Monday, May 14, 2007
Dinner at Ad Hoc was delicious and reminiscent of a traditional family dinner. Originally, Ad Hoc was supposed to be a temporary establishment while Thomas Keller was developing his concept for a "bottles and burgers" restaurant. In the interim, he started serving a fixed four-course family-style menu for $45 and for walk-ins only. Well, people loved the concept and so it's now a permanent establishment and you can make reservations.
The menu changes everyday, but everyone eats the same 4 courses. They will accommodate you if you just cannot eat something on the menu. For example, one person in our party requested a firm cheese due to her pregnancy. You can call the day of your reservation to find out what you will be eating that night. We were all very full by the end of the meal, but don't be afraid to ask for seconds if you need another taste of something to satisfy your taste buds.
We started with a frisee salad that had the most delicious feta cheese, marinated wild mushrooms, and pickled icicle radishes. The main course was Spanish red peppers stuffed with short ribs on a bed of Israeli couscous. Next was the cheese course- I don't remember the name, but it was a Spanish sheep's milk cheese served with a sweet red onion marmalade. Finally, for dessert we were served creme fraiche parfaits with berries.
The peppers stuffed with short ribs was by far the star of the night. Every bite was an explosion of flavor. The cheese was good, but it didn't wow me and the same goes for the dessert. I suppose that is kind of the point of the restaurant though. They serve traditional family style meals with gourmet twists using incredible ingredients and perfect technique.
If you want the "wow" factor, go to The French Laundry. If you are looking for one of the best "home-cooked" meals you'll ever eat try Ad Hoc.
Here's another sample menu from yesterday:
*Baby Iceberg Wedge w/oven dried tomatoes, bacon lardons and winterlake lodge bleu cheese dressing
*Barbecued Brisket with spicy potato wedges, cole slaw and honey butter corn bread
*Meso Seco w/fruit relish