Saturday, May 29, 2010

Date Night

Kerrie and I had a rare adult night out and took the time to head out to dinner. After a long discussion of where to go and trying to find something that beats out our usual date night dinner of sushi, we finally agreed on going to The Mission
I had been to the Mission for lunch a few times but never for dinner, and Kerrie had never been at all.
After looking over the menu online we were sold.

They make their own chips and salsa and both were delicious, the salsa doesn't have much in the way of heat but it is big on fresh flavor with a lot of cilantro.
Then we split the Flauta de Congrejo which is a "Lightly battered and fried soft-shelled crab rolled inside a flour tortilla with avocado, jicama slaw and a chipotle remoulade." They also drizzled some chipotle- infused oil on the plate which I took advantage of.  The jicama slaw was really delicious, it had an almost pickled flavor which I really enjoyed.
As good as it was I really have to go back for the ceviche some time.

For dinner I had the Cordero, "a pumpkinseed and garlic crusted, roasted rack of lamb finished with a green chile vinaigrette. Served with a quinoa, hearts of palm salad and vegetable del dia." I ordered it medium rare to rare and it was a touch overdone for my tastes but otherwise it was really delicious. Most of the pumpkin seed crust fell off but the meat had a nice crust to it regardless. The quinoa and hearts of palm salad was loaded with mint and went very well with the lamb. The first bite was a bit of a shock as it was served cold, I really should have expected it, they called it a salad after all, but the rack of lamb was laying on top if it and my brain just expected warm quinoa.  Oh and the vegetable was green beans, they were fine, they worked well as a tool to sweep up the pumpkin seeds and vinaigrette on the plate.
If you have never had quinoa you should, it has a very unique texture and presents a nice alternative to rice or couscous as a side.

Kerrie had the enchiladas with Pollo Mole, I have had them for lunch before and really enjoyed them. Kerrie did as well; particularly with a side of The Mission's fresh and buttery guacamole. The corn tortillas were filled with quite a bit of shredded cooked chicken and the mole sauce and was topped with queso, and it went very well with the accompanying black beans. I have this fascination with mole sauce. Those of you who know me probably know that I don't like chocolate, I don't even like the smell of chocolate. So  I think the fact that mole contains chocolate as in ingredient, and I love it, is part of my desire to make a classic mole poblano.
Depending on who you ask Mole poblano can contain 30 plus ingredients and takes a couple hours to make. It's right up there with making my own demi glace in the "things I want to do at home" list.

/end tangent

The black beans that came with Kerrie's dish had a spinkling of Cotija, an aged, crumbly
Mexican cheese, very much like a feta, very tasty.

The mission has a great beer selection including lots of local favorites, I went with a Negra Modelo anyway, it is always a favorite especially a nice night with some South American/Mexican flavors.

I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about the after dinner beer I had at J Ryans.
It was the Oaked Aged Unearthly Imperial Pale Ale. Southern Tier almost always makes me a happy beer drinker and this was no exception, the oak really mellows out some of the hop heavy flavor and the result is a really smooth, almost too easy to drink beer.

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