Thursday, August 18, 2011

Restaurant Week Lunch 2011 at Top of the Hub

With a view like this, who can resist a meal at Top of the Hub, especially during Restaurant Week 2011! Having made our reservations a couple weeks in advance, we were seated immediately at a table in the lounge area with breathtaking views of the city.
For a mere $20, restaurant week partakers are able to experience 3 delicious courses for a fraction of the price!

For the first course we had the option of two cool, refreshing appetizers, either a
chilled potato leek soup with herb croutons or a chilled beet salad with
whipped goat cheese, pistachios, and a red wine, oregano vinaigrette. The beets were nicely done and the whipped goat cheese was very mild and light. Together with the crunch of the pistachios and acidity of the vinaigrette I thought everything came together nicely.
I had only had the Julia Child warm potato leek soup in the past (which is of course rich and delicious), but I very much enjoyed it's chilled cousin and could definitely see myself making this in lieu of a gazpacho.

For the main courses we had three choices - 1) calamarata pasta al la Bolognese with
pecorino cheese, tomato, and basil 2) A pan-seared pork sirloin with creamy masa, white corn pozole, and a chipotle ham hock broth, and 3)Panko-crusted scallops with English pea and roasted tomato risotto drizzled in a lemon chive sauce.
The scallops were an obvious choice to me and I did not regret it - they were smooth and buttery but not too heavy with the panko breacrumbs. The risotto was very well done and all of the flavors came together nicely.

I was not quite as big a fan of the pork and thought it could have been cooked a little less, but it's accompaniments made up for this. No one opted for the pasta, but you can't really go wrong with a spicy seafood sauce over pasta!

For dessert the options were a coconut panna cotta with a summer fruit salsa and fresh "Lilikoi" passion fruit or a chocolate pound cake with honey cream, macerated strawberries, and Thai basil. The panna cotta was nice and light, with the coconut flavor hitting you at the end of your bite. Together with the stronger flavors of the kiwi and passionfruit I thought it was great. The chocolate pound cake was a little dry for my taste, but the honey cream was excellent and made up for the dryness.

All-in-all I had a fabulous lunch and wish I could dine more regularly at Top of the Hub without breaking the bank! For now I'll just have to take advantage of restaurant week!

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