Sunday, August 5, 2012

Liberty Oak

Walking into Liberty Oak is like walking into the library of a mansion. Wooden accents and a quaint, cozy bar provide a wonderful ambiance. Resigning to sit at the bar after being told the dining room was reserved for a rehearsal dinner, we received nothing but excellent service. (It was a nice reminder that service tends to be quicker, with more frequent check-backs when seated at the bar.)

I’m on a Bloody Mary kick. Lately, I’ve been craving them at the most inappropriate times of day, like at dinner as opposed to brunch. To my approval, this was a very spicy rendition of the classic, and was garnished with celery, lime and a green olive. (Rumor has it that some restaurants offer exquisite toppings like cheese cubes, shrimp and bacon – if you know of one, PLEASE send me the name!)

Try the Pate and Cheese Plate before you judge it. I thought it sounded delicious (and very Euro) and I’m sure you all know by now that I’m always going to order the most absurd sounding thing on the menu. Duck Liver Pate is decadently flavorful, with a hint of cream cheese or mascarpone, and perfect smeared on a slice of French bread with a chunk of Brie or Havarti. Fresh fruit and a side salad make this an outstanding bargain, and one of the most satisfying lunches I’ve had in quite some time.

The Mussels appetizer is easily an entrĂ©e-sized portion, with 20 mussels floating in a creamy broth. Typically, mussels are served in a tomato-based, garlicky liquid, but the bacon, shallots and blue cheese made this variation a much-welcomed break from tradition. Grilled toast, complete with great char flavor from the grill, was perfect for sopping up the remainder of the broth (but I’m sure I wouldn’t have been the first to tip the bowl up to my mouth and chug-a-lug.)

Turkey and havarti cheese provide a salty and gooey filling for a toasted croissant. Anyone who enjoys a grilled cheese will approve of this elegant version. As a side, colorful, julienne vegetables rest upon mixed greens.

With several other entrees catching my eye, I look forward to my return to Liberty Oak. To the wedding party, I hope the ceremony and reception was as amazing as your rehearsal dinner!

Liberty Oak

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