Monday, May 19, 2014

Juniper and Ivy: Dinner Postcards and Ten Things to Love



 

 

Two of my beloved eating partners and I decided to close out my birthday festivities by finally dining at this restaurant that we've been reading and hearing so much about.

The hype is real, the food is fantastic and the people and atmosphere are incredibly friendly and cool.

Take the pretension out of fine dining,  keep the expected presentation and food quality and their creativity and taste go beyond it all.

Here are 10 things I loved about my experience at Juniper and Ivy 

10. The location.  This time we walked but often times the idea of driving through Little Italy and parking, on a weekend, brings stress sweats out of me.  I love that it's located further north on Kettner, where parking is easier to find, and there isn't a cluster of other things going on. 

9. People are nice.  I once tried to make a reservation at Le Bernadin in NYC, a few weeks in advance, and was laughed and told "umm let's try 3months out." Since then, I've always started taking note at how restaurants handle extremely busy bookings.

Juniper and Ivy were pretty busy and booked up, the staff on the phone and in person were so friendly and helpful.

8. The Oysters! Oysters are oysters, I mean Kumomotos are my favorite, but as long as they're clean and fresh, they're going to be good.  They completely reinvented the oyster experience,  the tomatillo and beautiful pearls of horse radish, completely took me away with the flavors. 

7. Creativity.  We all compare dishes to any alike we've had before, and each dish that came out, even if the ingredients were the standard familiars, had a unique flare that made it a different experience to enjoy.  

6. Food knowledge.  The server and the chef were excited to share knowledge on what was in each dish, where the food was sourced from and why they chose those ingredients.  

5. Sharing.  The quantity on each plate was perfect for us to get a taste or two of everything.  

4. The Fish (Cod).  I could have listed all 10 things based on this fish alone, but if there was one entree I'd recommend, this would be it.  Since it was my birthday, I got to eat the head, and the eyes/cheeks were heavenly :D Perfectly cooked!

3. The plating.  I loved that the plating contributed to the eating experience, almost like a suggested order of operations in enjoying flavors.  It wasn't just a few sprigs of stuff and smear of puree, most of what was plated, was to be eaten in addition to being aesthetically enticing. 

2. The open kitchen.  I loved seeing the varying dishes come out, as it was what inspired many of our ordering decisions. 

1. The conversations.  The atmosphere just set the stage for a great evening.  We laughed, toasted, at times stared at each other in awe, when a flavor was mind blowing, and the staff would engage, contribute and laugh with us.  

As I walked out that night, I made a reservation for this Weds.  It was that good. <3 nbsp="" p="">



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