Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Five snapshots of Consciousness

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM

As noted in last week's Side Dish column, cooking classes at Conscious Table have started, and regular Thursday through Saturday night dinner service begins Thursday, Sept. 29.

While in-house chatting with the chef team of Brent Beavers, David Cottrill and Aaron Retka (disclosure: all of whom I know well) at a small, soft opening Saturday night, I got a sneak peek at the tentative full menu, including an $8-per-plate late-night menu that will run until midnight.

A few teasers from the late-night menu: a shrimp corndog with red chile ketchup and key lime mustard; Poutine (kettle fries, chevre, smoked peppercorn gravy); and veggie falafel tacos with herb aioli.

And from the entrée list (again, subject to change before Thursday): the Sencha Salad (featuring my favorite dressing of all time, a smoked tea vinaigrette); red curry/coconut Burmese Yardbird with pineapple tempura and lemongrass dumplings; and a Daube of Lamb "Pueblo" with Mirasol chiles and shallot oatmeal hush puppies.

A note at the menu's bottom reads: "We use exclusively sustainable seafood, natural, antibiotic and hormone-free meats and truly farm-to-table produce."

Without further ado, let's let five images from the night speak more to the meal and what you should plan to see from the culinary team. Click on each photo to enlarge:

Beef tartare with a gypsy pepper as an amuse bouche. Look for a possible trio of tartare on the regular menu.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Beef tartare with a gypsy pepper as an amuse bouche. Look for a possible trio of tartare on the regular menu.

A butternut squash tarte tartin, planned for the appetizer menu.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A butternut squash tarte tartin, planned for the appetizer menu.

Shrimp and spicy kielbasa with grits, lardons, Reypenear cream and beet molasses. My favorite dish of the evening — straight Southern-style comfort food with a twist.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Shrimp and spicy kielbasa with grits, lardons, Reypenaer cream and beet molasses. My favorite dish of the evening — straight Southern-style comfort food with a twist.

Seared culotte of beef, Arkansas Valley potatoes and assorted local vegetables. As described by Cottrill, culotte is a fancy word for cut. Here, they used a top sirloin.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Seared culotte of beef, Arkansas Valley potatoes and assorted local vegetables. As described by Cottrill, "culotte" is a fancy word for "cut." Here, they used a top sirloin.

A beet and brown sugar snow cone. Planned flavors on the dessert menu: riesling pear, cayenne melon and lemongrass basil.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A beet and brown sugar snow cone. Planned flavors on the dessert menu: Riesling pear, cayenne melon and lemongrass basil.

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