Dinner at the Plucky

  • Posted on July 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm

We finally made it back to the Pluckemin Inn for a long overdue dinner since the new chef took over. We’d been to the Tavern and come in for lunch, but had not been back for dinner until tonight.

I’d been wanting to go back for a couple of reasons- I’ve been dying to try Chef Juan Jose Cuevas’ food and they also put my favorite summer cocktail, the Watermelon Red Hot, back on the menu. Yum! (I had two tonight.) After chatting at the bar for a few minutes and ordering our cocktails the hostess took us to our table. Upon perusing the menu for a bit, the Husband and I come to a conclusion- it’s unquestionably tomato season. A good thing for me, not so good for him. Fortunately, they don’t mind serving much of the tavern menu in the dining room so we weren’t worried about filling in some holes.

The amuse buche was a tomato/vegetable water which was very tasty, just as light and cleansing as you would expect from something that was probably picked from the garden mere hours earlier.  The only slip up tonight was the service. I ordered three courses, the Husband two, and they brought both of my starters out first, without bringing either of his. I started with the NJ heirloom tomato salad, basil, clear melon broth and tomato sorbet.  There were about 5 or 6 different varieties of tomatoes with fresh basil leaves in the broth and a scoop of the tomato sorbet. The tomato salad was incredible but the tomato sorbet was just outrageous. I can’t really describe what it was like but I just wanted more, it was really remarkable. I then had the grilled day boat sea scallops, with watermelon, chilis, mache,  Castel Vetrano olives. Personally, I prefer my scallops with a bit more of a sear than these had, but that’s just me (and the Husband!) but these were still quite tasty. The sauce had a bit of a kick to it. I didn’t see any olives and thought it had grapefruit, but I could be mistaken.

The Husband finally got his risotto, organic zucchini risotto with parmesan,  sot-l’y-laisse & squash blossom tempura. We learned today that sot-l’y-laisse is “chicken oysters”. I’m still not quite sure what -that- is, but it was two very tasty little morsels. The squash blossom wasn’t a big poofy piece as you often see, it seemed like this was split in half so it fried flat.

The Husband also got a crab cake, a consistently tasty treat from the Tavern menu. The tempura asparagus that came with it was apparently so tasty I never got a piece! (And that says something for someone who doesn’t really like vegetables.) I had the John Dory, fennel, preserved tomato, white eggplant caviar & ratatouille jus. I didn’t taste the fennel in it, but it was still tasty. The eggplant caviar was creamy and didn’t have the seedy texture you sometimes get with eggplant.

We didn’t get dessert, but two small chocolate chip cookies (still and consistently some of the best we’ve had) and two coconute macaroons were delivered with the check.

All in all, a delightful dinner. We’ll definitely be back to the Plucky with the new chef at the helm, just after tomato season.

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