Monday, December 17, 2012

The Marisol

The Marisol is one of the most posh restaurants I’ve been to in the Triad, and possibly in my lifetime. Tucked away off High Point Road, The Marisol is a French restaurant known for their sauces and expensive albeit worth-it cuisine. The piano bar just screams for patrons to enjoy a cocktail while listening to the stylings of Ellington or Monk. Unfortunately, I found the Christmas music playing on the radio a bit out of place, though I appreciated the festive idea of it.

If a restaurant receives a 5 star rating from John Batchelor (Greensboro's restaurant reviewer king), they obviously know their stuff. That being said, this was the first time I ever felt slightly uncomfortable in a restaurant for not ordering a 5-course meal. Perhaps it was my bad for not knowing “the rules.” 

The Marisol offers an outstanding and unique wine selection, though it comes at a price – the least expensive wine by the glass is $12. New York City restaurants love offering patrons an amuse-bouche, a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre, and this was the first time I’d seen it done in North Carolina. A single bite of grilled salmon was served on a bed of parsley, drizzled with a lemon horseradish cream sauce. The salmon wasn’t overly fishy, much to my approval - the fishiness is typically my problem with the protein. Appetizers and entrees change daily, which servers read aloud. This would be quite intimidating to non-foodies, but I was very impressed with the thoughtful descriptiveness of each dish. The cute triangle of butter on my bread plate was pleased when a basket came by, offering three options: Focaccia with dried onion, rosemary and Parmesan; Fig and Walnut Sourdough; and an Italian roll.

White Truffle Gnocchi are decadent pillows of flavor. Truffle and gnocchi are two of my favorite culinary items, so I knew it would be love at first bite. The gnocchi are not dense and potato-y, but elegant, obviously homemade and overwhelmingly succulent from the subtle truffle flavor. Chanterelle and Cremini Mushrooms provide a nice meaty texture, and the dish is rounded out with a Marsala cream sauce.

Butter-poached lobster (essentially, lobster cooked in butter) is tender, and rests atop a beautiful pale yellow champagne, citrus and truffle sauce on greens. The tart sweetness in the sauce highlights the beautiful sweetness of the lobster, which provides for an inventive combination that was executed successfully.

Pork Tenderloin is cooked perfectly, tender enough to cut with a fork, and the salty crust takes the meat to the next level. Truffled Mushroom sauce is ladled over (are you seeing a trend? I LOVE TRUFFLE.) and enhanced each of the sides: Rutabagas, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Beets and Garlicky Kale (my favorite of the bunch). This is upscale Thanksgiving, elevated comfort food, and I don't doubt that each dish they create daily is this outstanding.

I would go to The Marisol on the reg if I could afford it. Though it was worth every penny, I’m bothered by the fact that we felt slightly looked down upon. I’ll be back to visit the piano bar, though maybe for my 50th birthday.

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