|Crabmeat and lemongrass bisque.|
Each time that I dine at Sara's in the Riverbend, I pose the same question to myself. Granted, I have been on only 4 occasions over the past 3 years, but every time no more than 2 other tables have been occupied in the restaurant. Which is a shame because I have enjoyed almost every dish which has graced my table.
"Asian flavors, creole technique" is the tag line for Sara's kitchen. The result could be easily defined as "fusion cuisine", which is often the red headed step child of the food nerd world. I concern myself less with labels and more on taste.
The single best dish on the menu is the crabmeat and lemongrass bisque ($8). With a base of softened celery, coconut milk, and a load of sweet crabmeat, this potage packs an addictive lemongrass essence with backdoor spice. Honestly, this may be my favorite soup in the city. An appetizer to share would be eggplant sauteed in a sauce of tomato and whole cloves of garlic which produces a slow, lingering spice and highlights the earthiness of the aubergines. The dish would be better if the skins were removed, and the accompanying "naan" is actually pita bread. The Folk Singer always orders the salad of breaded and pan seared goat cheese matched with a mixed greens and tossed in a sundried cheery vinaigrette.
|Red curry chicken.|
The ambience is completely comfortable if you don’t mind dining in a nearly empty room with a mixture of new age rock and sitar tunes. Chairs in the front dining room strangely resemble those found in a gentleman’s club (so I have been told), and the rear dining room is so quiet that you feel mandated to whisper even if your table is the only one occupied. The restaurant is nowhere near a scene in the fedora-wearing and Kate Upton look-a-like sense of the word.
But the food is good. Expensive, but good. Soup, salad, 2 entrees, 2 Kingfish beers, and 2 glasses of sauvignon blanc ran the total bill to a shade over $100 including tax and tip. Sara's will not be winning any awards in the value category, but that lemongrass bisque alone is worth going for.
Sara's Restaurant - Par/Birdie
724 Dublin Street