Sunday, January 30, 2011

Healthy and happy at Dante's Kitchen

All last week, starting on Sunday, I was feeling decidedly ill. Then, after I visited the doctor on Wednesday and was prescribed antibiotics, I experienced an allergic reaction to the medicine and felt even worse (itching from head to foot all night long). It wasn't until Saturday morning that I finally began feeling like myself again and I knew exactly what would perk me up after such a miserable week....a decadent cheat!

I'd been dreaming about breakfast (read bacon) all week long, so it seemed only natural for John and I to walk a few blocks down the road to Dante's Kitchen to enjoy what was sure to be an ambrosial brunch. This is my 71st cheat and I am down 79 pounds.

John and I had both been to Dante's before, but we've never visited for brunch mainly due to the fact that on weekends, we are lazy bums who lounge in bed all morning and barely manage to drag our butts out of bed by noon. This Saturday though, I bounced out of bed at 9 am and we were out the door and walking to the restaurant at the end of Dante Street by 10:30. I had heard how popular brunch can be at Dante's and I wanted to be sure to get a table without too much of a wait.

Though the restaurant was busy when we arrived, there were still some tables left and we were seated immediately. We ordered some coffee while we hemmed and hawed over all the enticing items on the menu. Finally ordering, I took a look around at the dining room which, surprisingly enough, I had never really seen being as I had always sat outside in the past.

Dante's Kitchen was a cute, old Victorian house in a previous life, which would explain why the dining room is actually broken up into several smaller, multi-leveled areas, each one painted a different color. There's a bright  lime-green sun room with tall windows on every wall, a dark red room with a bit more of a formal feel with long curtains and subdued lighting and the entry area near the bar, where we were seated, was a sunny shade of orange. There's even another dining room up a short staircase in the back (which I didn't really get a good look at) and of course, a huge outdoor patio.

As I was admiring some of the funkier art pieces on the walls and the high shelves featuring endless mason jars filled with all kind of wonderful preserves, our appetizer arrived. Though John foresaw a doggie-bag in our future, I couldn't help ordering a plate of their house made breads. There were two, sweet, bite-sized scones flavored with fennel that were wonderfully crumbly and dense and got gobbled up almost immediately. Then there were two cornbread Madelines, a thick hunk of banana-nut bread and delicate muffin full of plump, sweet blueberries.

Before we finished the scones, our main dishes arrived and from that moment, we had eyes for nothing else. I chose the Debris (chopped roast beef) and Poached Eggs which were piled on top of a thick, buttermilk biscuit and draped with a demi-glace Hollandaise sauce. When I broke a perfectly poached egg, it's golden creamy yolk cascaded down onto the rich, spicy roast beef and had me salivating before I even took my first bite. With this mountain of meat, I almost felt bad about ordering a side of thick-sliced, Berkshire bacon...that is until I had a bite. Lucky, I assuaged a bit of my guilt by sharing some with John.

Though he frequently eyed my plate, John's order was equally fabulous, the Dante's Eggs Benedict. Two perfect eggs balanced on top of thick slices of roasted, rosemary flavored pork loin served over a split buttermilk biscuit laced with honey and topped with Hollandaise sauce. It was a wonderful combination of sweet and salty and I think I had almost as many tastes of John's dish as he did of mine.

If there was any of my sickness* remaining when I walked into the restaurant, it was completely gone by the time I walked out. With full bellies and sated smiles on our faces, John and I slowly walked back home. It was the absolute ideal way, in my eyes, to erase the damage of a horrible week.

*By the way, what I had wasn't catching, so if you were at Dante's at the same time I was on Saturday, no worries!

3 comments:

Cathy said...

Oh, this just sounds beyond fabulous. I've been wanting to try Dante's for some time. I enjoy your blog. I don't get to the city as often as I like, but when I do it's all about the food! I like to get a read on the local restaurants beyond those in the usual food guides. BTW, we finally got around to eating at La Petite Grocery in mid-December and you were right -- the lobster beignets were sublime!

Kimberly Ranjbar said...

I'm so glad you were pleased with La Petite! Did you have dessert too? Dante's is really incredible food also, no matter if you go for brunch or dinner...Let me know if you go!

Cathy said...

Oh, I definitely had dessert -- the s'mores tart -- and recommend it highly!