Courtesy Miss CC
This past Saturday the Foodster crew decided to splurge and head to the new restaurant on Capitol Hill – Poppy. It’s a bright addition to the Hill, with a warm interior of pale wood and orange and red accents. The menu is seasonal and prix fixe, for $32 you receive a thali – a platter of small dishes of the chef’s choosing, modeled off of the flavors of the Northwest.
For cocktails, the men had scotch and I choose a “wine flight” – three glasses of 2 oz. pours for $14. Each wine paired well with my thali dishes, and gave me the opportunity to try a few wines I might not have normally ordered. To start we tried the popular eggplant fries with sea salt and honey. The fries are also part of Poppy’s bar menu, along with other appetizers and a few entrées. I would definitely consider returning to Poppy and sitting at the bar for some more eggplant fries – they were delicious.
Poppy is an adventure – a restaurant to check off your list of places to go – and after receiving an explanation of our thalis, the guys and I weren’t feeling so adventurous anymore. We each had differing opinions about which plates we enjoyed – and there were a few plates we unanimously loved or hated. I choose the vegetarian thali and thought that my potato leek soup was a superb blend of flavors, but the vivid green spring greens soup on the non-vegetarian thali didn’t suit any of our palates. After the soup there were two small plates with orange flavors – first a blood orange, taggia olive, and endive salad; and secondly, broccoli salad with toasted sesame and seville orange. The broccoli salad had a little bit of heat to it, and the combination of broccoli and seville orange was curious but appetizing.
Next on our thalis were our main dishes – for the vegetarian option: stuffed savoy with hedgehogs, goat cheese, and red pepper; and celery root ravioli with local white truffle butter. I found the savoy interesting but unremarkable, but on the other hand, the ravioli were outstanding. The butter sauce wasn’t heavy but still felt decadent, and the celery root was a subtle and surprising flavor. On the non-vegetarian platters were spot prawns with cashews, cardamom, and clove; and anderson ranch lamb osso bucco with orange and coriander. We all agreed the cardamom, cashews, and clove was an ideal seasonal pairing, but my dining companions were less impressed with the lamb, feeling it was slightly dry.
There were four other small plates plus naan on our thalis. We liked the saffron risotto fritter, and none of us finished the braised red cabbage with pomegranate. We enjoyed the gratin, and I couldn’t understand the idea behind pickling fennel. Overall, our thali small dishes were hit or miss. A select few plates made us see the inspiration behind the seasonal Northwest cuisine, but many left us feeling not adventurous enough to return.