Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Watts Grocery: Excellent!

Durham has a problem now. There are just way too many good restaurants and it's impractical to go to more than one at a time. Watts Grocery opened last Tuesday and I finally got a chance to check it out. I'd had chef/owner Amy Tornquist's excellent cooking at the Nasher before, so I knew that we were in for a treat.

I particularly liked the salads that I'd had at the Nasher, so I was eager to order one. I ordered one with loads of ingredients that I like, and I was halfway through with it when I realized that I'd been served the wrong one. I had attempted to order the local greens with Applewood smoked bacon, summer squash, Farmer’s Cheese, garlic croutons and Green Goddess dressing. What I was served was the local greens tossed with slow roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, spiced pecans, roasted garlic and balsamic vinaigrette. There isn't much to dampen the loud conversation noise in the restaurant, so I suspect once I said "local greens" it was easy to miss the rest. I doubt that I would have ever ordered what I was served, because I'm not fond of roasted red peppers. Did I complain? Absolutely not. It was delicious, I voraciously ate every bite and what better test of a new restaurant than to try what you don't think you'll like and be overjoyed? The roasted garlic cloves were just amazing.

My dad tried the pork and I sampled a bit. It was nice, juicy and flavorful.

My mom ordered roasted butternut squash salad. As I've mentioned before, my mom can't tolerate food in the Solanaceae family. When she asked the waitress and explained, she responded with, "ah ok, no Nightshades." I was impressed, because that's an atypical and informed reaction. The salad was apparently delicious, too.

I had a hard time deciding on a dessert, because they all sounded so tempting. The Krispy Kreme bread pudding sounded great and similar to the delightful dessert I had at Tayst, in Nashville. Unfortunately, the coffee sauce is fully caffeinated and I didn't want to stay awake all night. The root beer float is made with Stewart's, which I find way too sweet, but I'm guessing I'll still try it if stays on the menu long enough. I chose the apple and blackberry crostata and it was fantastic. It was very tart and the ginger ice cream was wonderfully strong.

My mom's chocolate pudding cake was basically a really good chocolate cake. You couldn't tell that pudding was involved.

My dad had the pound cake. I'm not a fan of pound cake, but the presentation was lovely.

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