This is the first of many posts detailing my trip to Florida in early December of last year. I apologize for the delay, but I think I was saving these posts for when I could use a little bit of sunshine. Today – with the cold weather and snow surrounding me – is the perfect day to relive those memories. I also apologize for the crummy cell phone photos in this post. I didn’t think this was the right environment to bust out the good camera.
Cress Restaurant has created quite a bit of buzz in the food world the past few years. Just in 2014, the restaurant has already been featured on Emeril’s Florida. I had been religiously reading the coverage and the social media sites of the restaurant well before the boyfriend booked our reservation so I knew already what I would eat there depending on what the weekend specials were. The specials, though sounding tasty, were both food items that I had tried before (goat and flounder) and I wanted to step out of my usual box.
We were seated promptly, and I loved the fact that we were seated by the windows at the front. I’m a fan of people watching. The atmosphere in the restaurant felt intimate and romantic without being stuffy. We were offered an amuse-bouche and what I remember of it was that it was a tasty mix Indian spiced veggies with yogurt. What a promising way to start out meal.
We started our meal with Indonesian Escargot (clarified butter, garlic, parsley). This was my first time trying escargot and whole the taste was fabulous and the escargot melted in your mouth, I knew that I should stop after one. I wanted to make sure that it settled well in my stomach (mind over matter).
For my entrée, it was an easy choice. I went with the Andouille Stuffed Whole Quail (smoked pork and potato hash, lingonberry reduction). The boyfriend went with the Shrimp ‘N Cress Grits (pork sausage, roasted corn salsa, cress grits, shrimp bisque). I explained to the boyfriend a while ago that we are never allowed to order the same dishes so that I can have a taste of his.
The quail was perfectly cooked and the lingonberry reduction was a nice compliment to the richness of the meat. It tasted sweet, yet with a necessary touch of tartness. The boyfriend’s shrimp and grits had a kick to it, completely different from my own dish, but delicious in its own way.
The boyfriend asked for a wine recommendation for his dinner and while I can’t really remember exactly what it was, I believe that Jenneffer recommended the Gouguenheim Escondido Malbec from Argentina. I took a sip and though I am not a red wine fan, the boyfriend stated that the wine paired nicely with the spice of his shrimp and grits.
Overall, I thought the service was splendid and the staff really helped to make our night special. I would go there again in a heartbeat, especially since I have heard that it’s almost time for their Spring menu to be revealed.