The Food Baby bottom line:
- Once again, GFoM delivers a tasty and comforting experience.
- Interesting people watching - local "celebrity" spotted!
- Discovering avocado ice cream.
I recently hit up GFoM with two of my favorite girlfriends - Kristine and Laurie - for our quasi-monthly ladies night. We had a choice corner table that was just private enough so that we couldn't offend others with our conversation, but still had a prime view of the entire dining room. The moment you walk into GFoM, you feel cozy and comfortable. Its minimalist decor features exposed bricks, beautiful wood ceiling beams and funky fork/spoon/knife light fixtures. The space is small yet open, and definitely inviting.
Kristine was already seated when I arrived - when I went to hug her, she clutched my shoulder and said in a low voice, "check out the next table...I'm pretty sure that chick was on the Bachelor...blue scarf...look!" After some googling and texting (thank goodness for iphones) we determined that it was indeed Kimberly from this season of the Bachelor. The excited shoulder clutching and whispering scene was repeated when Laurie arrived. Now that we were all on the same page, the fun could begin! No offense Kimberly, but your table of girls provided massive entertainment for us throughout the night as we watched each of you struggle to barely eat from the small plates in front of you (that you mostly seemed to be sharing, one per couple). The coup de grace was when the birthday dessert arrived - one tiny, lonely cupcake with a candle. The ladies all groaned and lamented that there was NO way they could POSSIBLY finish that cupcake between the six of them. Although each of them seemed to look wistfully and longingly and the plate of chocolatey goodness in the middle of the table. Indeed, they were unable to complete the daunting and strenuous task. At our table, we all agreed that we loved food WAY too much to be THAT thin. Don't get me wrong - I'm not hating - its just that we all have our priorities...I choose food, happiness and curves!
|2007 Palmina Barbera|
The food arrived in three waves, which provided a nice pacing for our meal. While everything was delicious, we decided our faves were the steamed bun, the tagine, the frites and the cheese plate. The cheese plate is a great dish for sharing, with three cheeses (a sharp white cheddar, a triple cream brie and a stilton blue) paired with fresh honeycomb and truffle chutney. My friend Kristine declared that this dish was "comfy" (I think we used the phrase cheese snuggie?) and that the brie combined with the chutney on the crusty bread almost reminded her of a cheesy fig newton. I particularly loved the fresh, gooey yet crispy honeycomb. It paired beautifully with all of the cheeses (and was also delicious by itself when licked off the plate!).
I don't need to say much about the pomme frites, other than they were perfectly executed and amazingly delicious. The perfect mix of crispy, tender, potatoey and salty. We decided they were also laced with crack and maybe truffles? I'm definitely itching for more already. The urge is strong.
The chicken tagine was also incredible - the skin of the chicken was perfectly crispy and the meat was tender. It was served in a tagine dish over a fragrant mixture of chick peas and veggies that were cooked with a smoky, sweet and tangy sauce. We couldn't identify all the ingredients, but caught hints of curry and preserved lemon or orange. Such a wonderfully flavorful dish.
|Before the big reveal...|
My personal fave was the steamed bun. OMG. Holy crap is this little sandwich delicious! Inside the pillowy soft steamed bun is pork belly that is seasoned with Chinese five spice and cooked to crispy perfection. Hoisin sauce and crunchy pickled vegetables perfectly balance the smokiness and richness of the pork belly. If you only eat one thing at GFoM, I would recommend that this be it. It is epic.
After our satisfying array of small plates, we were on the fence about dessert. But our amazing waitress, Tammy, reminded us that it wouldn't hurt to look at the menu...right... We all immediately gravitated to the bread pudding with cheesecake ice cream. Then I noticed a very interesting option - pear skillet cake with avocado ice cream and salted caramel sauce. REALLY? Laurie and Kristine seemed a bit skeptical, but I had to try it. When the desserts arrived, I was the first to sample the pear dessert. I got a little of each component on my spoon and was blown away. The warm pear skillet cake was nice and crispy on the outside and tender inside, and the avocado ice cream was a perfect compliment. It was creamy with just a hint of sweetness. I wasn't sure how avocado would translate into ice cream, but it was brilliant. The salted caramel provided a lovely salty/sweet note that really pulled it all together. Amazeballs. I have to admit, I was so obsessed with the pear dessert that I didn't give the bread pudding my full attention. However, the cheesecake ice cream on that plate was a clear highlight for me. We put in an impressive showing, nearly devouring both desserts.
|Pear cake with Avocado Ice Cream!|
P.S. GFoM, please bring back your legendary beef carpaccio - we miss it!!