Monday, June 15, 2009

Fun Playing with Foie Gras Clams

Saturday evening, Greenhouse Tavern co-owner Amelia Zatik Sawyer invited Columbus and Cleveland-area women bloggers to join her for a happy hour at the Tavern. I could not pass up the opportunity! A small group of us enjoyed fabulous appetizers, amazing desserts, and the pleasure and support of one another's company. And, I tasted one of the most amazing dishes I have ever encountered. So good, I don't care if the stains don't come off of my sweater!

We were started with the beautiful On the Rise bread and Pork Rilettes, which we'd enjoyed on our last visit Friday June 5. Also appearing was the lovely House Made Fromage Blanc w/ thyme & grilled bread, which appears in my prior Greenhouse Tavern posts. The next dish up combined the best of two other Greenhouse dishes: the Organic American Prosciutto and the Parisian Gnocchi.

Yup. Those amazingly light and tasy gnocchi are battered and fried, then wrapped in proscuitto.

Next up, a new "First" on the menu:

Roasted Marcona Almonds w/ dry olives & sea salt

Oh, my. Think peanuts and raisins - kicked up lots of notches! The almonds are gently candied, and the dried olives evoke raisins, but have a unique and irresistible flavor.

Next up, another new item:

This item featured mushrooms sauteed with swiss chard in an amazing - glaze? I hesitate to call it a sauce, because it was so very sublte, but it married the mushroomy essence (which I do like, even though I can't countenance the texture of mushrooms) to the vegetable with delicious results.

Crispy Chicken Wings w/ jalapeƱo, scallions & garlic

Of course, the secret ingedient that makes this dish so irresistable is the duck fat in which the wings are fried. Yum.

We were feeling pretty happy by this point - lovely food, great company, and several glasses of the house-made Port Punch, which is sort of like a sangria - but better (sorry, no photo this time).

Amelia had already asked the server to bring up some dessets - but then this plate appeared. This plate appeared and my life was changed. Chef Jonathon - I don't know how you thought this dish up - but - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Foie Gras Steamed Clams w/ mahogany clams, butter & grilled bread

Forget everything you know about foie gras. This is an alchemy that will leave you wanting more - or at least, a loaf of crusty bread to soak it up! I brought my empy clamshell to my lips to get every drop of this amazing elixer, and it dibbled down my front. I could care less if the stain ever comes out - it was sooo worth it!!

This last dish actually left us all pretty sated - but Pastry Chef Kerry Garcia had other ideas! She appeared with a dazzling array of tasty sweets.


These warm cookies, redolent of peanut butter, butterscotch, and other sweetly tantalizing flavors, were wonderful!

Chocolate Chocolate Truffles, Farmers' Market Strawberries, Housemade Hazelnut Brittle

I think we all agreed that this plate was our favorite. Deeply chocolately and not sweet chocolate surrounded a sweet middle and married exquisitely with the berries. And the brittle offered amazing taste and texture without challenging my dental work!

Pot of Chocolate Mousse For Two w/ white chocolate cardommon truffle & hazelnut montelimar

I believe I have the description correct. My only complaint arises from my particular palate - too much coffee flavor. If you like coffee flavor - you will love this, because the textures and tastes are otherwise divine!

Flaky pastry, fresh berries, sweet sauce - we loved it!

Another berry-centric, creamy, luxurious dessert. We approved of this one, too!

Fresh Plum Clafoutis

We had tasted this on our last visit - freshly made, warm and soothing - a perfect dessert.

As wonderful as the desserts were - I could not get my mind off of the Clams in Foie Gras Sauce. I may never look at clams the same way again - Chef Jonathon - you've spoiled me!! But I had fun playing with it, that's for sure! And that is what it is all about - thank you Amelia for setting this terrific gathering up.


  1. Great review Nancy - and I enjoyed meeting you. Being that I am not an eclectic "food" person, it was hard for me to describe the many dishes to my husband. Now I don't have to. I'll just point him over to this post.

  2. Wow, that meal looks just amazing! Who would've thought that foie gras and clams would pair so well together? I hope they put that one on the regular menu so the rest of us can try it, too.

  3. @Lynette - it was fun to meet you!

    @Tino - this dish IS now on the menu - the menu changed right after we were there last. And it is heaven on a plate!