Dine Downtown: Restaurant Thir13en
January 13, 2012
Last night, I took advantage of the Dine Downtown deal to try Restaurant Thir13en for dinner the first time. (Unlike last week's Dine Downtown preview at Morgan's at the Sheraton Grand, I paid for this meal.)
Overall, it was a great meal. As fans of Tuli would know (the other restaurant started by the chef at Restaurant Thir13en), the food was expertly prepared and the ingredients were top notch. The difference between the two is really price point. Whereas Tuli aims to be a neighborhood bistro, Restaurant Thir13en is more of a fine dining establishment. At Tuli, you can expect to get some great pizza. At Restaurant Thir13en, you can expect to get great scallops.
Generally, Dine Downtown menus are three course meals for $30, and you get a choice of two items for each course. As has become our custom, my wife and I ordered one of each so we can try the whole menu. If you're looking for a place to try before Dine Downtown ends on Wednesday, January 18, I'd highly recommend Restaurant Thir13een.
But I'll even go a step further. Let me recommend which of the choices you should get.
Local Toy Box Beets with Pistachio-crusted Goat Cheese, Arugula, Blood Oranges, Shaved Fennel & Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette.
12 Hour Beeler Ranch Pork Belly with Apple “3” ways, Parsnip Chips & Bulls Blood.
The salad was good, but the pork belly was very good. The pistachio-coated goat cheese was excellent, but to me was the best part of the dish. I'm also not a fan of beets, so that was another minus for the dish. The pork belly was moist in the inside, and had a great seared crust. I also enjoyed the apple four ways. It was a great and inventive dish. Winner: Pork Belly.
Sous Vide & seared Passmore Stugeon with house made Tasso-braised Rainbow Chard, Buttermilk Parsnip Puree and Sauce Almondine.
Lucky Dog Ranch Sirloin Steak Sous Vide & Skillet Seared with Oregon Bleu Cheese Butter, Wild Mushroom Ragu, Whiskey Demi & Sous Vide Kennebec Potatoes.
Both of these dishes had some great qualities. I really enjoy the meaty taste of mushrooms, and the wild mushroom ragu was fantastic. However, the sous vide stugeon blew away the steak dish. It was flaky and very flavorful. The side of rainbow chrad and parsnip puree were heavenly. I also loved the tasso, which gave enough of a meat flavor to the seafood dish. Winner: Stugeon.
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Orange Glaze, Winter Citrus and Almond Biscotti.
Chocolate Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce And Salty Caramel Ice Cream.
My wife and I generally agree on what foods we like to eat. The one exception is desserts. Both desserts were very well made. It comes down to a question of personal taste. I like sweets and fruits. She likes chocolate. I preferred the panna cotta. She preferred the chocolate. Winner: Tie
You really can't go wrong with any of the choices, but if you are planning on going to Restaurant Thir13en, hopefully this will help you choose. On a side note, I took a look at Poor Girl Eats Well's post about her experience at Restaurant Thir13een, and I noticed two things. First, whatever camera she uses is better than the one on my Blackberry. And second, she got way more food than I did. Maybe there's a good reason that professional restaurant critics go anonymously...