Monday, May 2, 2016

The Honey Pot

The Honey Pot in Winston-Salem has quickly made a name and reputation for itself. The fact that it's Tate's sister restaurant got people initially intrigued, but the high quality food, frequent menu rotations and professional service keep people coming back. It's quickly becoming one of my favorites in downtown Winston. I celebrated one my favorite food blogger friends' birthdays there recently, and it was a great birthday surprise to find out wine is half off on the night we were there (Wednesday)! Their wine list is extensive, some might say overwhelming. Just ask the server to lead you in the right direction.

With friends and the birthday girl! (NikSnacks!)
If something on the menu catches your eye, you should probably order it that night - the menu changes every 6 weeks! I have dined here on 2 other occasions and it's true - they may keep one or two favorites but otherwise, it's a brand spanking new menu. If you're hungry, the best option is to go for the Four Course Chef's Tasting menu. You won't be disappointed. Spring Pea Soup is a perfect appetizer for spring. A bowl of pea shoots and lemon arrives, and a petite kettle of light green soup is poured atop. The soup isn't too thick or too earthy, a really nice balance of flavors. The pea shoots add nice texture.

Grilled Sweetbreads + Fried Green Tomato
Sweetbreads are one of those fun ingredients that chefs are getting creative with these days. You can find them fried a la General Tso's at Spring House, and at Honey Pot, they are grilled. Add a little kimchi for tartness and heat, a fried green tomato and Alabama white sauce and you have a beautiful dish. Don't be intimidated by sweetbreads and other offal! When cooked properly and paired with yummy accouterments, they are delicious. Green Chickpea Hummus is garden green, and fairly earthy, especially considering it's topped with greens. The texture is thinner than hummus, and I didn't get any notes of chickpea or tahini. Steelhead roe and sour cream (?) are also on top, and grilled crostini is served for spreading.

Green Chickpea Hummus

Thai Pork Sausage
My eye went directly to the Thai Pork Sausage, and when our server said it was the best dish she's had in her 6 months there, I jumped all over it. The sausage is incredible. Obviously housemade. The texture was silky smooth, and the flavor was not like your normal breakfast or Italian sausage - this blows those out of the water. A Green Papaya salad (called som tam) is vinegary and magical, and the dish is sprinkled with crispy shallots and rice powder. Our server was right. This dish is spectacular.

Carolina Catfish is pan-fried and topped with a green curry paste - this is exactly how I like my curry. Not cream-based, but super concentrated so I get all that spicy flavor. The fish is cooked perfectly and served atop Quinoa Fried Rice - how creative! I can't wait to try and replicate that at home, but I'll go a little more light-handed on the sesame oil. Turnips are also plated, which I thought was a bit random, but they were nicely roasted and sweet.

Catfish with Green Curry and Quinoa Fried Rice
I stole a bite of my friend's Tuna with Avocado-Cilantro Puree and Jerk Sauce. I could wax poetic about that avocado-cilantro puree. It might have been the best morsel we had all night (up until that point). I would eat it off anything. If I can get back to HP in the next few weeks, I'll be all over that dish.

Pound Cake dreams 
All meals should end in dessert, especially on a birthday, so naturally we ordered two. I was excited by the description of the Curry and Tamarind Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes with Apricot Jam, and the flavors didn't disappoint. They are served warm and hit so many different spice notes on your palate. I thought I had found the long lost love of my life until I took a bite of the Vanilla Pound Cake with Strawberry Gel and Black Pepper Whipped Cream. And then I took another. And then I nearly bit my friend's hand trying to get another bite. Let me be clear: I'm not a pound cake gal. I want a light and fluffy cake covered in obscene amounts of icing. But this pound cake, y'all. Super dense. Incredibly moist. Excellent crumb. This is the only type of pound cake I want in my life. I think I'm in love.

Curry and Tamarind Donuts

So if you haven't been to Honey Pot, you should go - post or pre-Tate's, of course. And at Tate's, get the Eternal Flame (strawberry jalapeƱo-infused tequila with ginger beer!!) You'll have a wonderful evening.

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