We began our starters with CKC Farms Texas Midnight Chevre. This consisted of goat cheese, beer-tomato chutney and pickled apple served with caraway toast. The chutney and apples lent balanced acidity to the creamy, smooth richness of this cheese from Blanco, Texas. Another shared item was the Grilled Watermelon Salad which included arugula, fried goat cheese (they have a penchant for goat cheese here), pistachios with a sherry-tomato vinaigrette. Everyone loves fried cheese, but pairing it with grilled watermelon made the dish innovative. This was a favorite of the table. Another favorite was the "Cheeseburger" Tartare. Raw sirloin with Parmesan, onion bun and little pickles was perfectly prepared with all the right elements included while keeping it subtle. Drunken Veg, an item from the bar menu, is an assortment of beer battered seasonal vegetables (like onion slices, zucchini, green beans and potatoes) seasoned with sumac salt. The beer batter was light, almost like a tempura, and the chili chutney dipping sauce was a perfect compliment. We all agreed there wasn't a pronounced chili taste to the chutney, more of an onion flavor, but delicious nonetheless.
We each had our own entrees. I ordered the Pork & Polenta which contained braised shoulder & crispy belly with ham hock polenta and an apple-onion salad. The pork was fall apart tender with rich flavor made even better by the creamy polenta. Very filling and satisfying. My husband had the Beet Marinated Sirloin with an egg yolk croquette, five day demi glaze (I guess it took five days to make) and grilled green beans. The bite I had of the sirloin was very tender with no detectable beet element, just an indescribable well-developed taste. Carlotta opted for the lighter Grilled Striped Bass with a coconut-cashew emulsion, cured pineapple and cucumber salad. I didn't taste this, but she said she enjoyed her delicate and harmonious dish. Louis went with the Corn Gnocchi served in brown butter, roasted bell pepper and Parmesan. I tasted the gnocchi and it was really well executed, with just the right consistency and all the components blending well. Louis seemed quite pleased with his selection.
If we had had room for dessert, we probably would have split the Blueberry Donut Holes that are fried to order with lavender frosting and the Slow Roasted Pineapple with banana rum ice cream, puff pastry and rum caramel. We will have to plan accordingly for our next visit. No Va goes well with the offerings along Rainey. A great addition to the neighborhood. (Cathy)