Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meridian

The day I decided to start my blog was my parents’ 32nd wedding anniversary. We had dinner reservations at Meridian in Winston-Salem, and I thought I’d write my first entry based on our experience. Talk about starting off with a bang.

Meridian Restaurant opened in 2007, and has become a staple of fine dining in downtown Winston-Salem. The huge floor-to-ceiling windows and cozy bar make the atmosphere elegant yet modern, and a view of the kitchen offers excitement.

Our first choice wine was unavailable, but the server recommended a 2009 Michael David Petite Sirah, which we greatly enjoyed. (I’m not as big a wine snob as I’d like to pretend, but I do LOVE Petite Sirah!) Bread and olive oil was presented, and they re-filled this upon our request.
I began my meal with Sausage and Sauerkraut Soup with Root Vegetables. I had never heard of Sauerkraut Soup before (I’ve only consumed it on a hot dog!) so I eagerly picked up my soup spoon. I didn’t get the deliciously bitter bite one usually gets from sauerkraut; instead, it was spicier than expected. The addition of potatoes and carrots was interesting – I think cabbage would have done wonderfully in the soup. Alas, it was a huge bowlful instead of just a cup, so I have no portion complaints!

I had only eaten duck once before (Fabian’s Crispy Duck changed my life) so I ordered the Duck Four Ways. Our server told me the “Four Ways” included a grilled breast, a crispy leg, foie gras, and fried duck pate. Being a Food Network junkie, I hear the term “foie gras” frequently, and when it’s done correctly, it is a delicacy. The server couldn’t identify each of the four servings on my plate, but I figured it out based on my aforementioned Food Network knowledge. My favorite (go figure) was the crispy leg. The grilled breast was a bit chewy and hard to cut, compared to its leaner cousin, the grilled chicken breast. The foie gras had a succulent flavor, though the texture was really slimy – it IS duck liver. The fried duck pate was my least favorite, as it was crispy and tasted like liquorish. 

The duck was served with the most delicious garlicky braised escarole I’ve ever had. (Escarole is a leafy green, and braising it is to simmer for a long time, to draw a tender and flavorful result.) Mashed sweet potatoes with a cranberry apple chutney rounded out the dish perfectly, and all of the flavors married beautifully in my mouth. The money bite was some of that crispy dark meat, garlicky escarole and tart chutney…heaven.

Our first choice dessert, Eggnog Ice Cream, was unavailable, but we found a more than acceptable replacement with the Peppermint Crème Brulee. It was a lovely surprise! The creamy mint custard was a perfect palate cleanser. We decided we couldn’t resist the French Toast Bread Pudding with Pralines and Butterscotch, though maybe we should have. The sauce was lovely, but didn’t make up for the dry and bland lump of bread. I won’t hold this against them though, as the rest of my meal entirely made up for it!

I couldn’t imagine a better restaurant to begin my blog with. I recommend Meridian to anyone looking for an outstanding meal and service, and look forward to my next trip.

http://meridianws.com/

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