Wednesday, April 26, 2006

 

Guest Random App at Match

Michael sends us the latest tale of Random-Apping… from a dining adventure we shared together last night

The Sonsie set has moved it down the block, populating Match, the successful reinvention of the funky space formerly known as the Blue Cat Café. The restaurant’s centerpiece is a dramatic fire “feature” in the wall of the main dining room, whose border of mosaics dapples the light, reflecting off the onyx walls. The tables are white, the placemats leather, and at the bar I could imagine a certain doe-eyed celebutante, sipping her fruity-tini and extending her 15 minutes of fame by dropping the ultimate compliment, “That’s hot…”

And what if you’re a mere reader, not a feature, of Us magazine? Well, Match has plenty to offer us too. Julia and I spent a very enjoyable evening eating, gossiping, and indulging her favorite act of supper sociology, the random app. of kindness. Match is the ideal setting for all three activities with a menu that equally balances cocktails on one page and appetizer-appropriate dishes on the other. While the menu does offer heartier fare such as a 10 oz filet, roast chicken, and pasta, its focus is its small plates, perfect for sharing, natch…

Spoiled for choices, we picked from their appetizer, mini-burger and side sections, over looking the main courses. The extremely attentive staff first served up the ginger glazed chicken satay. The chicken was cooked perfectly, delicious and moist, an impressive achievement. While the glaze was decidedly spiked with fresh ginger, it overwhelmed the unusually delicate and airy peanut sauce. Still, not bad, we both agreed.

Round two brought our trio of burgers on brioche- lobster, lamb, and sausage, accompanied by smoky asparagus swaddled in creamy procsiutto and a stack of thick cut onion rings. What do you do with such choice? Start with the lobster of course! Creamy on the inside, crisp on the outside, the lobster burger could have been mistaken for a crab cake, but who doesn’t like crab cakes? I wanted to super-size another. The sausage burger, a miniaturized version of the hangover-curing pepper and onion sausage sub, was probably too cute for its own good. How such a small burger could be so heavy was a mystery, but the crisp onion chow topping had the right flavor. And the lamb burger? To use such an un-interesting adjective as “interesting” to describe it is probably a cop-out, but hey, its flavor was interesting. Gamey and complimented by its Persian feta topping, a mini-burger was just the right size.

The asparagus was a carnivore’s delight; beautiful, perfectly cooked and, we imagined, grilled inches from the burgers and steaks given their aggressive smoky flavor. The procsiutto wrapping them was a decent foil, tender, lean and not too salty. Falling short, though, were the thick onion rings, served with BBQ sauce. Both Julia and I would have preferred a thinner, lighter version.

So moments after we had settled in to our dinner, we scanned the room to find that night’s random app recipients. The dining room was built for couples in mind, so we chose an attractive young two-some, who, we imagined were on their first date, surprising them with the mushroom pizza. Never having done this before, I joined Julia on her side of the table so we could discreetly watch the scene play out. When their unexpected pizza arrived, they looked a bit confused, but when the waiter explained, they gamely tucked in, high-five-ing each other for being so lucky. Not a crumb was left, so it looks like the thin crust pie was a winner. After dinner, they stopped by to offer enthusiastic thanks and promised to “pay it forward” the next time they went out to eat. Julia and I imagined our random app was a harbinger of unexpected good things in their future.

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