(Brussel Sprouts @ Play)
I wanted Burrito Borracho. I had been thinking all day long about having a burrito stuffed with chicken, beans, rice, guacamole and spicey, spicey burrito sauce. However, when we got there the place was closed with a sign saying that it was under renovations - you could not imagine my disappointment. Here the boyfriend and I were downtown, starving, without a place to eat and not really wanting what the restaurants surrounding us had to offer. We walked for a little and I was whining about my burrito craving being unfullfilled when Dima suggested Play. A slight step up from burritos, but how could I say no?
We were seated at a window table at the end of the restaurant - a perfect view of Sussex and the tourists who walk down it and a perfect long view of the restaurant. We started with some charcuterie - the duck speck with cranberry lemon compote. I was very excited to try the duck speck and the boyfriend was very excited to try the cranberry lemon compote - "We'd like to share the cranberry lemon compote," he said. It confused our waiter slightly. I loved the spec - fatty and full of taste! And yes, the cranberry lemon compote was a nice accompaniment, or in Dima's eyes, the speck was a nice accompaniment to the compote.
The boyfriend was having problems deciding what we should order next and sensing his difficulties I started manipulating him into getting one of the dishes I wanted to try. It took some convincing but he finally ordered the hanger steak which meant I could order the burger - my two top choices. The steak looked amazing and when I tried some the flavor just exploded in my mouth. The outside of the steak was a little crispy - caramelized (?) - and the inside was so tender. The french fries were crispy and I enjoyed being uncouth and picking them up with my hands and dipping them in the aioli. The burger was also wonderful, I enjoyed the bun and mushrooms but the star on that plate were the onion rings. Different from what I'm used to - not as battery, light with a hint of acidity. I could eat a plateful! We also ordered a side of brussel sprouts (see photo above) because we wanted some vegetable component to our meal. They came out in a cute little pot covered in lardons. I enjoyed making sure that every little fatty chunk was eaten.
We had debated getting a cheese plate because we both adore cheese but usually end up being too full to indulge when we get to that cheese plate point. This time we went head first and ordered 5 cheeses. My favorites (Beemster, Brie de Meaux) were completely different than Dima's (Louis d'Or, Pecorina al Tartufo) but that just meant we got eat the majority of our favorite and argue that the other person was totally wrong about their favorite.
Dessert?? Originally we weren't going to have one as we had been overindulging in treats that Dima bought at Chez Edgar but the apple pie napoleon was hard to refuse. It was beautiful to look at and the creamy apple pie inside was fantastic with the crunchy almonds, pastry and sweet caramel.
The meal was fantastic, I would expect nothing less from Play. Service was a little slow but for a sleepy Sunday afternoon we weren't rushed to leave. There was a slight mix up with our steak and burger coming out before we had finished our charcuterie but the waiter was apologetic, put the speck aside and removed it from our bill. We went back to enjoying it after we finished the hot food. Despite the small bump, I can't wait to go back and try more!