Restaurant Week, and this was made easy by Icarus, which is offering their RW menu for most of the month of August!! This gives you ample time to visit them.
I don't know why we'd never been to Icarus before; it was fantastic.
We arrive and are greeted by two lovely hostesses, who take our umbrellas and lead us to our table. One's attention is immediately drawn to a statue of Icarus himself (looking like he's in the process of taking off). We eventually asked our server which came first: the statue or the name, and she told us that they were created at the same time, alluding to the chef's audacity and realization that opening a restaurant can be such a huge risk.
The décor of the restaurant is an interesting mix of modern art and vintage fixtures. It is by no means lavish, so you don't feel too stuffy in your surroundings. Peter noticed that there were no salt & pepper shakers on the tables, which, he likes to remind us, shows us that the chef is confident in his seasoning.
Let's get down to the good part.
Upon reviewing the generous Restaurant Week menu, we decide to opt for the 1/2-glass wine paring 'upgrade' for an additional $15. (That's a good deal, we thought, since an individual glass or cocktail could easily put us back that much.)
We chose as follows:
Entrée: Grilled Steak Salad with Noodles, Sesame, and Ginger. Paired with Edmunds St. John Rosé from California. What a way to start out. It was absolutely fantastic. It was, quite possibly, my favorite part of the meal--and I enjoyed every part. The medium-rare steak was served cold on a bed of asian-style noodles (also cold) with a Sesame, Ginger Peanut sauce. I truly savored every bite. The Rosé had a nice nose, was light, yet flavorful, with hints of raspberry. It was an interesting pairing; but, honestly, I didn't really have the salad and the wine together, since--once I dug into the salad--I couldn't stop eating it!
Main: Grilled Bluefish and Smoked Shrimp Butter with Roasted Poblano Pepper, Corn, and Quinoa Pilaf. Paired with Santa Maria la Palma Cannonau (Grenache) from Sardinia. I'd never had bluefish before. Granted it was dark in the restaurant, but I believe the flesh did have a blueish tint to it. It is an oily fish, and it seemed to have been rubbed with a spicy spice blend that was nice. The shrimp butter was fine--although I didn't notice any shrimp flavor and only remembered it was shrimp when typing the name of the dish. The quinoa pilaf was also delicious. It had a nice flavor and spice, and was good, light accompaniment to the fish (as opposed to a heaver grain or pasta, e.g.). I literally cleaned my plate, and the server and I joked how it was obvious that I must not have liked it--aren't we cute. The spicy Cannonau was really great with this dish...great job, Mr. (or Ms.) Sommelier!
Dessert: Gâteau au Chocolat with Almond Anglaise. Paired with M. Chapoutier Banyuls, France. This gâteau was decadent. It was served with fresh whipped cream and the almond crème anglaise, which was good but not too strongly almond flavoured. The Banyuls was delicious and was a perfect pairing with the chocolate. It was another first for me, and I thought the red dessert wine--while seemingly close to a Port--must not have been fortified like Port since it didn't have that alcohol bite. I learned in the Wikipedia article that there is some alcohol added but that the finished product, indeed, does not have as high an alcohol content as does Port.
Entrée: Grilled Corn Chowder with Bacon. Paired with Paul Dolan Chardonnay from Mendocino, CA. P really enjoyed his chowder. I tasted it and thought it had a really nice flavor. I also know Adrienne loved this chowder when she ate at Icarus last RW.
Main: Slow Roasted Chili Glazed Pork Shoulder with Corn & Watermelon. Paired with Yalumba Shiraz from Australia. The pork was nice and spicy with the chili glaze. P appreciated the flavor combinations of the spice with the corn and cool watermelon (accented with very a fine julienne of fresh basil), but he was not a huge fan of the cut of meat. He also thought the wine paring was nicely done.
Dessert: Lemon Buttermilk Panna Cotta & Blueberry Compote. Paired with a Sauternes from Hautes Charmes, France. P thought the panna cotta was fun and refreshing. This was his favorite wine paring.
We finally got a new camera, but we were slightly embarrassed to use the flash in the dark restaurant. As a result, the photos didn't come out. Nevertheless, I'll include the pic I took of the delicious steak salad I keep raving about. You can kind of see it and the nice presentation...
We had a marvelous diner at Icarus. What a way to (prematurely) kick off Restaurant Week! I've heard that Icarus offers these prix fixe deals rather often, so let's all keep our ears and eyes open for the next one. I can't wait to go back!