Belly Timber- perfectly executed, simple flavor profiles that work   Leave a comment

I loved Belly Timber. Maybe the service was a bit slow to get to our main courses (we finished our cocktails, bread, appetizers, and salads and still waited noticebly for the entrees to appear), and it is a bit loud (we heard the belly laugh of a guy from somewhere in the house that we couldn't even identify, but it echoed all around us…). You definitely do not feel any privacy. But, the food is good. Just don't expect it to be romantic, despite existing in a beautiful house.

We started out with br
ead with softened sweet butter and coriander salt and chili salt.The butter and salt was great- the bread was chewy in the crust and doughy in the middle.





For salads, I didn't order a salad, but was given one because the waitress got the order wrong. By pure luck, the salad I would have ordered is what she misunderstood! And, it was delicious. Perfectly cooked, the flavors and textures were well balanced. Look at how beautiful that small plate of asparagus with poached egg, duck bacon, and pistachio vinaigrette looks. Wonderfully savory rich starter. The other salad, beets, watercress, and carrot with goat cheese vinaigrette was very mild and a bit salty. Would have preferred this to be premixed rather than having all the sauce at the bottom as it made it uneven. Except for those small quibbles, it was still a good salad- just not as good as the asparagus (though of course, seemingly healthier)

 



lso as a snack while waiting for our entrees was the menu item that immediately caught my eye on initial scan: housemade fries with bone marrow aioli. Good, but I had high hopes for these and they did not match those expectations, though the fries were still crisp and tasty (though they could be even crispier). The aioli was more creamy with a subtle bit of meat in the after-taste, but it was very tame despite the description. I guess I am a frites connoisseur as they were not on the caliber of the crisp fries I’ve had at Firefly in
Washington

DC
or the duck frites in
Chicago
at Sweet and Savories, or even the truffle fries at Rockit in
Chicago
. The fact that I can recall these fries off the top of my head so specifically says a lot about me.


The dinner entrees included for the vegetarian, first a side of stinging nettles risotto with asparagus, spring onion, lemon and grana. This dish was going to be shared between us, and it disappointed us both. At first, at the top, it was ok- not outstanding, but not bad. But, then the oil collected at the bottom and was just too much. The lemon was a nice addition to this though- the rest of the ingredients just didn't balance out to anything.

The other vegetarian dish was an entrée of swiss chard, currants, and pine nuts inside of phyllo and resting atop ricotta salata and aged balsamic. This had a lot of flavor- in fact didn't really need the butter phyllo as it weighed the dish down with its butter content (ironically since the phyllo is supposed to be light) – but maybe some other starch as a better counterweight would have been perfect. Great flavor inside the dough though- every forkful was a burst of intense juices and textures.

 

I had the best dish though: simple in description, but just genius. I ordered the honey poached chicken breast, then topped with crumbled crispy skin (genius combination! You get the juicy moistness and the crispy goodness) accompanied with glazed carrots and tarragon. Well executed, excellently balanced dish. If I could criticize anything, it is only that the chicken and carrots alone were so wonderful that the tarrogon seemed like a runt tagging along on the plate- but it didn't hurt the dish though, I’ll take seconds please!

The little bite of dessert, Stumptown custard with caramel foam, is like having an airy coffee for dessert. Yum, a perfect ending. When we left and away from the echoes of all the people around us, we could finally sigh in contentment and take a little walk down this neighborhood of great window shopping.

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Posted May 6, 2009 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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