About two weeks ago Braeburn Restaurant invited me try out their Apple Harvest Week dinner. Braeburn is named after an apple variety and the restaurant’s vision is to serve local and seasonally appropriate food. Apple Harvest Week is to celebrate their 2nd anniversary and to have apple-laced savory dishes in their menu.
Inside the wooden, “contemporary country” interior, as they call themselves, it does look inviting and cozy. Seated to the corner of the restaurant, I was welcomed with a glass of Prosecco and was told that the chef already prepared the menu for the evening.
First bites of the evening, were a warm herb biscuit and eggplant tempura in mint oil. The biscuit was delicious. Light, flaky, buttery, with bits of chives swirled within. The tempura was interesting to have eggplant and mint oil together.
The corned beef on rye toast with whole seeded mustard and arugula was a fancy take of the traditional corned beef on rye sandwich. This is done open-faced and the corned beef is much better in terms of quality and the whole seeded mustard gave it a wonderful spicy kick.
The smoked trout with sliced apples and frisée salad served with roasted butternut squash and pumpkin seeds was the actual appetizer. The fish was silky with a touch of smokiness, contrasted by the crisp apple slices (that is sandwiched in between the arugula and fish) and the bitter, in a good way, arugula. The butternut squash and pumpkin seeds gently reminds you that fall is here.
The pan-fried hake on creamless chowder with bacon was probably the speed bump that I’ve encountered that evening. I found the bacon chowder doesn’t exactly work with the hake, for me at least. Individually, they are very good. The chowder tastes creamy and it has a good amount of mushrooms and chives. The hake was nicely crisp from the panko crust and it was perfectly cooked and moist on the inside.
The East Coast oyster with garlic and chives in a creamless shiitake mushroom soup was silky and velvety all the way. The oyster was served raw and it’s gently poached by the warmth of the creamless soup that’s poured on top.
The Long Island duck breast with duck confit, spinach purée, butternut squash purée and prune purée was very good. The breast cooked to a perfect medium-raw and the duck confit was fork-tender. The purées were a fun, if you will, way to mix how you’d like to flavor your duck meats. The spinach was the lightest (and arguably, the weakest) flavored of the three.
Finally on to dessert, Almond Joy cake with butternut squash puree and salted caramel ice cream and banana pudding with vanilla cookies. The Almond Joy cake was meant, I believe, to be a cake interpretation of the Almond Joy candy bar we know during our childhood. While this was a good try, I don’t really like it as I find the cake too sweet and a bit dry but the salted caramel ice cream was good. The banana pudding with vanilla cookies was, again, too sweet for my palate. I should mention though, I’m not a big fan of banana pudding.
Overall, the savory courses did a lot better than the dessert courses for me. I do thank Chef Bistrong and his staff for being so accommodating to my schedule and the chef cooking for me. The wait staff was very friendly and was well informed of the food.
For the rest of the photos of this meal, please look through the slideshow below:
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