cockscomb in soma part two....here comes the meat!
And now here's what you've all been waiting for--THE MEAT! After all, it is what Cockscomb wants to be known for. It was also something I was looking forward to trying.
We kicked things off with beef coulotte with mushrooms, squash, onions, mixed leafy greens and gravy reduction. Coulotte is the top part of a sirloin steak sliced at right angles to the grain or muscle fibers. That is your beef tutorial for the day. It's a nice looking dish with some decent slices of meat. It came with a nice brown on the outside and the middle was a good medium rare, closer to rare. All things me and the SO like. Cutting into it we had some expectations it would cut, chew and eat easily. Oddly, it did not. We were given a steak knife to use and while it wasn't like we were cutting shoe leather or anything, but it didn't exactly cut like butter. You know how with a cut like prime rib, when it's cooked just right, you can practically cut it with a butter knife and it feels like it melts in your mouth. This didn't do that. I think we had ideas it would be a super tender cut of meat with some of that based on how it looked it was cooked. It just seemed odd at a place specializing in meat, it wasn't as tender as you'd expect. Did it taste good? Yes, I won't say we had any issues with the flavor. It's just at $32 this would be an amazing piece of meat, yet it was just okay.
That then brings us to the bacon chop. Duh, like once I saw this on the menu you know I was gonna order it! Since we were sitting so close we even saw them cooking this. It seemed to come from a stack that was mostly pre-cooked (I'll get back to this) then placed on a grilled to char on each side. We did find out they use almond wood for their grill as it burns heartier and adds a nutty flavor to the meat, which neither of us actually picked up on, but okay.
Basically, this isn't so much bacon, besides it coming from a pig, but really a very large pork chop. That's what the texture and the taste are like. Again, I'll say, it didn't cut quite as easily as we thought it would. It did need even a tad more knife oomph than the beef coulotte. The flavor here was also tasty and seasoned nicely like the beef. About half way through this it looked like I still had quite a bit of meat to go, but as I cut deeper into the chop, more and more fat was what I came across. And not some yummy, salty edible fat, but the hard and chewy kind you leave behind on a plate. So much so, I felt I needed to take a picture of it.
This is just what I cut away and still there was more on the bone. After this I also felt the need to mention this to the server when he asked how things were. It then precipitated a visit from the restaurant floor manager and a discussion about the meat. I mentioned how their seemed to be a lot of chewy fat and he seemed surprised. He said the meat had been sous vide for 6 hours (that's the pre-cooking) and should have been tender. I told him I was versed in sous vide as me and the SO have one at home and use probably more than most folks. The fact it had been done that long was a surprise to me. He also said the cut of meat was akin to pork belly and thus it was going to have more fat. Well, as anyone who has read my posts, they know over these past years I've eaten my fair share of pork belly, good and bad. I've probably had enough to reconstruct an entire pig. Yes, there is fat on pork belly, but when cooked properly, the meat part is fork tender and the fat part is almost soft melt in your mouth, not hard to cut and chew.
To be honest, the gentleman talked to me like he was trying to educate me on how meat is, but I guess I took it more as a "you don't know what you are eating and talking about" kind of thing which immediately puts me in personal affront, ready to argue back mode. However, I could see the SO out of the corner of my eye with a polite please don't look in the eyes, and decided to just offer up a measured response of, "yes, I've had pork belly before and know there is fat on it, I guess I just expected this particular cut not to have so much and be more edible." It was just one of those we will just agree to disagree kind of things, where as I just wanted to get all bitchy and say don't tell me this is supposed to be like pork belly, cause it ain't and ya'll just don't want to admit I got a fatty cut of a pork chop. Wow, that feels better! Kind of been holding that one in since we ate there. This is a $35 cut of meat and with that comes with higher expectations than if I was at Sizzler or something. It was just a little disappointing.
What was the upshot of all this? While they didn't offer to take the chop off our bill, but the floor guy offered up two of his favorite desserts they serve as a make-up. I'm actually not really a freebies person and don't really look for something like that. If I'm not happy with something I just like to bring to folks attention. Kind of why I do the blog thing. I am a fan of good customer service though and did at least appreciate their effort to listen to me. Which is why I'm gonna share the desserts they gave us, but not really review them from my taste point of view. Which I will explain below.
Desserts here evidently change frequently but fruit seems to be the overriding, which I'm guessing acts as a refreshing and light alternative to the rich heaviness of all the meat centric dishes. Here we have a puffy citrus cake with two types of grapefruit, crumble, mint and a citrus creme. The cake part was a lot like a very light angel food cake and yes this was all VERY citrusy. You folks know I like heft and this was all just too airy for me. Since it was also a bonus I leave the review to the SO who gave it a thumbs up for the almost ice cream like creme and the lightness of the cake plus the fruit. For them this was a not too sweet or overly filling dessert.
You can see the picture title here and in layman's terms this was chocolate pudding with a layer of orange marmalade at the bottom. Straight from a light puffy thing to a pudding, this just wasn't my night for eating. Chocolate and orange just don't work for me palette wise. And pudding ranks right with ice cream on my scale as a dessert I can pass on. Basically, this just left more for the SO to eat. They aren't the biggest fans of fruit and chocolate, but the orange part was all at the bottom and not mixed in. Allowing one to just eat the chocolate part which was silky smooth and creamy, everything one wants in a pudding, I'm guessing. Leaving the SO on board with both the make-up desserts.
I think Cockscomb rounds out to being a mixed bag for me. When prices are what they are, like here, you go in looking for winners in every bite. Particularly when you order dishes that the restaurant is specializing in. I really wanted to like the place even with the prices (I didn't totally agree not to moan about them!). Some flavors were there, but many of the dishes overall were uneven enough for me to not be hard pressed if I don't eat here again. Which is too bad, being a meat guy like I am.