Sunday, July 21, 2013
Mighty Tavern It Is
It appears that La Boheme in Fair Oaks has quietly slipped into the night. In its place is the new Mighty Tavern, a new neighborhood restaurant with a detailed approach to dishes.
I first heard about Mighty Tavern weeks before its opening when Jason Azevedo, butcher and charcuterie specialist, started posting about it on Facebook. He has assumed the position of Sous Chef alongside Chef Carolyn Kumpe. The owners, Joan Reid Lapuyade and Dennis Lapuyade, have years of restaurant experience, including stints at Chez Panisse.
The building has been remodeled. La Boheme, being French themed, was dark and intimate for that romantic feeling. When I was married we would go there for Valentines Day. Now the space is bright and cheerful with light streaming in the front windows that used to be heavily draped. There is a back patio they hope to use for brunch/lunch, but probably won't be able to use in the evenings since they are located in a residential area.
Something definitely worth the mention, Azevedo and Kumpe are trying to make as much in-house as they can. That means housemade ketchup, mustard, pickles, jams, sausages, bacon, and more. That makes Mighty Tavern a Farm-to-Fork neighborhood restaurant for those not interested in driving downtown.
I arranged to have a group event during BLT Week so that we could enjoy the several items that Jason had created for it. Happy Hour appetizers are mostly $5 a pop and for this event I ordered one of everything for us to share.
Unfortunately no one seemed to grab a picture of the #1 favorite item - the Bacon Wings. These were skewers of cubed pork belly that had been fried, and then served with a blue cheese sauce and chili oil smeared on the plate. I was afraid that it was going to be like Buffalo wings, which I don't care for, too spicy, and I don't like blue cheeses. This was nothing like that and so delicious that we had to order another plate. I couldn't taste a hint of that blue cheese flavor I can't stand and the skewered pork was not spicy.
Another BLT week item was the Bacon Cheese Fries with bits of bacon in the cheesy sauce.
There were also fries piled on top of the Steamed Mussels with bacon, tomato, white wine and aioli.
I was not a fan of the Pulled Bacon Slider. It was the tomato-y sauce that didn't wow me. But the ketchup in the bowl, that's a wonderful blend of sweet and tangy with just the right amount of sugar and vinegar.
The pickled eggs are done in the pickling juice that had been used to make their pickled veggies. This week they had pickled some beets, thus the pink color. They are sitting atop a trio of housemade sauces: green goddess dressing, mustard, and aioli.
This entree (and picture) belong to Susan, who chose the "Fried Chicken" confit that had a spicy apricot glaze. The quotes around "fried chicken" are there for a reason since the dish leans to the confit side. Don't expect crispy fried chicken as the sticky, tangy glaze covers it completely. It was served with a watermelon mint salad.
Susan took a picture of her husband's entree, the Mighty Burger. It's a half pound patty and Jason told us he does a 75/25 blend versus 80/20 of a majority of restaurants. The extra fat means extra flavor! You can always add Jason's famous bacon too!
Elizabeth ordered the Diver Scallops with pork belly. It was served on a delicious sweet corn-bacon nage with a tomato beurre blanc. I was drooling as I had wanted to order that one myself, but was already so full.
I opted for the Bacon and Tomato Mac n Cheese. While definitely tasty, Elizabeth and I agreed that this didn't fall under our definition of mac n cheese and was closer to just being pasta with a cheesy "alfredo" type sauce. Regardless, I loved it, even reheated the next day.
Elizabeth chose the Chocolate Pudding made with triple the amount of Guittard chocolate than the recipe calls for.
I selected the Panna Cotta, which put me over the edge of satiety. I was now at that "I've eaten way too much that I'm feeling rather uncomfortable" point. But I will be the first to admit that I have terrible willpower. There were just too many fabulous items I wanted to try!
I've saved this for last since some might people won't like the description. This is the Coppa di Testa (aka head cheese) that Jason sent out to me as he is planning to make it for my event, Have an Offal Day (tickets), in August. It's made using the meat and skin pulled off the pig's skull. This is an example of the charcuterie skills that Jason is continuously trying to hone.
Our whole table really enjoyed all the dishes. My only complaint has to do with location, since I won't be venturing to Fair Oaks very often, especially during dinner time. But for those who live in that direction that are looking for a great Farm-to-Fork place over the abundance of fast food and corporate chain restaurants out that way, this is the place for you. There's a lot of care and attention is paid to each dish and I can guarantee that you will find something to rave about youselves.