Occasionally a person stumbles across a rare discovery, much like finding a pearl inside an oyster. The oyster is common. Even ugly. The pearl on the other hand is unique and quite beautiful. Such was the experience my wife and I shared with our friends last Saturday. Unbeknownst to us, a new chef (Adam Cobb) had just begun his role at Latitude 41. Yes, that’s the Renaissance Hotel “lobby restaurant”, but for those that have turned-up their noses at such an establishment, please be advised that it is worth a second look. I can honestly say that the evening was one of the finest dining experiences I have had in quite some time.
I would offer this suggestion: go for the chef’s sampler menu and let them decide what to serve you. Simply let them know of any food allergies or things you simply won’t eat and they’ll work around your tastes. The four of us chose the four course sampler for $40 per person (we opted to complement each course with wine which is an additional $15 option…and well worth it). There is a six course option, but I’m not sure I had room for two more items.
We started with a delicious leek soup and a delightful salad featuring a vanilla balsamic vinaigrette dressing and sliced pears. Then, out came the spicy muscles in a yummy broth…about a dozen…cooked to perfection. The 3rd course, wait shouldn’t this be the 4th course?, was soft-shell crab over a bed of black rice cooked with bacon or some other salty meat or at least this is how I recall that particular course. (The consensus among the four of us was that this was the weakest link in our chain of wonderful dishes.) Then, out came a sliced portion of hangar steak cooked sous vide (an under water technique that a non-foodie like me found most unusual and effective) and then briefly grilled to perfection, served with a taste of fingerling potatoes, pearl onions and a bit of asparagus for accent. After enjoying all our courses and wines we were more than satisfied. But wait, here comes the dessert sampler of four or five sweet sensations. By this time I was in a food coma, but I recall thinking I liked the spongy toffee cake best…or was it Jeni’s salty caramel ice cream or the raspberry/vanilla mousse or the other selections? Whew!
Please note that not everyone at the table needs to go with the wine option and our server, Charles, more than made sure we were dining at a pace that worked for us. We relaxed over the evening while other diners scurried off to the symphony. Loved Latitude 41 and we shall return soon. Well done Chef Cobb!