Last night, we dined with Chad and Lindsay at Mars, a gorgeous restaurant with red walls and dim, funky lighting. I actually took my camera with me, so that you all could see the many wonders of Mars, but the lighting was so dim that I would have had to use the flash, and I hate using the flash. So no photos.
We started with two appetizers. The first was Scallops & Gyoza, seared plump scallops over a meyer lemon ponzu and served with a sweet carrot gyoza, or dumpling. Ohymyga…the scallops were so juicy and not a bit overcooked (my usual fear when eating scallops), and the carrot gyozas were creamy, sweet, and delicious. We also shared the Vegetarian Pot Stickers, which were fairly spicy, and served with a soy vinaigrette. They were extremely flavorful, full of ginger and soy.
Entrees came next (after a long wait, I’ll admit), and they were beautiful and scrumptious. I had the chef’s special…seared red snapper with a cucumber slaw, roasted Yukon gold potatoes, and haricots verts. This. Was. Amazing. The fish was buttery smooth, the potatoes had an amazing flavor, the green beans were cooked just like I like them, and the slaw! Tiny, tiny shreds of cucumber marinated in a delicious vinaigrette. Justin had the Wild Mushroom Terrine, layered with almonds and Reggiano cheese. It was so flavorful, not bland at all, and gorgeous to boot. Chad decided (after much thought) on the Jasmine Tea Smoked Duck a l’orange, his favorite duck dish. The warm orange ginger marmalade was delicious, I might add. Finally, Lindsay chose her own favorite, the Wasabi Salmon. The salmon was cooked through but not overdone, and Lindsay thoroughly enjoyed the wasabi (one of her favorite things, one of my least favorite things).
We split three desserts, and cleaned all three plates. The Chocolate Pate was pure decadence: smooth, dark chocolate with a hint of coffee, served with strawberries, blueberries, and creme anglaise. We also shared a napoleon, with layers of puff pastry, two different ice creams (one chocolate, one amaretto, I think), caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and bananas. The dessert special was also fabulous: Eggnog Cheesecake, with a gingersnap crust and macerated cranberries.
The food was amazing, and the portions were small enough for you to finish your plate and still want more. Because of the long wait between courses, I probably could have eaten my own appetizer, entree, and dessert, which I like…huge portions overwhelm me and my palate. The atmosphere and the service were great, and the food was presented beautifully. We’ll definitely return soon.
On another note, we will be traveling to West Texas to celebrate Christmas with our families, so it’s possible that I won’t post until next week. So until then, I wish you all Happy Holidays, safe travels, and happy eating!