Julie Stalmer 5:30 p.m., Sept. 22
Specialty of the House: Searsucker
A Feast! feature in which your humble correspondent visits a restaurant and orders the specialty of the house.
Up first, the appetizer. Like Quality Social, Searsucker is good at elevating the familiar. Triple cheese toast + tomato-tarragon soup ($8)? Yeah, Dad was really good at grilled cheese and tomato soup. It's what he'd make for dinner when it was just us guys at home. You know, after Mama r-u-n-n o-f-t:
And those little crunchy bits of onion (and celery?) in the tuna tartare + charred jalapeno + tomatillo relish ($10)? How can they help but evoke the tuna fish with bits of celery of your childhood?
Another echo of youth: the tuna's flavor gets a little lost in the shuffle.
Heck, look at that creamy ring around the outside of the plate - it's like they even included the mayo!
But the crunchy bits might also be getting at Searsucker's larger vision. "Seersucker is a fabric with a particular texture, right?" asked The Wife.
"This food is really about texture. You take a bite, and you get the crunch, but then you scoop some up with one of the chips, and you get a harder crunch. Not only is there the mushy-crunchy contrast, there's the contrast between the two crunches. Top that with the delicate texture of the caviar and the tender burst of the mirco-cilantro..."
"Oh," she mentions, switching to flavor, "the jalapeno is much more sweet than spicy."