Hubby and I wanted to check out Plow and Anchor again now that they’ve been open awhile and settled into their groove. They definitely are—the service was spot on all night, drinks delivered quickly and food paced perfectly. I was also happy to see the place so busy—it was Devour Downtown and I am sure that helped bring people in. I then ended up meeting some girlfriends there a week or two later for lunch—so, bonus, you get two meals in one post.
We started with an order of the salmon tartare ($9)(I’ve been wanting to order this since I have seen it on the menu). It was delicious. Super fresh chopped raw salmon, mixed with lots of capers and dill (hubby isn’t as big a fan of dill, but I loved it). Lots of lemon and some crème fraiche dollops alongside. The salty housemade fingerling chips went great with it, even though you need to eat them like a garnish on your fork because they’re too small and delicate to scoop with. There was a raw quail egg on top as well adding a luscious creamy texture to the whole thing. It was as good, if not better, than I expected and I will be hard pressed not to order it every time it’s on the menu. It’s a little on the smaller side—we shared it, but I could easily eat it on my own.
The fried fish tacos ($5 each) were great as well. We ordered two and we were each glad we got our own. Lightly battered lake trout (I think the fish changes though) was tender and juicy and topped with so much deliciousness—lots of dressed cabbage, guacamole, harissa adobo sauce, as well as crema. There was exactly the right amount of ingredients to make for a perfectly balanced taco, both in textures and juiciness, but also with spice and acid. They served a lime wedge alongside and you didn’t really even need it (and you know that’s saying something coming from me). Another hard to pass up item for me.
For our mains, I had the ricotta gnocchi ($18) and hubby the duck entrée. They were both very good. We argued over which was better. I liked that even though the gnocchi was rich and creamy, there was a fair amount of lemon and other flavors as well. There was arugula, which gave it some pepperiness, the lemon zest as I mentioned, and some mushrooms giving it different texture from the creamy gnocchi and earthy flavors. It was still so rich I couldn’t finish it all, but really tasty. Hubby’s duck dish had a layer of crispy seared fingerling potatoes topped with wonderfully cooked duck (nice and pink) and N’duja sausage, which now may be one of hubby’s favorite things—it’s a softer sausage and added a salty kick to the dish. It was topped with a runny egg and a corn/herby sauce. There was also a saffron aioli underneath that added just the right amount of tanginess. A really well executed dish. Hubby couldn’t stop talking about it while he was eating it.
I really wanted to try a cheese course for dessert because we hadn’t to date, so we did. Overall, it was a really nice job. There were five different cheeses, in varying flavor profiles and firmness. I liked that there was a couple of blues, because they are some of my favorite kinds to eat at dessert with something sweet—like the preserves they served here. The bread was also good, although maybe a little thinner and more toasted would have been ideal. My only complaint was that as much as I love olives, I don’t feel like they belong on a dessert cheese board. Give me some nuts or dried fruit. Leave the olives for an appetizer cheese board.
A week or so later when I met some girlfriends for lunch, it was all I could do to not order the fish tacos for lunch, but I was able to resist when I saw the lobster roll ($19) on the menu. You know I love a lobster roll. I did not manage to not get the salmon tartare and split that again with one of my friends as an appetizer. As delicious as the first time. I could eat this all day. When I got my lobster roll, I questioned it. The lobster just looked plain, not like I was expecting. However, there was aioli hiding under the lettuce (normally the lobster is tossed in it) and there was a seasoned butter that seemed to be mixed with the lobster meat as well. The wedge of lemon also helped. They dressed it more like a po boy with lettuce, pickles and red onions. Like I said, different from what I was expecting, but still good. As good as the tacos? No, but I’m glad I tried it.
I also had a bite of a friend’s broccoli bisque ($7) and enjoyed that as well. It was a chunky soup, the way I like it. Hunks of broccoli and Portobello mushrooms. Loved the fried leeks on top. There was also a Serrano ham and melon plate ($8) that was simple and tasty—the melon sweet and the pork salty. There was a bit of balsamic and some pieces of fresh basil. The kind of bites that just taste like summer. A bite of another friend’s BLT ($10) was not as successful—it was one of those sandwiches that were too big and sloppy to eat without getting frustrated. I think they should lose the third piece of bread and try to make a more cohesive sandwich on this one. Great ingredients—Goose bacon, guacamole, egg, tomato, lettuce and aioli—but just a mess to eat.
All in all, I’m psyched to have Plow and Anchor to add to my “favorite restaurants” rotation. It is good to have the list expanding again instead of shrinking.
Plow and Anchor
43 E. 9th Street