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October 20th, 2010 Deeda Schroeder | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Fenouil: Restaurant Guide 2010

     
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11:30 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday, 9 am-9 pm Sunday. $$$$ Very expensive.
[FRENCH WITH A VIEW] Chef Jake Martin was hired this spring to renew and refocus this elegant, two-story restaurant’s French-inspired cuisine, and for the most part, he’s succeeded. Small plates shine—not a single vegetable or protein was overcooked, and plates were colorful, balanced and tidy to a fault. Foie gras au torchon is a good example. With compressed pear, creamy vanilla sauce and crunchy sea salt, the thick slab of classically prepared poached goose liver is creamy and rich. A knockout was the Oregon Berkshire pork pâté, which was adorned with a seared brioche crust and pole beans tossed with pickled shallots and mustard. Large plates weren’t so reliable. Day-boat scallops, though nicely seared and tender inside, came atop white beans and tender rings of calamari—a flat and mild pairing. Examine the side dishes on the menu for whatever’s seasonal—a small bowl of spring legumes came filled with fresh peas and fava beans, heady with the bite of whole cloves of garlic and shallot. Fenouil’s service is invariably gracious and hospitable. Dinner service was thoughtfully present only when needed, making spot-on recommendations for drinks and wine. A lunch on the sprawling patio by default moved at a much slower pace. And why not? It’s dappled with shade and perfect for people watching. Stick to the French favorites and you won’t be disappointed. DEEDA SCHROEDER.
Ideal meal: Small plates like hamachi crudo and Dungeness crab salad.
Best deal: Examine the side dishes on the menu for whatever’s seasonal. Happy hour 4-6 pm Monday-Sunday.
Chef’s choice: Hamachi crudo. “We pair it with cucumber vinegar and a yuzu kosho yogurt so it has a spice and then a cooling freshness.” (Jake Martin)

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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