Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tin Angel Cafe

We headed to Tin Angel the other night and were kindly greeted at the door by Maya Angelou and entire original Broadway cast of RENT when we stepped inside.  Not really.  But it would have felt about right.  Think Bohemian chic decor, live blues music and haute comfort food.  Really interesting mix but it worked well.

Cocktails, not wine, were the order of the night for us.  I had a dirty martini (meh) and amelia had a couple of pomegranate infused medium-sweet cocktails.  They were all pretty good.  The wine list at Tin Angel is also very reasonable if you're looking for table wines at a great price ($28-36), so the need to BYOB is less pressing here.

We started out with a tapas plate and everything that came out was spectacular.  These were the highlights of the night for sure -  Moroccan spiced shrimp skewers on a bed of sprouts, the artichoke risotto cake with pea shoot pesto and (best for last) a sweet potato truffled timbal topped with wild mushrooms.  I'm not sure I've ever had a timbal - but think of a delicate souffle.  It was great. 

We split a green salad which was just spring greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, balsamic and a tarot chip topping.  

At this point I wasn't quite sure how to classify the style at Tin Angel.  Our entrees came out and were what pushed me to call the fare haute comfort food.  I had the wild boar agro dolce which is a wild boar braised with apricots, onions, carrots and currants then slow cooked in white wine, chicken broth and tomatoes.  It was served with a massive portion of soft polenta and topped with manchego cheese.  The entree was a touch sweet, and given that wild boar tends to be a bit of a sweeter meat, I think they could roll down on some of the fruit in the slow cooker, but overall this dish was fantastic and I would order again in a heartbeat.

Amelia ordered the wagyu short ribs.  Despite the fact that Wagyu beef is a big, big lie just like Kobe beef, her dish was fantastic.  While the wild boar had been dominated by (a delicious) medley of flavors from the slow cooker, the short ribs are sauced with a burgundy gravy that lets the flavor of the beef come out, and the beef was plenty flavorful in this case to stand mostly on its own.  The short ribs are served with blue cheese rosemary mashed potatoes and baby vegetables.

We finished off the night with a chocolate-espresso bread pudding (one order = two big slices) which was good, not great.  Overall I had no complaints about anything we had at Tin Angel and the food ranged from good to near mind-blowing.  This place is now on my short list.

The Verdict?  Tin Angel is equally suited to drinks and tapas, a quick bite with friends or a five course meal that will provide you with enough calories for several days.  They are not pretentious at all, just executing on some great ideas in a laid back setting that will make your inner hipster feel right at home.

Tin Angel Cafe on Urbanspoon

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