Thursday, January 04, 2007

Strings; music to the taste buds!


What is the latest divine dining experience? Strings, celebrating its 30th year in business (for a very good reason!). This popular, yet slightly egocentric restaurant was bustling with excitement, people coming and going hugging and laughing. Strings is the type of place old friends meet to catch up, newlyweds splurge on “date night” and the usuals stake out at their favorite table. The mood is fun and lighthearted, but the atmosphere is sheer elegance. The service is exceptional, with a staff that will go out of their way to complete your dining experience. The menu is creative, focusing on new American cuisine, with a funky twist and daring and creative flavors.

Are you hungry yet?

As you well know, my preferred way to start a meal is with Tartare.

The Tartare at Strings is an Ahi Tuna Tartare, mixed with avocado and a lemon-ginger vinaigrette, served with crispy wonton chips. The Tartare is presented on a chilled glass window block; very art deco. Many times it seems the better the presentation, the worse the food…this is not the case at Strings. The simple, yet sheik presentation is right on par with the pure refreshing flavor and texture of the tartare.
Diva’s Dish: 8 /10 Diva Stars

Next in the starting line up is Strings' Rock and Roll Shrimp Jumbo shrimp cocktail. The jumbo shrimp were cooked to perfection, however the sauce didn’t make the cut for the JV squad. A good cocktail sauce should be light, refreshing and full of bold crisp flavor. String’s cocktail sauce defiantly was not rockin’ or rollin’. The sauce was heavy, almost muddy, the flavors didn’t blend well, and in fact the only discernable flavor was the retched Middle Eastern herb horseradish. Yeck! However, the shrimp were fresh, flavorful and saved the dish.
Diva’s Dish: 6/10 Diva Stars

Which entrée met my discriminating taste? Seared Scallops served with sweet potato flan, asparagus and a sage cream. The scallops were seared to a heavenly perfection, crisp on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside. These melt in your mouth scallops were paired with a warm aromatic sage cream that enhanced every bite. The asparagus was grilled to perfection and delicately poised on the sweet potato flan. Sweet potato flan you ask? Well it is tantalizing; warm and velvety, yet earthy and fresh. These seemingly different flavors blend together to make a divalicious dish! All in all this is by far the best dish to date!
Diva’s Dish: 9/10 Diva Stars

And what kind of Diva would I be if I didn’t sample other’s food? On this particular occasion, my newly engaged sister and her fiancé joined us for dinner. Her fiancé being the smart man he is, followed suit and ordered the Seared Scallops, my sister on the other hand, a youthful adventurer chose the Braised Veal Osso Buco.

The Braised Veal is served with rosemary jus, gremolata, roasted pepper polenta. It is a very rare occasion when I am at a loss for words, but the thinking of the veal my mind keeps repeating the same thing, “Mom’s crock-pot pot roast”, and “yuck”. I have never seen veal prepared quite like this before…a hunk of bone, surrounded by a chunk of meat, drenched in au jus and surrounded by muddy pepper polenta. The muddy flavor and anodyne veal are a dismal disappointment.
Diva’s Dish: 2/10 Diva Stars

Diva’s Dish on Strings: music to the taste buds!

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