The second of a series of disappointing DAS restaurants.. I’m not sure how the DAS committee is choosing restaurants but the standard of restaurants on the list seems to be dropping :/ So we were slowly going through the list based on where has the most affordable parking. We ahem park at the Metropolitan Market (we also usually buy something from there) and walk over to the Queen Anne cluster of restaurants whenever we dine there. Many things on the south end of Queen Anne N don’t seem nearly as good as the restaurants on the actually north part of Queen Anne N. Oh well.
The ‘Lyonnaise’ French onion soup was actually worse than Panera’s, if you can believe it. And I just had Panera’s for comparison that same morning. A soggy baguette slice (not even a crouton) covered in gruyere and then torched.
The grilled prosciutto wrapped asparagus on the other hand, was AMAZING. Definitely the best thing we had for dinner all night. Highly recommended, and it’s even better than Six Seven’s asparagus which everyone seems to be raving about on Yelp.
I had the oven roasted Duck confit which was really different from a normal duck confit in terms of its accoutrements – the duck tasted oddly of five-spice salt and the jus it was soaking it was kind of sour. Not a fan. Duck confit should be simply done, salted and slathered in duck fat and then shallow fried after roasting to crisp the skin. This was weird and also, not crispy. If they were trying to do a fusion thing, it didn’t work.
The half chicken in a marsala wine reduction was also far too sour. I’m not sure what they were trying to accomplish with the sauce but they should use a better marsala wine. The taste of the maitake and shiitakes barely came through, and most of the time I was just trying to rid the chicken pieces of the sauce before eating them. Also, peas and corn scream Chinese Stir Fry. Is there no better vegetable you can use that look less like they came frozen from a packet?
The first overcooked lava cake. So I have beef with restaurants about lava cake. They should just call it warm chocolate cake if it’s not going to have a smooth fondant center that’s piping hot. That IS the dictionary definition of the lava cake. As soon as I cut into this cake, I had bad feelings about it (it was so hard!) I thought perhaps it was cause the oven temperature was too hot so it’d be overcooked and hard on the outside but soft on the inside. I was wrong, it was overcooked all the way through. Z said they should call it a Mt St Helen’s cake instead since y’know, is it gonna erupt? Is it not gonna erupt? Nobody knows until it does. And in this case, it didn’t. So I called the waiter over and told him the lava cake was overcooked. He said he was not sure what I meant; at this point the cake was cut open for everyone to see the massive fail that it was so I don’t understand what he doesn’t understand I think it’s pretty clear whether a lava cake is overcooked or not. There’s NO LAVA. Overdoneness is ambiguous for things like fish or like pasta; different people have different opinions of how tough they want their steak. I’m pretty sure having a soft center is universally expected if you put “lava cake” on the menu. In any case he got a refire for me and the second one was at least moist in the middle but still failed to be a lava cake. And this in Seattle where even if you don’t want to make your own lava cakes you can pretty much order them from Hot Cakes in Ballard and have them perfect. So what I found most disappointing about this whole debacle is that they put the lava cake on the DAS menu. Isn’t that menu supposed to showcase the best of your restaurant? How can you put it on the menu if you can’t even do a decent lava cake? They did take it off the check in the end after another guy from the kitchen came out and asked me how the second one was.
Here is my recipe for a foolproof lava cake.
You barely need to cut it in half. You just make a little slit in the side, like you would a soup dumpling, and the lava flows out.
Moral: Don’t come here for the DAS menu. I’m sure they have other nice things, but not dessert, and the point of the DAS menu is that you only need spend say $5 more to add an appetizer and dessert to your main. The desserts suck, ergo, you should just order appetizers and mains and have a much larger variety of options than on the DAS menu.