Best Starters (2002)
So many restaurants are hell-bent on putting all those newfangled, exciting ingredients on their appetizer lists that they forget all about the old-school classics, such as escargots bourguignonne and jumbo shrimp cocktail. Vasil's Euro-Grille, however, remembers to pay homage to the past even as it celebrates the new. The shrimp, for example, comes with that traditional cocktail sauce -- here a tangy homemade version -- as well as a salsa of pickled asparagus, endives and apples that's a savvy, zesty counterpoint to the sweet shrimp meat. And while the standby of oysters Rockefeller gets the usual treatment of creamy spinach and a splash of Pernod, the dish also features tomato-pumped hollandaise and shaved Asiago for a nutty twist. But wait, there's more: honey-baked goat cheese with roasted tomatoes, kalamatas and balsamic; seared foie gras on a slice of "crème brûlée" French toast with a raspberry reduction; and wild-mushroom risotto finished with white-truffle oil. If Vasil's wants to start something, we're ready.
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