Birthday lunch today at Cafémantic in Willimantic. Just the beginning of a month long rout of many restaurants near and far!
Ever since the NYT review that gave it a Very Good, I have been wanting to eat here. Many people have said that dinner time is the best time to go but lunch was great. After speaking with Chef Hudak, I will definitely be back there. They will be restaurant number three in the second series of TASTE @RAW so I will see them there also. If you want to be there with me and Chef Hudak make sure to try for a ticket right away as it sells out very early.
Started with the Blistered Padron Peppers / taggiasca olive oil & maldon sea salt [$7] and they were superior. Had them just recently in Madrid but these looked [and tasted] like someone had run out to the back garden and picked them for our table! The Roasted Bacon Wrapped Dates soaked in black tea, stuffed w/ pear & gorgonzola [$6] had been recommended and they were fine, just wish the bacon had a bit more crisp to them. Next we split a Slow Roasted Beet Salad / gorgonzola montagna, pickled nectarines, hazelnuts & lemon vinaigrette [$8.50]. No pictures because it looked so good that I attacked it right away.
Next we went on to Five Cheese Mac & Cheese / speck ham, peas & herb bread crumbs [$9]. Served real hot so let it sit and the flavors all meld. At the same time we split Tomato & Basil Griddled Cheese [$9] roasted tomato / basil pesto / melville cheese. This was rich and flavorful.
And last but not least “S’more” [$7] graham cracker crumble / dark & milk chocolate / pastry cream / vanilla bean marshmallow which was a decadent way to end the meal but they brought two home-made truffles for my birthday treat.
What a meal! But we will be back and will make sure that Alyssa is our server. She is a delight!