Five Things: The Conservatory at the Vanderbilt Grace, Newport
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
One. Why not a Cosmo?
I know, Carrie killed the Cosmo. However, every once in a while I am happy to be reminded of how revitalizing this new-classic cocktail can be (especially on a humid August night). The Conservatory refers to their version as The Perfect Cosmopolitan, and I would agree. Ketel One Citron, Grand Marnier, fresh lime, and a splash of cranberry (one does want a hint or color) – perfection. In a world filled with low-shelf triple sec, The Perfect Cosmopolitan is a beacon of pink hope.
Two. Vietnamese Vegetable Salad
Now this is one smart salad. Ribbons of Napa cabbage mingled with carrots, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, cashews, chili, and sour grapefruit segments. This herbaceous blend was a great refreshment. Each bite felt unique as the flavor evolved from herbs to heat. A great example of a simple dish executed with poise and perfection.
Three. Newport, balanced.
Four. Pan Seared Halibut
A perfect sear—no doubt. I was however far more focused on what was under the halibut. A pea and spring onion risotto with seared cauliflower and lemon butter really got my attention. Chef provided a smooth and creamy risotto that had a very forward fresh pea flavor. Two bites in and things shifted to a pure cauliflower essence. Savory, clean and delicious. This was a humble champion.
The Vanderbilt Grace has plenty of history, and they like to show it off a little. The Muse (formal restaurant) and The Conservatory are both featuring items from their Vintage menu. That is the menu first served when the house opened. I couldn’t leave without letting my taste-buds do a little time travel. Before I left I was sure to try a Vintage dessert. Meringue with clotted cream needs to make a formal comeback. The subtly sweet, super creamy, almost nutty flavored filling was served cold in between two delicate meringue cookies (think macaron). The upshot, a unique sweet that I will be remembering (and craving) for some time.
Would I go back? Yes. A little elegant, a little casual, a great experience. I’ll be back.
Hit "save": The Conservatory @ The Vanderbilt Grace. 41 Mary Street, Newport, 401-846-6200. vanderbiltgrace.com
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