Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Divine Inspiration: A return to Dragonfly
I have shared my love of Dragonfly Neo-V before, but my latest experience is worth sharing. Chef Magdiale Wolmark and his wife, Cristin Austin, have created a true treasure, right in the midst of OSU. There is a lovely art gallery attached to the main dining area, where a something was being celebrated on my visit. Next door you can grab "on the fly food," which includes things like falafel, portabella steaks, and empanadas, along with a variety of boutique beers. The couple has even created their own vegetable garden in the back of the restaurant!
With so many wonderful sites on the Dragonfly menu, it was difficult to choose. I finally opted for the night's specials, which is always a great idea. I did take note of several items on the menu that will inspire my spring entertaining at home, in Chicago.
Their craft cocktails always look amazing, and my Lavender Gimlet totally hit the spot. It was this perfectly fresh expression of lavender and lime with a kick. It paired really perfectly with my "salad." It was lightly roasted asparagus with a wonderful red-pepper vinaigrette drizzled on top. Piled on that was tossed arugula with a agave mustard dressing. It was really divine, and I probably could have stopped there, since they bring the most wonderful bread and house-made hummus. But, I didn't....
Next I paired a really complex Super-Tuscan wine with my entree. It was mashed potatoes topped with a sort of ragout of trumpet mushrooms, and baby turnips, and this was all topped with a pinot noir gravy, then crowned with steamed spinach. Yum.
And, of course, if there wasn't dessert you would think some impostor had taken over my blog, right? This plate comes out with a little bowl of chocolate fondue. Beside the bowl are 4 1/4 cookies...2 chocolate chip and 2 snickerdoodle. Beside that is a small scoop of chocolate mousse, which is sitting happily in a puddle of sweetened condensed soy milk!!! This, with a piping pot of chamomile tea, and I was ...well, actually I was so full my ribs hurt, but after about an hour I was ready to go to bed.
Since we're talking about sweets, let's transition to my new favorite spot for chocolate cake! In order to have plenty of energy for the 6 hour drive back to Chicago I stopped by Pattycake Bakery. This place has it all. There are whoopie pies, cookies, brownies, cheesecakes, and even wedding cakes. I limited myself to an iced sugar cookie and a giant chocolate cupcake. Both were eaten by the time I reached Indianapolis, and I really wished I'd gotten another iced cookie, but my favorite blue jeans are happy I held out. My goodness were these good!
I want to say, if you like to cook and experienment, I really encourage you to take note of upscale menus. Many are posted online, and give many details of the ingredients. And in summer and spring months, you can count on vegan chefs to offer really fresh, seasonal and more simple ingredients. I've literally printed the menus from 3 of my favorite American restaurants and am working on recreating their dishes. It's great fun, and my friends and neighbors are enjoying it too!
Be brave and support these innovative, veg-lovin' chefs!!!