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The salmon and clam tagine ($25), with saffron, peppers, olives, fennel, and Yukon gold potatoes ($25), I find to be an indistinguishable mash of too many flavors, which go to war in your mouth and leave you collapsing with exhaustion. Saffron's duck, which I've had both chilled with a carrot salad ($22) and served hot with caramelized onions beside a goat cheese medjool date tart ($24), is always, to Omega Speedmaster Astronaut
It wasn't just the La Belle Vie crew raving about Saffron. It seemed there wasn't a chef in town who wasn't buzzing about the place. Soon enough, loyal City Pages readers became annoyed with my Saffron silence. Andy and Sonja wrote to tell me that the lamb koftas were "heavenly" and that the chef even made a friend of theirs an off the menu "chicken maqloube that was out Omega Seamaster Bond Watch
of this world good." Lev wrote to scold me for not reviewing Saffron and thereby neglecting my "duty to cookery."
Yet, besides these little gems, I never found a single entree I liked. I think the restaurant's signature lamb shoulder with lamb bacon, the spicy red chili pepper sauce harissa, and chickpeas ($27) is woefully heavy, greasy, and over spiced. Every time I've had it I've longed for two lemons' worth of juice to squirt over it to cut the grease, and some kind of fresh herb to give Omega Seamaster Co-axial Chronometer 150m 500ft it life.
my taste, spiced to oblivion. The spice crust, made of a traditional spice mix called ras al hanout, which the Saffron kitchen blends fresh from 22 different roots, leaves, and spices, leaves the duck so meaningless and untasteable that it could be anything polenta, beef.
Other dishes at Saffron sat on their plates just taunting me with their obvious cooking skill and care. For instance, the blue crab salad ($8) is crabmeat tossed in a curry vinaigrette served mounded on a silky avocado salad. It is served on a long plate, with streamers of additional curry vinaigrette snaking in two directions, like Omega Seamaster Quartz Price
At first, I think it was mostly chefs and other restaurant folks who were irked.
"The place is just fantastic. No one is doing anything like it," Bill Summerville, sommelier at La Belle Vie, told me.
festive banners blowing in the wind. Dotted around these pretty waves of vinaigrette are perfectly cut, jewel bright segments of pithless citrus fruit, including lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Looking at this crab salad you just know know someone is cooking their heart out back there, putting form to all kinds of skill and talent. Which makes it all the more heartbreaking that I hate this crab salad. To me it tastes acrid and bitter, the vinaigrette only drawing out the crab's stale, briny chemical notes and masking all of its sweet and fresh ones.
Now, it's not like I haven't been to Saffron. I went soon after it opened. I went in the spring, when reviews in the major publications started rolling out. I went in the summer, when the burst of new customers driven by the reviews had passed. I've been to Saffron plenty. The sad fact is that I have never had a meal there I can wholeheartedly say I liked, and I was avoiding writing about it because I thought I was giving them time to get on their feet. I think the most traditional Palestinian dishes on the menu are wonderful, including the tangy house made yogurt cheese, which is sometimes served plainly, garnished with sumac, dried mint, and Clickkeyword[Morocco]" >Moroccan olive oil ($5), and sometimes served on rounds of roasted beets ($5.50). I think the house made merguez sausages ($9.50) are fabulous, even a dish of the year. Each supremely tender, extravagantly spiced, two bite sized link practically vibrates off the plate with exuberant flavor. Another gem? The happy hour only lamb bacon mini BLT ($3.50), a funky, surprising little wonder with house cured, house smoked lamb belly served on squares of toast with tomato jam, arugula, and a sort of tarragon mayonnaise, all of which combine to make a smoky, deep, muttony, profoundly echoing little bite of barn and wine, not unlike a great Clickkeyword[Chateauneuf du Pape]" >Chateauneuf du Pape.
"Sameh is a real smart guy. It's not a part of the Mediterranean most people are interested in cooking, but the flavors, I just love the flavors he's working with," said Clickkeyword[Tim+McKee]" >Tim McKee, one of Minneapolis's greatest chefs, who cooks at and co owns both La Belle Vie and Solera, where he discovered and nurtured Sameh Wadi.
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