I would describe our dinner at the Royal Dinette as a canopy of greens, a kaleidoscope of colors, and plates full of flavor. Over the course of two hours, a cascade of vibrant plates of food arrived at our table, which we emptied quickly.
Since we were starving and hadn’t decided to go with the Family style dinner yet, the table got the D’Original Charcuterie Plate to snack on. We got a few salamis and a terrine. The smallest rounds were bison salami. I liked the house made pickles, which consisted of squash and cauliflower. They were great to wet our appetite.
The first plate of our Family dinner was a creamy burrata paired with sweet beets, rhubarb sauce, and tart sorrel granite. We got grilled bread to use as a platform for the rich cheese.
The Lamb Leg Tartare was recommended and we specifically ask for it (it was not apart of the family dinner). The creamy emulsion on top, I think is a vadouvan mayo. Vadouvan is a specific spice blend that’s a French take on Indian masala. The curry-ish flavor works well with raw lamb.
The lamb was tender and smooth. There were bursts of crunchiness and crispiness from shreds of fried potatoes and fine dices of pickled cucumbers mixed in the tartare. The whole ensemble served on top of the in house made crisps, was a great study of different consistencies and flavors.
What was fantastic about the Tuna Salad was it had a multitude of tastes. Those wilted looking dark green blobs were softened leaves that had a more intense herbiness and saltiness. There were great little salt pickles, citrusy flavors from I don’t know where, and various types of crunchy radishes. The dish looked simple but had a lot of “Wow” happening; it was the census top dish at our table.
Next up was a dish I didn’t think I was going to like simply because it contained whole-wheat pasta. I’m not a fan of the commercially available ones I tried; I find the coarse texture off putting. However, this pasta felt more like regular pasta much to my relief. The Humboldt squid was tender and the Little Neck clams were plump and sweet.
I felt it had more unique flavors and textures that worked well with each other. There was the liquorice tasting fennel, various strips and nubs of sweet carrots and beets, tender mussels, the perfectly cooked sweet halibut and a rich umami sauce that brought the chaotic looking plate of ingredients together.
We had an anti fish person at the table, as a result a pork loin entree was added on top of the family dinner offerings. Everything was on point: the pork was succulent and tender, grits were creamy and comforting, and the au jus was savory and umami rich.
However the most remarkable thing was the grilled lettuce. It was amazing as it had a charred taste. The leaves were soft where the veggie touched the grill and started to become more crispy as one moved towards the outer layer. I may never think of Romaine as boring again. I will definitely try BBQ lettuce this summer.
However considering I spent less than 10 minutes in the powder room and I was literally left crumbs and a sheepish group apology, I’m going to say the desserts were crowd pleasing.
This may not be my finest blogging moment (sorry for the lack of details), but I wanted to cover the Royal Dinette. Other than the established media, there are not many blog posts detailing how amazing this eatery is. People need to know about this place.