaurant any more. The kind of surprise that renders you speechless until the dish is finished and the plate bare.
|(Navarin D'Agneau - Dijon Tarragon Braised Colorado Lamb Shank, Roasted Spring Vegetables)|
|(Farmer's Market Paella - Saffron Bomba Rice, Seasonal Local Farmer's Market Vegetables, Sweet Baby Tomato, Castelvetrano Olives)|
The Chef was obviously reading some Dear Diary entries, because he concocted another vegetable-heavy dish that will feature a rotating array of in-season produce. And don't judge me on my above love affair with pork, because when not producing dramatic eye rolls over porcine portions I'm actually a very big lover of all things green and garden raised. I just couldn't believe the amount and variety of vegetables in this dish. It seemed like every fork full of food unearthed some new and interesting bite that was hiding just below the surface of saffron-infused rice.
|(Ooo, that's the new bar they added/subtracted downstairs. During the week I think they are playing with the idea of having a Chef's table ... and then on weekends it might be reserved for walk-ins.)|
|(PB&J - Peanut Butter Gelato, Damson Plum Sorbet, Concord Grape Gelee, Sugared Brioche Croutons)|
|(Individual Baked Brie and Shallot Marmalade Tart, Apricot Rosemary Compote)|
|(Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble - Warm, strawberry, rhubarb compote, almond streusel, vanilla whipped creme fraiche)|
Don't believe me? Here's evidence:
And that concludes my night at Satis. The spring menu is now available (if I didn't drain them of all their supplies yesterday) and you're free to do your own taste test and let me know what you think. If you're sitting at the restaurant and completely torn about what dish you should select, feel free to send me a tweet and I'll happily help you decide (Simone, I'm talking to you sweetheart. I know you can't make a dinner decision without me now.).
Also, as an additional note, I'm thrilled to announce that Satis will be hosting several tasting tables at the Rose Cottage by Kanibal Home event on 4/9. Make sure you RSVP to be able to take advantage of all the Jersey City-based goodness we have planned for that evening.