Last night's Dorm Room Dinner at 33 wine bar was good. In fact, it was very, very good. Chef Jim Fiala, of The Crossing, Liluma, Acero, and Terrace View fame took what could have been a campy slant at dorm food, and knocked it over the fence.
The first course was (not Liptons) French Onion Soup- although it is pretty hard to screw this dish up, this particular one was rich, delicious, and I could have eaten a bucket-full of it. He wasn't so heavy handed with the cheese as other restaurants have gotten recently
Next was (Not Mrs. Pauls) Fish and Chips- This course caused some debate in the room. It was sort of a fish puree on a potato chip. Flavor-wise, it was delicious, and tasted just like a fish stick. Texturally it was a bit strange. I loved it, but others in the room were a bit weirded out.
Third was (Not Uncle Bens) Rice n Beans- a bean puree served on a crostini, and a fried risotto ball. The dish was probably the furthest that Chef Fiala strayed from the true "dorm food" format, but each component was delicious. My wife liked the pureed beans a lot- I did too, as I remember eating lots of bean dip in college!
Fourth ws probably our least favorite dish- the "Mac n Cheese". This was pretty straight forward, but the cheese sauce seemed a bit scorched. Chef Fiala even told me that it was, and that he was the least confident about that course.
Fifth was a (not Pillsbury's) Toaster Strudel- Filled with Lamb, and drizzled with Basalmic Vinegar, this was our table-mate's favorite dish. It had a richness to it, and the sweetness from the Basalmic that was really fun to eat together.
The last course sent this thing into overtime. He did a (not Ore Ida) "Loaded Baked Potato"- basically, home made icecream, rolled in Cocoa powder, and topped with bacon and pistachios, to truly look like a baked potato. Many people were saying that this was the single best dessert that has been served at any of the Dorm Dinners. It's hard to disagree.
Wow- What a great night with my wife and friends! I won't even go into the wines we drank (K syrah and Jayson).
If you can get into the next Dorm Dinner, you should.