Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

Sampling Turback's

The reason I had to leave in the middle of Zinck's last night was that I'd been invited by David Raimon, the owner and chef at the new Turback's Restaurant, to be one of several people to come sample some of the new dishes he's considering adding to the menu this fall.

Silly me, on the way there I actually contemplated the possibility that I'd leave Turback's still hungry, and need to get more food afterwards! Well, I needn't have worried. Instead of a couple of bites of each of several things, I was presented with two entire appetizers, and three entire entrees! Needless to say, I have some leftovers.

I was greeted with a basket of bread, and the usual accompaniments: a small dish of butter, and a dish of olive oil with bits of sundried tomato, olive, and balsamic vinegar. When I was there with a group Sunday night, the bread was my undoing. I had to take most of my entree home, and it made a good lunch earlier this week.

Last night, I knew I was in trouble when Damir appeared a few minutes later with two dishes, the appetizers they were testing. The first was a smoked mackerel with horseradish sauce and pickled onions, garnished with capers and red onion slices as well, and small crouton-like pieces of toast. This reminded me of the smoked trout appetizer at the Lost Dog, which comes with lots of crackers instead of the tiny toast thingies. This was delicious, and my only complaints were that there wasn't enough horseradish sauce, and the toast thingies ran out too quickly. Somehow I didn't mind eating the rest of the fish without toast!

The second appetizer was a funky combination, pumpkin ravioli covered with a sweet potato and corn sauce! This was absolutely delicious, but I couldn't help but think (and told Damir) that the mild, sweet pumpkin ravioli needed something spicier as a sauce. Another waiter, Jeremy, stopped by to chat (he's served my parties several times), and commented that he thought the pumpkin ravioli, fried, would be good as a dessert. Eureka! Those ravioli fried, with some sour cherry sauce, would be perfect. As it is, I hope they keep the sweet potato corn sauce. Very interesting, and very tasty.

After the appetizers had been cleared, my entrees arrived. I immediately recognized the garlic lamb dish, which had graced their Garlic Festival menu from August 22nd to September 22nd, and was delighted to see it. The lamb wasn't quite as tender as it had been on a visit last month, but it was still delicious! I should probably have accepted the offered glass of wine; the lamb went REALLY well with red wine last time.

The other two entrees were dishes I'd never have ordered on my own, but were quite tasty. One was a warm lentil salad served with braised endive and onion. If I were a vegetarian or found lentils all that compelling, I'd probably have been delighted with this. As it was, I definitely enjoyed it. The last entree was poached salmon topped with a compote that included tomato and nicoise olives. The olives, which might have worked well in another type of dish, were much too bitter here, and overpowered the mild salmon.

The lamb and salmon both came with mashed potatoes, as well as sliced carrots and pea pods, if I recall correctly. I've got some leftover salmon and lentil salad, and some of the side veggies, in the refrigerator at home for this weekend!

No doubt some of this will show up on the regular menu in the coming weeks, perhaps in slightly different form. Go try it out!

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