I started the evening with a Waterston Spritz which contains Aperol, Plymouth Gin, orange bitters, Prosecco, and rose geranium. It was light and refreshing with effervescence from the prosecco, a bit of twang from the bitters and a slight floral finish from the rose geranium. My husband and my eldest son both had Modelo beer and they seemed happy. I was the only one who ordered a starter--Cucumber and Melon Gazpacho with mint, lime zest and Texas olive oil. It was a very delicate chilled soup perfect for a warm summer evening. The cantaloupe and honeydew melon blended well with the cucumber, all lending that cooling effect. For entrée I had the special of the night, Duck Confit Salad with savoy cabbage, cucumbers, fresno chiles, carrots, sunflower sprouts, garden purple basil, candied cashews with plum ginger vinaigrette. There were so many delightfully crunchy ingredients that were made cohesive by the zesty vinaigrette. The duck was tender and very much at home in this pseudo-Asian salad. It was a huge dish, one I couldn't finish alone. Those who tried bites also marveled at its wonderful flavor and texture.
Both of my sons ordered the Josephine House Burger with Grafton cheddar, harissa aïoli, grilled red onion, house-made bun and frites served with ketchup. Both proclaimed it was the perfect burger. I tried a few fries and they were crispy and well seasoned with salt. My husband had the Steak Frites, a pan roasted Niman Ranch hanger steak, with herbed butter, watercress salad, frites and aïoli. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and the bite I had was a treat. It was so tender and juicy and the herbed butter on top added an extra bit of eyes-rolling- back-in-the-head goodness. While scanning the dessert menu, I told our group that Josephine House is known for their homemade ice cream, so we ordered three flavors: Blackberry, Strawberry, and Ginger. The Blackberry landed in front of me and I loved every bit. It was well balanced with just a little tartness mixed with sweetness. The Strawberry was lovely and had almost a hint of floral to it. It seems that the Ginger got the most reaction and was really a table favorite. We were intrigued by this familiar flavor in ice cream form. The texture of all the ice creams was impeccable. Rich, creamy, and dense with just the right amount served.
Service is always spot on here; attentive without being overwhelming. One of the things I love best about Josephine House (aside from the consistently good food and drinks) is the serene and calm feeling that seems to exude from the place. That feeling washes over everyone there and briefly suspends reality, so that you, and all with you, leave feeling tranquil, full and content. I look forward to returning for breakfast service which they began earlier this year.