But I digress. Feeling temporarily old aside, I had an enjoyable dinner last night with two of my girlfriends at Fire – even though I spend the first 10 minutes floored by this realization. And I’m not that much older than those two, but apparently old enough to remember classic sitcoms and TV characters.
We decided to meet at Fire since two of us haven’t been there in ages and the third has never been. I honestly can’t remember my last trip to Fire, but am embarrassed to say it has been at least two, possibly three years.
As soon as I stepped inside, I was immediately kicking myself for waiting so long to return. The atmosphere and décor is right up my alley, with the exposed kitchen, small but sophisticated bar, wide-open dining room with great views of the Square. It’s really a great spot and I promised myself I’d be back soon to enjoy people watching on the patio.
The menu was all spring, featuring lots of peas, asparagus, ramps and everything else that’s fresh and in season. For my meal, I started with the chilled asparagus soup and went with the diver scallops with spring peas, sugar snap peas and French bean sauté with butter poached baby shrimp, cipollinis and basil emulsion for the main attraction. My friends had the tandoor roasted pork chop and orecchiette carbonara with shrimp, pancetta, shallots and fresh herbs.
I have to be honest and say that while I enjoyed my meal, it wasn’t as good as I anticipated. I was incredibly impressed by how fresh every item was, but I wasn’t blown away by the taste. The soup, for example, was a nice starter but didn’t jump with flavor. It needed a little something and I’m not exactly sure what that something was. The same for the scallops. Again, great presentation and super fresh, but didn’t wow with taste. I tried a few bites of each of my friend’s entrees, and felt the same about theirs. Everything I sampled was nice, but nothing left a lasting impression and wouldn’t be anything I would order again.
I left a little disappointed because this wasn’t what I was anticipating. I know Chef Katz is very capable of “wow” and given that, I will definitely be back to try again. In fact, I continue to hear wonderful things about his Sunday brunch and plan to see for myself in the coming weeks.