Apothecary's menu of small plates changes with the seasons, so our timing was impeccable since they had recently introduced their new offerings for spring. We decided to split all the plates (since that is highly encouraged) and started with the Farmers’ Caesar Salad with Nueskes bacon, romaine, and a 6 minute egg. Crisp, fresh romaine hearts; rich, smokey bacon and an egg that tied the whole thing together. It was the perfect sharing salad. Next we had the Pulpo, which is baby octopus in saffron broth served with ciabatta. Our server told us the inspiration for this came from the traditional way mussels are served in broth with bread for dipping. There were two pieces of octopus (again, a dish just right for two) which were tender and well cooked. The flavorful broth really did its job lending the dish a rich, subtle complexity; the hearty helping of ciabatta ensured that no bit of broth was wasted. For entree we had the Ox Tail served on a bed of polenta, with pomodoro sauce and crispy leek. This is the dish that stole our hearts. The meat was so tender and paired exquisitely with the creamy polenta, and the crispy leek exemplifies the added touch that makes each dish here just a bit more special. Chef Albert Gonzalez produces balanced, expertly prepared, creative dishes that satisfy.
Sadly, we had no room for dessert, but I know from past experience it pays to pace oneself here since there is usually something wonderful waiting at the end of the meal. I have especially enjoyed their chocolate desserts. On the weekends they offer an added dessert item that reflects the season. I have yet to make it for Sunday brunch, which I hear is worth the trip. Just one more reason to return to this inviting, friendly neighborhood café and wine bar that consistently delivers.