It was a favorite of mine in its old space, but this is my first time back since Corduroy moved to their new digs.
I think we drove by it– running late, of course – at least 3 times before we spotted the row house with lighted porch lamps and a non-descript sign. The area of town isn’t exactly what you’d expect for fine dining, but Corduroy is getting into a neighborhood early in its revival. The new space is calming – almost a little too white and non-descript. We were hoping for a table in the front by the window, but found ourselves in the back dining room. It’s also very, very quiet in the restaurant, but not so quiet that we were able to tell what the canoodling couple 2 tables away was canoodling about so passionately. (More on these two later…)
Virtually perfect service. Really. The host who greeted us was also our server, and displayed the perfect balance between familiarity and courtesy. We were the last table to finish our meal, and in that time we joked that we wished we knew what was so engaging to the couple who was hugging (like, a passionate embrace hugging) across the table. So our server found out: he went to the kitchen and found their server, who relayed that the man was divorced and her father was having a fit that his princess was involved with a divorced man. However, said their server, the man paid with a black AMEX, so maybe the father could forgive his past relationship.
This was all done in a very conspiratorial tone, and wasn’t said maliciously. And it made for great fun.
Chef Tom Power is my kinda cooker: keep it simple and let the food taste the way it’s supposed to taste without making a fuss.
Brian and I originally planned to order exactly the same thing: lobster carpaccio to start followed by buffalo. Our server suggested perhaps we order another appetizer and split them, so I wound up with a simple tomato salad and Brian stuck with the lobster.
The sauce you can see in the picture of the lobster is actually BUTTER. Ah, delicious, creamy butter…one of foods more perfect creations. (Also, see Bacon.) It was decadent and rich: I could only eat one or two bites, but Brian declared he could eat plate after plate without ever becoming full. The tomato salad was a perfect starter for me with the basil aioli ringing the plate. The tomatoes were skinless – perhaps through a quick blanching process?
The buffalo entree was rich and flavorful, but my favorite part of this dish was the excellent potato side, with mandolined spud layers set off by sweet onion and a light cheese. It was gratin in such a delicate and elegant presentation.
For dessert we were finally caught snapping pictures. “I’d better not see that on the internet” joked our server. At least…I hope he was joking! Whoops! Brian went with the famous “kit kat” bar – a hazelnut and chocolate bar surrounded by a vanilla bean cream anglaise, while I sampled a local apple tarte tatin, which Brian found not sweet enough.
The dinner – our 2nd year anniversary – was wonderful.
Best for: Canoodling couples with a story that isn’t too scandalous and people who like clean, unfussy food.