I got a chance to try out Girasol, and American cuisine restaurant which prepares its menu seasonally with the help of a forager to gather local/and rustic ingredients. Pine needles and grass anyone? Oh yes, and lovage, lots and lots of lovage. I still don’t know what that is.
When I first arrived at this restaurant, the first thing I noticed was how LOUD it was. I guess that has been a recent trend, places like Black Market Liquor Bar and Laurel Tavern have the same general aesthetics. This is one of those places to be if you want to be seen with your date… Whether or not you want to hear them, is a totally different matter. I had to pause and have my date repeat what she was saying a couple of times. Girasol had a pleasing atmosphere and decor and is very well put together. If you are a tall person, you may have an issue with the tables, the legs
are rather intricate and wide, which makes sliding all the way into them a bit uncomfortable.
Just like the decor, the plating was simple and elegant, and my dinner (on paper) looked exciting to me. We started off with bread that came with a lovage butter ($8*) and shared an octopus salad with eggplant and lovage ($17) and shared a bottle of wine. I had the braised lamb with pureed carrots, brussel sprouts, and plum ($26), while she got the whole fried red snapper ($28). Did I mention that the plating was elegant? Because seeing the food come out was probably the best part of the meal.
Although a very good meal, I didn’t find anything special about the flavors, nothing really stood out to warrant the hefty price of $126 (with tip) that came with the meal. The most flavorful was the octopus with the sweet and sour chili. This was the first time that I had grilled octopus, and I can say, I am not a fan, but combined with the sauce made it edible for me, but I think if you are an octopus fan, you will enjoy the dish. The braised lamb was very tender didn’t need a knife to cut, but it certainly did help ripping it apart. The combination of plum and carrot was an interesting pairing, you really need to get everything on one fork to really experience the dish.
If you like picking your teeth at the dinner table and are a fan of salt, I would recommend the snapper. It was flaky and needed no help coming off of the fish when I plucked at it. Although I think that the deep frying caused it to come out a little dry, and not to mention picking out pin bones from my teeth at every bite. But I will say that we were warned by the waiter about the pin bones.
I dont think that this would be another date place for me. Its very noisy, the food was ok, and I did miss it on the first drive by, I could take it or leave it.