Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vicia

We have all been hearing the hype for quite a while thanks to the pop up dinners. I wanted to go so badly. I. Could. Not. Wait.

I am thrilled to announce...it was worth the wait! Vicia really is that wonderful! Just WOW! This might be one of THE best meals I have ever had. What an experience!

Now... this might not be for everyone...

I was a little nervous about this "vegetable forward" concept, but now I am excited that my vegetarian friends can easily enjoy an amazing restaurant experience along with me. (A good excuse to go back, yes?)

With all the rain we've been having, the first ray of sunshine for me came when I realized there was a little bit of parking behind the building. Walking up, you can easily peer into the windows and see the modern, sleek design.

Since we were early, we sat at the bar, and pondered the branch-like artwork and then quickly got distracted by the cocktails. A short list, but I still found something sweet with the "Strawberry", which included gin, zucca, aquavit, strawberry top shrub, ginger, and tonic. Patience found a drier cocktail with the "Chamomile", which is a gin infused with chamomile, elderflower liquer, and cava!

Strawberry and Chamomile cocktails
They even have some non-alcoholic tonics on the menu! I think those would have been right up my alley too.

Cocktail Menu Spring 2017
We could have ordered from the bar, but decided to keep our reservation in the main dining area, which is where the real show takes place!

You can easily see into the kitchen and it's fun to watch all the action. At the pass, you'll find Michael Gallina putting the final touches on dishes, and Tara running everything else. She even ran us a few of our dishes!

There is a separate "patio" dining area that is currently in use, although with the windows shut, it's a little darker. I can't wait to see how nice it will be with fresh air and real sunshine streaming in!

It helped to go early, before the dinner rush at 7pm, and I highly recommend dining there during the week since the weekends are jammed packed and probably always will be.

Instead of just an "appetizer" listing, there are "snacks" and "starters". Our server kindly explained the snacks were just a couple of bites versus the "small, shared dish" of a starter. So we ordered some of both!

We chose the Purple Top Turnip Tacos (say THAT three times fast!) as our snack, two with beef and the other two with mushrooms.

Purple Top Turnip Tacos
Patience was curious about the Charuterie since it was a little different. Vicia's version included spalla cruda, chicken liver pate, pickled green strawberries, rhubarb, and focaccia. Since there was chicken pate leftover, she also asked for an order of bread. (Note, there is a separate cost for bread service.)

Charcuterie
For the starters, I had to order the Grilled Cucumber because I had seen so many pictures that I wanted to know what it tasted like. The best part is the sweet dip. I'm pretty sure Patience would have licked the leftover off the plate!

Grilled Cucumber
Next, we were adventurous and each tried a Goose Egg. Inside a goose eggshell was a scrambled goose egg with broccoli, wheat berries, shiitake mushrooms, and cheddar...isn't this just ADORABLE!! We even showed it off to our table neighbors.

Goose Eggs
Delicious inside of the Goose Egg
Overall, the menu is quite small, so we almost accomplished our goal of ordering everything on the menu!

Since we could share sides, which was perfect for two people, we chose the Garlic Roasted Carrots and the Creamy Missouri Rice, which included asparagus, onion flowers, ramps, and chorizo. The rice dish, almost too pretty to eat, was quite filling and probably could have fed four.

Garlic Roasted Carrots

Missouri Rice 
Then the last choice is your "protein" or asparagus. Really, we wanted them all of them, so we settled on chicken and the beef option, which turned out to be a very heavy and filling bolognese!

Perfectly cut chicken breasts

Beef Bolognese
Yes, we had to take half of it home....because we had to order dessert!!!

I was curious about the panna cotta since there was a mention of chocolate. Unfortunately, it was just a slight dusting, but it still won the prettiest course of the night.

Anne's Garden
It worked out since Patience needed my help after ordering FOUR cheeses on her cheese plate. I really don't know where we found room for it.

Cheese Plate
So what's the catch? All that wow-ness is pricey. It's definitely a special occasion kind of place, although I have a feeling we might be making exceptions for future date nights...

Resources:

Vicia = https://www.viciarestaurant.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon