Sunday, August 5, 2007

VIOLET...again, Santa Monica, CA

Although we always strive to try new places to post on our blog, we really enjoyed our initial visit to Violet and wanted to return for their Sunday Night Dinner special. On Sunday, Violet features a seasonal 3-course menu for $25. With 2 selections for each of the 3 courses, we were able to order one of each and thus try everything. In addition, they offer the option of adding a $10 bottomless glass of wine - we didn't hesitate of course.

white onion soup thyme

This soup was a pleasant surprise and a first for us. It had the rich onion flavor of classic French onion soup, but was smooth and creamy. A perfect dish to warm us up on a chilly evening.

wild rocket cherry tomato, ricotta, balsamic

This salad was simple, but the refreshing flavors were a nice contrast to the rich soup. The wild rocket, fresh ricotta, and sweet tomatoes reflected the "seasonal" element of the summer dish.

creamy carnaroli risotto mushroom, roasted shallot

We were of course excited that mushroom risotto was part of their special Sunday menu. This risotto was unique in that it was made with Carnaroli rice, which is superior to the more common Arborio. I was able to tell the difference in texture, as each grain of Carnaroli is more plump and firm than the traditional Arborio.

grilled skirt steak, eggplant caviar, red wine

Although weary of any dish with "eggplant" in the name, the highlight of the dish surprisingly turned out to be the eggplant caviar that was resting underneath the tender and perfectly seasoned steak. However, it was more a chunky puree than a caviar, since it didn't have any sort of fish taste at all. Instead of asking for clarification from the staff, we simply concentrated on enjoying the great combination of flavors.

manchego sheep's milk cheese honey

For dessert, one of the options was a cheese course. Normally, (and unfortunately) we usually have to pick between cheese and a more traditional dessert - and the traditional usually wins. However, this menu gave us a chance to enjoy both. And sharp manchego with sweet honey? Can't get much better than that.

coconut charlotte

We were a bit worried when our server placed this down on the table. Not general fans of coconut, we were relieved when we were told that it was made with coconut milk and not with coconut flakes. But then one look at it and out first thought was that it was going to have the consistency of flan (again, not big fans). But instead this dessert turned out to be a nice surprise and we polished it off quickly. It was light and creamy, yet dense enough to avoid any flan-like resemblance. Definitely a winner and a refreshing end to a fantastic meal.

1 comment:

TaterTotsRock said...

It is funny...I went to enjoy a Sunday Menu and was not thrilled to read the choices...I thought, oh, sh!t, this is gonna suck. Nothing sounded appealing.
But we ordered anyway sonce I've enjoued everything there before.
Well, this was increadible!
We were laughing as we ate each dish that we thought we were going to hate.
Everyhting was so fresh, with flavors that were surprising compliments to eachother.
The way you described your reaction to the coconut dessert is how we greated everything adn our reactions were the same as yours...we ate everything with enthusiasm.