Friday, February 8, 2013

Eating Out: The Hart & The Hunter.

I am not very good at remembering to write about my restaurant conquests. To be quite honest, the Mr. and I dine out so often and enjoy so many amazing meals that it's pretty rare that I feel the urge to come home and share the details of our evening. However, on occasion, my mind is blown.

We ate at The Hart & The Hunter last night. A wonderful recommendation from our friend Whitney. (she has an awesome blog: Brunellos Have More Fun.) It is a small restaurant inside the Palihotel on Melrose and it is what my dreams are made of. Amazing southern food that is foodie in the really good way because I HATE the word foodie.  It is no secret that I wake up in the morning craving southern cuisine. I am obsessed with it.... so when I walk into a restaurant (flawlessly decorated, might I add) and the menu consists of biscuits, collards, grits, and fried chicken livers (to name a FEW) you know I am on board.

Let's start at the beginning.... which for me is ALWAYS with a glass of wine. I ordered a glass of their 2011 Westward Expansion Pinot Noir from Potter Valley. It was to die for. Made by Hobo wines (I also had a glass of their cabernet which was wonderful) this is seriously one of my favorite pinots that I have ever had. Yes, I said it.... EVER. It was full bodied, not too sweet and just delicious. I am actually sitting here begging Rich to order a case for me as I type (I am so good at multi-tasking.)

For dinner we ordered four plates. First off, all of the food comes out on mismatched china plates that you would find in your grandmothers garage-- AMAZING. Our server told us that everything on the menu was "small plate" portions, but "small plates" is in quotations because that statement just isn't so. The portions were fairly large and perfect for sharing. I would suggest ordering and sharing, but 3 things per person, as suggested, is a TON of food.

So, we started with the brussels sprouts and peanut salad with aged cheddar and a bacon sherry vinaigrette. It was pretty perfect on all counts, like the best pile of leafy greens that I have put in my mouth in a real long time.... so so satisfying that I honestly could have stopped there and still left a very happy girl. But no.

Next, our server (who was also pretty spectacular) brought out the smoked trout, boiled egg, and pickled onion avocado toast (see top photo.) This too was absolutely wonderful.... and I don't even really like fish. The presentation was also perfect with the majority of dishes we ordered coming out in cast iron and on very cool wooden platters. Next we had the melted raclette, butterball potatoes, corichons, ham, and mustard. This was a mini cast iron skillet of melty, cheesy perfection. I, of course, had to order a side of the cheddar and chive grits and ohhhh were they fantastic. SO cheesy and so yummy. We may have ordered a side of bread to dip in the because they were pretty much like a fondue. I'm not embarrassed- you should try it.

For dessert we had the coffee ice cream sandwich topped with hot fudge and it did not disappoint. It also paired perfectly with the amazing port that we had. Remember how I mentioned how awesome our server was? Well, after dinner he brought us out a taste of Heitz Cellars Port. Yup- just my absolutely favorite port ever from Napa. Needless to say, we tipped him accordingly.

From the service, to the food, to the decor, to the wine list.... I seriously cannot say one bad thing about The Hart & The Hunter. It was truly one of my favorite places we have eaten in Los Angeles.

Go asap and invite me, please.

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