Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year: 2009 at Humble Pie

F. & I went to eat at Humble Pie to ring in New Year 09. We shared a menu for two.

Humble Pie
317 S. Harrington Street
RALEIGH, North Carolina


Grilled Romaine Salad: parmesan toast points, shaved manchego, orange segments, sherry vinaigrette
As you can see from the above picture, my salad did not appear to have been "grilled." Upon tasting, it did not seem to have a sherry vinaigrette either. The Romaine tasted as a bitter salad green does when it's not dressed, not entirely pleasant or displeasing. The orange segments gave the salad some much needed juice when eaten, but as there were only three segments uncut, this happy occurrence was not frequent.

Lobster Wonton Soup: scallions, ginger, cilantro, crispy shallots

The Lobster Soup was delightful. The broth had a zing from the ginger and had a full savory/umami taste. Bits of cilantro added further brightness to the soup. The fried wonton dumplings softened during the eating of the soup. In both forms, either slightly crisp or damped softly with broth, the lobster filled wontons were a nice contrast and a pleasure to eat. The crispy shallots were each a joyful catch in my spoons' eddy and a crunchy treat with each spoonful.

Avocado and Crab Salad Godzilla Roll : pickled mung beans, ginger, wasabi, spicy ponzu

I felt a little misled when I received this dish. I assumed "godzilla roll" would be what a maki style sushi roll with rice. Our waitress kindly told me that the roll was "wrapped in tuna" which I thought meant a small layer of sashimi would be around the rice. I was wrong. It was raw tuna wrapped around an avocado/crab mushy blend. While I typically enjoy the smoothness of raw tuna in a sushi roll, the pure mass of raw fish and mushy filling really did me over. When my tongue was halted by tight ligament running through the tuna, I felt like I was going to vomit. Then besieged by tuna-aroma . . . I gagged it down, F. tried one and had a similar experience. We put it aside and took it home to the pet turtle.

Pulled Pork + Crispy Truffled Sweet Potato Fries . malt vinegar aioli, chervil, thyme

This dish was fun. It was a little haphazard, and after the disappointment with the godzilla roll, we were both amiable to putting it aside and enjoying the rest of the dinner. The sweet potato fries were delightul, sweet and salty at once. The pork was a little dry, but otherwise flavorful. The aioli was underneath the entire dish, making it difficult to easily enjoy.

Chateaubriand . grilled vegetables, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, peppercorn bordelaise

This is a picture of F.'s steak, he ordered it Medium Rare. It was very tender indeed, the perfect steak example. The bordelaise saice was not overly peppery and very consumable. The potatoes were great too. While F.'s were not, my zucchini were charred a tad too much. A delightful end to a meal.

Overall, I give HUMBLE PIE a B - fun, tasty food, not overly original but definately not banal. Overwhelmingly hit or miss.

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