Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tabree - BNF Dinner

I belong to a facebook group called Buffalo/Niagara Foodies.  BNF is a forum for people who love food and I am frequently amazed at how much knowledge is housed amongst its members.  For me, it's been an informative and entertaining resource for information on availability and preparation of ingredients, restaurants and various local food news.

Last week some of BNF's members arranged to meet one another for dinner to enjoy our pre-established common interest (food) and discover more about one another.  After a vote, with an overwhelmingly obvious winner, reservations were made at Tabree.  Eleven of us met, ordered from the menu and discussed food and life between (and sometimes during) mouthfuls of bliss.


We started with the charcuterie platter, which I have to admit that even after the spectacular reviews I have shied away from thus far because of the price tag ($16/small, $30/large).  I am so happy to have finally been able to indulge.  I can't tell you exactly what everything was, but I can tell you how it tasted and I can definitely tell you I would order it again.  Let's go clockwise from the top left.

The first is a slice of pork terrine with pistachios which was soft and mild tasting.  The cherry mostarde was like a sticky dessert jam.  The rillete had tender pork sealed into the ramekin with a layer of fat and was such a delicious meaty bite spread on toast.  Next is the rabbit liver pate which had a gamey mild liver taste and was caramelized on top.  Below that are caper berries, crunchy bread and butter pickles and pickled eggplant.  The final five are aged salami-like meats and the last one, my favorite, had a kind of sweet and earthy fennel flavor. (For a more informational version on the preparation of the meats on the platter check out A.G.'s account of it.)


Next on the table were delicately fried squash blossoms served over a red sauce.  These were small, lightly breaded and stuffed with a delicious ricotta.  I found the sauce a little confusing for my mouth and wanted something with a little more punch of flavor, maybe cayenne aioli, balsamic or something with citrus.


Tabree's meatball, which I had heard rivals Osteria 166's, was very good and the sauce with a drizzle of olive oil was well-balanced, but Nani's Sunday Sauce at Osteria just... Man, it can't be beat.  Tabree's appetizer came with three meatballs.

I also ordered the octopus appetizer because it was just so damn good last time I was in.

On to our entrees!


Fried chicken, creamed corn and gravy.  Katie offered a taste, but I was already so full.  Maybe she can fill us in on how she liked her dinner?


I ordered the duck breast. The meat was medium rare and tender and was served sliced with a beet puree and crunchy pearl or maybe small cipollini onions.  I thought it could use some salt, but to be fair, I usually tend to be somewhat heavy handed with it compared to others.  It was a very well presented and colorful plate.


Above is the lemon ricotta gnocchi  with greens and tomatoes.  Those satisfying little pillows of potato, egg and flour can have such varying ranges of density.  I've had absolutely heavenly gnocchi that had me floating too with its lightness and I've also had dough rocks.  This was somewhere in the middle and the flavors were delicious, I loved that little bit of acid from the lemon in the ricotta and the tomatoes.  That mixed with the greens and the light sauce, I loved it.  Fill in what I've missed, Remy, and thank you for the bite!


I've saved the best for last.  Doug ordered the swordfish.  And it was stupendous. I have been eating swordfish wrong my whole life, I guess, because I have never had such a delicate and flaky piece.  It was beautifully grilled, I mean actually aesthetically beautiful, look at those grill lines(!), and I loved the vegetables and tomato broth.

Planning for the next BNF dinner is in the works, this time with the theme of 'affordable and international'.  Maybe Balkan dining, maybe Burmese, maybe Polish?  Either way, I'm looking forward to it.

9 comments:

  1. What gorgeous photos and wonderful writing!! You put it into words so well, so thank you for doing so :)

    The fried chicken dinner was absolutely fantastic. Beautifully fried pieces of juicy, tender chicken. The red potatoes and creamed corn were both things of beauty. I wish I had a personal dish of that black pepper gravy to pour on everything. The only minor complaint was that the chard wasn't to my personal liking. Too sour tasting! However, it was such a delicious plate, I can't complain. :)

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    1. Thank you, Katie! Next time I should make sure I try everything. I suppose I'm going to have to cut back on.... ..... ..... Actually, I suppose I'm going to have to suck it up and just expand my stomach.

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