July 31, 2002
Everything on menu superb
[…] Food’s great. I mean great […] everything that followed was superb.
Case in point: Our melange salad ($13), crabmeat, mango, asparagus and avocado, hearts of palm tossed in a pine nut vinaigrette. Lots of flavors, none overwhelmed by another. Toasted pine nuts pack a lot of flavor too. All arranged with an artistic hand.
My oysters grilled on the half-shell ($8) with a lemon infused white wine reduction manifested a subtle beauty. Not all gussied up with too many condiments. Just big, fat oysters warmed and served. Simple yet elegant. Ditto the orecchiette (baby-ear) pasta with Gorgonzola cream, mushrooms and asparagus. Overall, a woodsy savory taste. Creamy. The alluring aroma of truffle oil was present and accounted for. Comforting yet sophisticated. One of the best pasta presentations we’ve enjoyed. Ever.
My rib-eye steak ($25) was an honest, marbled, just fatty enough cut of beef. Blackened, smothered in green peppercorns, Boursin cheese, a thick reduction all around. On the side: a pile of garlicky mashed potatoes and a nice bunch of string vegetables. Our shellfish noodles ($21) found four large shrimp and five plump oysters and a dusting of chives in a light sauce infused with essence of lobster. Served over al dente linguine. A grilled, smoky flavor. Sort of Asia-meets-Tuscany. Very nice.
Complex sushi rolls
The sushi. Too much info to impart, not enough room. So just go and enjoy: The Super Etre roll ($12), inside out, eel, tempura shrimp, cucumber, avocado and asparagus with seared tuna on top, tempura flakes, masago eggs and scallion, eel sauce and kimchee (a delightful, hot Korean condiment made from fermented vegetables). Very tasty, but almost too complex.
Blake Clevenger, Dillon Kao and Alan Lake
Our PGA roll ($12), a sensuous delight: inside-out, crab salad, shrimp tempura. cream cheese, eel, asparagus and avocado on top, wrapped in nori, covered with rice, sliced. Wow.
And the spicy crab roll ($7.50) must be eaten with eyes closed, so as to fully appreciate the delicate confluence of tastes.
The dessert sampler ($10) was uninspired – lime cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate nut torte.
But we didn’t go to Etre for dessert. We went seeking the culinary artistry we’d heard about. And found it.
Byline: Paul Reid, Palm Beach Post Restaurant Critic
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