Sunday, December 14, 2008
Guilty as Charged
Now, I'm not admitting to anything like the recent shenanigans of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. (Can you call a federal indictment on bribery and conspiracy charges "shenanigans"?) But I do have favorites.
And I'd never pimp a restaurant that serves food I wouldn't recommend. Even if they give it to me for free. Or with $1,000 bills under the dessert plate. Or if I found diamonds in the crème caramel. Really.
I know I talked about it when it opened. And again, even. But when Dave called and said he was heading over to Powell's Books on Hawthorne and that it was very close to "you know what," he didn't have to elaborate. I grabbed the keys and headed out the door.
I won't lie to you. Don't go to Evoe if you're in a hurry. This place is not for the "I've got half an hour for lunch" crowd. And, because word is getting out about the quality of the small plates chef Kevin Gibson serves up, don't go at noon. Just pretend you're on vacation and you have all the time in the world, head in around 1:30 or 2 and spend a couple of hours sitting at the broad butcher block table sampling the amazing array of fantastically simple dishes that Gibson conjures from nothing more than his mandoline and a hot plate. I'm not kidding.
For our lunch we ordered his requisite deviled eggs stuffed, breaded and fried top-down that come out tasting like something you'd walk miles in the rain for. (I know because Mr. B did just that.) Followed by the "duck with persimmons" (left, above), a less-than-sufficiently-adjectived dish comprised of an unctuous seared duck breast sprinkled with sea salt served alongside lightly-dressed, hand-picked mizuna greens and little wedges of perfectly ripe Fuyu persimmon wedges.
Then there was the crispy lamb with corona beans (right, above), the meat seared on the hot plate till a thin crust formed on the fatty side. Placed on top of a plate of simply cooked beans with sage and juniper, this was a winter dish to write home about.
Choose from their stellar selection of by-the-glass wines or a beer from the rotating list, and there's no better place to while away a couple of hours on a winter afternoon.
Details: Evoe, 3731 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. Phone 503-232-1010.