Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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And We Have Pictures!

I finally remembered to take the camera with me this weekend and that was an interesting experience. I kept thinking someone at the restaurant would say something about taking pictures and Alex kept telling me to hurry up with the pictures so he could eat. I think Kingston Station was the perfect restaurant to experiment with taking pictures of food. Although for anyone who knows me, you know that I like to take pictures of the food I make. Hopefully the pictures will allow me to bring you into the dining experience better.

First off, I took advantage and had the Vesper martini and it was really good. Upon recommendation from the waiter I order the large size because he said that the small one was 8 oz versus the 12 oz large. I think I made a good decision. As with most martinis I expected it to taste too much like alcohol but this drink had a good blend (I think it was shaken, not stirred....sorry I couldn't resist) and the lemon rind that was used for decoration gave the drink a nice hint of lemon flavor. Don't I look like I enjoyed the drink? (And please excuse the hair)

Next up we ordered the Stuffed Brie appetizer which was amazingly good. The brie was stuffed with cranberries, figs, and apricots and was served with three pieces of the crunchiest bread which was perfect for the soft brie. The stuffing was really sweet which was balanced off by the cheese. For some reason I had it in my mind that the stuffing would be layered fruits, but it was more like a paste. Having the stuffing be paste-like was great because it held the two layers of brie together. The best part of this appetizer had to have been the walnuts. They tasted like they were roasted and then dumped in a sugar-honey syrup. Salivary perfection!

If the appetizer was this good we knew that the entrees had to just as good. There was definitely that sense of excitement as we watched the tables around us get their dishes. If you were at the restaurant we promise that we were staring at your food, not you! I think the excitement peaked when they brought out the steak knife for Alex. That's always a good indication that your food is on the way.

I have to say that I was surprised when they brought out our food. My eyes were immediately drawn to Alex's dish because it was huge. It was something straight out of the Flintstones. What was even more amazing was that Alex ate it all and had dessert. Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. Alex ordered the Crispy Pork Chop. On top of this pork chop being massive, it is stuffed with prosciutto and gruyere cheese and served with fingerling potatoes. The whole bottom of the dish was coated with a red wine sauce that was thick and a great compliment to the pork. The pork itself was succulent. I don't think a better word can describe the pork. I had expected a piece of pork that big to be either dry or undercooked judging by how crispy and golden the outside was. I'm assuming they stuffed the pork, baked it, and then fried it. It was very juicy and once you got to the gruyere and prosciutto it was mouth-watering.

I ordered the Gorgonzola Walnut Ravioli. The ravioli was served in a gorgonzola sauce and was filled with a gorgonzola-walnut mixture. It was then garnished with figs. This had to have been one of the best pastas I have ever had. It was creamy, cheesy, crunchy, and sweet. In this dish, the gorgonzola was mild and didn't overwhelm the pasta. The figs added a subtle sweetness to the dish. I think my favorite part of this dish was the cheese filling. It was like a roller coaster for the taste buds. You never knew what the next bite would have and at the end you wanted to ride it again. That's how the filling was. It was creamy, then crunchy, then creamy again. This was all because of the chopped walnuts that were throughout the filling. I ate every single ravioli and wondered why I hadn't discovered figs sooner.

We must have been so impressed with dinner because we both ordered a dessert. Again, we were looking at the tables around us to see what desserts others ordered (most were one course ahead of us). I couldn't resist the Cookies and Milk and Alex ordered the Vanilla Bread Pudding. I felt like I was transported back home with my dessert. The chocolate chip cookies were so good. They were brought out warm and the chocolate chunks were all melted. If you have ever had the McCormick Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookie then you have a good idea of what these cookies tasted like. I honestly believe that whoever invented dunking cookies into milk is a genius because this was the best part of the night. There's something about milk and cookies that warms my heart and my belly.

Since one of us had to be the grown-up it was Alex and his Vanilla Bread Pudding. This dessert came with dark chocolate on the side and fresh fruits. The bread pudding was dense and silky and just plain delicious. Alex couldn't quite put his finger on it but this dessert reminded him of something he had had before. To me it tasted very much like natilla, which is a dessert that the women in my family make.

All in all, the meal at Kingston Station was delicious. The restaurant is in the Downtown Crossing area so it's easy to get to. The only two drawbacks were the following: (1) since our reservation was on the early side so there were a lot of homeless people outside waiting for the nearby shelter to open and (2) where we were seated. They have a really nice dining room area (these are the pictures you see in their website), but we were seated in what I assume was the "cafe" area. I would have liked to have been seated in the main dining room since that part of the restaurant had more of a restaurant feel (the area we sat in had more of a subway feel because of the decorations). These will be things that I take into consideration and remember for the next time we go. I definitely recommend checking them out!

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