Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ella Dining Rooom & Bar

Last night we went to Ella for Sue's belated birthday dinner. It is located at the corner of 12th & K and is a little hard to find since there is just a little signage on the door.. look for the valet parking. It is one of Randal Selland's new restaurants. It is a very bright airy open space that makes the restaurant seem a lot larger than it actually is. There is a seating/waiting area to the left as you walk in and directly in front is a raw bar and curved around the back is the bar. To the far end is a large wine room and at the back of the restaurant is the open kitchen.
The point of interest in here is the far wall and the ceiling that is made up of shutters painted different colors. That was very interesting and something different that I haven't seen before .

When we were seated we were told that the portions were large to encourage sharing. We started with a dozen Oysters,Crispy pork belly ,grilled peaches & frisse, Braised Short rib red wine jus with glazed root vegetables, Grilled Prawns and Creole barbecue sauce. I have to say when the appetizers arrived we all looked at one another.. They considered these large portions? They were tastings. They were about the same portions as you would get at The Kitchen per course. The Oysters were wonderfully briny and fresh. The Pork belly was tender, crispy and just the right fattiness to make it rich. The Braised Short rib was meltingly tender but could have used a tad more flavor, the vegetables were crisp tender. The Prawns were fairly large(5) with a tasty barbecue sauce that had a slight bite of creole spice.

We then went on to the Heirloom tomato w/ Buratta cheese and Basil. We also had the Roasted Baby Beets w/watercress and pistachios and olive oil. I love Buratta Cheese so I was happy with my bite of the tomato and the Beets tasted pickled, but they were good with the watercress.

Entrees were the Roasted marinated Pork Chop w/brussel sprouts and baby carrots.
Crispy duck breast w/swiss chard and roasted figs.

Slow roasted salmon w/ preserved lemons, baby artichokes and lardons.

I had the Pappardelle Pasta ,poached egg, crispy prosciutto and preserved lemon sauce. The Pork chop was cooked a medium well, just a hint of pink. It looked nice and juicy. The pork chop was large... it was the only large entree. The salmon was perfectly cooked , the duck wasn't crisps but was cooked a nice medium rare the pasta was very good mixed with the poached egg.. kind of like a carbonara, not a wow but just a nice comfort food.
Desert was the Warm chocolate cake with a ganche center and toasted coconut ice cream, Brioche french toast, maple syrup and coffee ice cream. Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge, and Lemon tart with creme fraiche and blood orange sorbet The cake was good, nothing extraordinary, you typical lava cake. The french toast was different and really very good..and the coffee ice cream had a very intense coffee flavor.. I'd like that for breakfast. The profiteroles were little cream puffs filled with a scoop of ice cream with hot fudge sauce poured over. It was good. The Lemon tart was good but it seemed to have too much creme fraiche mixed in.. it was runny and not set...maybe that was how it was supposed to be. It was good and lemony and the crust was nice and tender. A lot of time you get a crust so tough it's hard to cut through... this was a perfect crust and the intensely flavored sorbet was a good combination with the lemon.
We all agreed that the portions were very small and didn't seem to encourage sharing, unless you just wanted one bite. There were 4 of us and to divide one portion was just a bite, even down to the entrees and deserts. The food was good with a few outstanding dishes. I think maybe we may have been spoiled having just recently gone to The Kitchen.. The Kitchen it ain't. If your not a big eater this is perfect or if you order a lot of dishes it's fine. As far as the price, it is very reasonable. With all we ordered it came to about $60.00 per person including a glass of wine(which reminds me, the waiter never did come by to asked if we wanted refills on drinks) a cocktail, after dinner Port and the valet parking fee. I think that's pretty reasonable.

I think I'd go back but with the girls.. my husband would never have enough to eat unless he ordered just about everything on the menu.
Pictures may make the dishes look bigger than they actually are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow these pics and the menu sounds perfect for me. Include me in the girls night!

I am still in Portland..and we are having wild salmon that was caught by my DIL's uncle (then frozen) and some oysters!! Steak for Jenn though...she hates fish.

My granddaughter loves calamari!!

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