Friday, February 27, 2009

Textile Revisited

I walked into Textile this week with fond memories of my previous trip there, which was waaaay back in October. I walked out -- ten courses later -- with a smile on my face that has not yet faded. Now that’s what I call Friday night food on a Wednesday.

Ten courses, you say? Yes, our five-course dinner was topped off with a five-course dessert tasting. That’s right: five dinners, five desserts. And we all lived to tell. Alright, less gushing, more fooding.

The amuse bouche was a slender cup of cream of rapini soup, topped with a stalk of rapini tempura. The soup had an incredibly clean taste, highlighting the freshness of the veggies within. The richness of the soup made it an ideal amuse, as any other size would overwhelm.

This was followed by a simple and simply delicious salad of hydroponic bibb lettuce, fromage d’Ambert, and a cute (that’s right, I said it) onion strudel. While the strudel and salad were lovely, the real star was the cheese, a creamy and mellow bleu that complimented without overpowering.

Next came a European turbot atop a cauliflower soufflé. The airy texture of the soufflé, along with its mild flavor, melded perfectly with the turbot, a delicate flatfish akin to a sole. Again, clean, fresh flavors, beautifully prepared and presented.

And then? The bacon tart with poached quail egg, wilted greens, and aged balsamic is a certain winner. No surprise that this one has stayed on the menu for some time; it is difficult to find fault with its gorgeous presentation and downright awesome taste. It is, after all, a bacon tart.

The star of the savories arrived last: a tender, pink cut of pork, cooked sous vide in pork fat, topped with a thin-crispy layer of wheat flour, and served over a balsamic reduction. I at first thought the meat looked “too pink,” but alas, one bite proved me wrong. It was tender and rich and packed with meaty flavor and goodness and sin and love. The black “forbidden” rice served alongside was a velvety dream. Fireworks.

Scott Tycer has built himself a nice little practice in the revamped textile factory, a uniquely serene space that also houses his Kraftsmen bakery. Every table was filled. Service was attentive and down to Earth. Even the music was distinctly unstuffy.

Dessert recap forthcoming. Stay tuned, food fans. It’s a doozy.

Textile – 611 W. 22nd (near Shepherd)

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