Dinner With a Twist(ed Tail)

IMG_4306Have you ever had a perfect meal from tip to…tip just flawless? Yeah, neither have we, but in a world that has the DH rule and no congressional term limits, the other night at the Twisted Tail was about as close as you can reasonably expect. Chef Leo Forneas took the helm this spring and has installed a summer menu and began featuring the wood fired grill. Appetizers and Entrees from that grill are deliberately simple fare allowing the special wood chips imported from Maine to do the heavy flavor lifting. The grilled octopus brined overnight, comes out to the table fork tender not like the rubbery stuff you find atop your sushi rice.

This meal was filled with little delights. Brought to the table as a nosh was a paper bag of popcorn, popped to order in bacon fat and rosemary, it seemed a cute gimmick and with all the spectacular food we had coming we took a perfunctory taste and figured we’d save our appetite but that is the thought process of people who’ve never enjoyed the aromatic delight that is popcorn popped in bacon fat and rosemary. It was a small touch but a very nice one that soon left us holding an empty bag.

IMG_4278We shared a Crawfish Mac And Cheese Appetizer that came in it’s own little cast iron skillet. Do me a favor, right now snap your fingers. Didja? That’s how long it can take for your crawfish to go from dangerously raw shellfish to overcooked pencil erasers. Whomever fired these up was on his or her game as the little fuckers were succulent and perfectly cooked. The three cheese mac was creamy as all get out, but still seemed a little bland and we suppose could’ve benefitted from a little more cowbell.

IMG_4292The Diver Scallops on the other hand had plenty. Serving them atop a bed of pork belly baked beans seemed a bold move courting the danger of the hearty beans overpowering the mild scallops but the flavors mingled amazingly and prompted us to try, and fail, to do this at home.

Flat Iron Steaks can be a little rough on the jawbone but somehow chef Forneas has found a way to marinate, cook and slice his to be as buttery as a much more expensive cut. Served over fingerling potatoes kept the meal summery.

The beignets for dessert were fresh and warm and came with a bourbon syrup for dipping. Though we prefer powdered sugar to the granulated used at The Tail, that’s just a personal preference and nothing to release the hounds about. So Chalk that up to potato/patahto

IMG_4283The Twisted Tail has local and national acts playing upstairs five or six nights a week so you could make dinner and a show your thing. And the drinks, not only do they have an extensive whisky and bourbon list, The cocktails are clever and many of the spirits are infused in house and they, or the bourbons can be ordered in a flight. Also, don’t drink and drive.

Even though the Crawfish Mac ‘N’ Cheese was what drew us inside, and turned out to be the only dish that didn’t amaze, the Twisted Tail served up a truly great meal in an unpretentious atmosphere. It’s just a shame our bellys were too full of love to stick around for some live music.

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