Date night at Mongers Market + Kitchen
For some strange reason, I had been craving sushi for the last few days - I think it had to do with seeing my best friend's post from going to D.K. Sushi here in Austin on Monday. All week, I begged Hubby to take me for sushi someplace on Friday night, date night.
And then Friday at 6p before he made it home from work - I called an audible. Mongers. It's been on the "to-try" list for months and we haven't had the pleasure yet. It was settled - and I was excited.
Sundress and heels on, I giddily walked into the small, yet inviting and seemingly luminescent dining room (big bay windows lined the walls, allowing the most beautiful light to come in). While we didn't get to sit outside in the warm-ish May air, I was delighted they seated us right by a window - mostly so I could have great "magic hour" lighting for food photos. Duh.
With drinks ordered, we asked the waiter about the specials and his favorites. He recommended well - and we were pleased with the outcome of each, minus one dish. We'll get to that soon.
We started with the Hamachi Crudo (i could have had three orders of this it was so good) - the yellowtail was fresh and sweet and the serrano pepper slices + asian pear were the perfect zesty complement. Next were the "Angels on Horseback" - crispy oysters, pork rillette, raisin rhubarb, and pecan créme fraîch - think of an open-faced pulled pork and fried oyster po-boy. Tasty and filling - this kept the hunger pains away while we waited for our main dish to share, the pan-seared black cod and baby arugula. Presented beautifully, we dug right in and noticed just how buttery it was, which was paired with a sweet, jammy glaze. It was good nevertheless, but I would have paired that buttery of a fish with something a little more citrusy or acidic. Luckily we had the Brussels sprouts as a side dish, which were salty and tart - just right.
Although our experience so far had been pleasant and yummy, I wish we hadn't asked for dessert. Granted, it's a fish market, not a patisserie, but I figured a standard/simple dessert menu would be available. Nah - there's one standard desert, a browned-buttered poundcake with whipped marscapone and candied pecans. Sounds good - but the cake was dry and crumbly, and honestly, overall underwhelming. I have a sweet-tooth, so of course I partook anyway, but Hubby took two bites and put the fork down. I feel like that says something.
Next time we go, which I'm willing to go back and try other items, I'd love to patio hang, and try the BBQ Shrimp and the clam chowder. Don't worry, Mongers, we'll be back...we just won't order dessert.