Valentine’s never disappoints with fresh tomatillo, and with this soup he combines the root wonder of chicken-fried steak, the distinctive presentation of ramen or pho to put a spin on traditional posole and never looks back. A pair of pork fritters provide heart and soul to a broth balanced by pork fat and tangy tomatillos.
We shared a Roasted Beet salad which combines roasted beets with thinly sliced beet tartare (Dwight Shrute would be so proud) with pistachio romesco, goat cheese, and candied orange slices from Valentine’s time at The Coach House.
After the light stuff, I tried the house-made bucatini with pork sugo and mint gremolata. The pasta only needs butter, but who am I to turn down a spicy pork-tastic meat sauce?
The vegetable lasagna was an even bigger hit with my wife, who swooned over the house ricotta and vegetable mix combined by an herb bechamel.
The life of a vegetarian in the 405 diningscape can, at times, feel exclusive but not so at this bistro and butcher shop. Valentine sources his produce from a variety of local growers, and is just as proud to show off their goods as he is the pork, beef and chicken that come from Pecan Valley Ranch.
My wife felt downright moved by the number of dishes she had to choose from, but most breathtakingly by the black-eyed pea falafel. It’s served over a smoky roasted eggplant puree with pickled eggplant slices, yogurt, and tapenade. I was allowed one bite, and I have to say it puts the city’s capable roster of falafel purveyors on notice. This one is special.
I sampled through a pair of main courses, each a shame not to finish.