Friday evening Nell and I wanted a place with a bar, good cocktails and small plates. The Orange Squirrel, where I've not been in a while, came right to mind. Their perfect little bar was quiet at 6:30 on this summer Friday night, though the dining room and bar was filled by the time we left. We had a great evening. Starting off with these great cocktails.
We were excited to see and talk with chef and owner Francesco Palmieri who had just appeared on the Today Show, Yum! Try Francesco Palmieri’s tempura mushrooms, broccoli gratin, showing his famous mushroom tempura which we got to enjoy this night and bring a batch home for Diana.
Francesco sent over some complimentary zucchini blossom Tempura oh so good. He has such a delicate touch with the batter.
Next was this artful cucumber soup with a lobster fritter and queso blanco cheese. A perfect cool dish for a hot summer night.
We also had this cold tuna tartar masterfully done in an Asian style with soy served with roasted cherry tomatoes and avocado and a soy crisp.
For these dishes I switched to a New Zealand Semillon blend, I thought was called "Levels." But, I see no brand by that name on the web, so I must have that wrong. Any way it was a nice full bodied white.
Our next dish was our favorite wild mushroom tempura which is served with baby artichoke aioli, with cherry tomato and white truffle oil. We have this dish every time we come here.
The picture did not come out so well, but trust me it is great.
Our final courses were the risotto of the day, which was with very green chives and Pecarino Romano and a duck leg confit with a rich brown sauce. For these I had an IPA from local NJ brewer Cricket Hill which Orange Squirrel serves on tap.
All in all a fabulous dinner.
The Orange Squirrel
412 Bloomfield Avenue
Bloomfield, Nj 07003