In Kristen Veritas

My college friend Kristen of the food blog Give Me Some Food came to town recently with her mother and the two of them were kind enough to take me and our friend Ricky out to dine at a wine lover’s dream restaurant: Veritas.

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Here’s Kristen’s write-up of the meal, including an account of the rest of her trip. Since I wasn’t coming straight from lunch at the Modern, my appetite was much readier for the heavy food that was to come.

We were there on a Monday night and the restaurant was pretty dead. We asked our waiter about it and he said that most of their regular clients go away for the summer or spend three-day weekends at the beach. “Mondays are slow days for us,” he told us.

Better for us, we figured, since there were more people to dote on us. Kristen told me that she chose Veritas because of Anthony Bourdain’s praise of the restaurant in “Kitchen Confidential.” I remembered hearing about him saying, somewhere in his book, never to order fish on Monday. “Is that true?” I asked Kristen. “Yes,” she said. “Never order fish on Mondays because they don’t get fresh deliveries on Monday, it’s the leftovers from the weekend.”

Had this conversation happened immediately before I ordered, I may have remembered not to order fish on Monday. But as it happened, I forgot the rule and ordered for an appetizer Hamachi Tartare:

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It was a lovely presentation and the flavors were clean and well-coordinated. I enjoyed this with the white wine we all were drinking at the start of our meal.

Wine, I should note, is the reason Veritas exists. The owners, I am told, are wine collectors who wanted to build a restaurant to showcase their wine collection. So at Veritas the wine comes first, the food second.

The wine, then, informed my entree choice. Kristen ordered a nice bottle of red (and if I were a better food blogger, I would have written down what it was or merely remembered, at least, what kind of wine it was—I have no idea) so I ordered, for my entree, the Venison.

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The sauce was like a spicy BBQ sauce–it had a peppery kick. The corn salsa balanced it out nicely and the meat was perfectly cooked. The execution at Veritas was flawless—every plate was a work of art.

My dessert was Kristen’s favorite dish of the night (according to her blog.) It was a passion fruit meringue tart:

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Again, there’s nothing to critique here: it’s all perfect, from top to bottom. Here’s Ricky, Kristen and her mom showing off their desserts:

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We did a good job of all ordering different things and, as a consequence, got to sample from each other’s plates. Mine, I believe, was the most sampled and that made me feel good about myself.

So in conclusion, Veritas is a restaurant on the highest order, churning out exquisite, perfectly done food. What it lacks, I suppose, is more character: there’s nothing really to distinguish it from other high end restaurants except, for the vinophile, the wine list. If you love wine you’ll love Veritas, and even if you don’t love wine there’s enough to love that you can go with someone you love if they love wine and still love your meal. I love that Kristen and her mom took me there so lots of love to them both and many many thanks.

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6 comments

  1. I read Bourdain’s book, and saw his warning on ordering fish on Monday, but I always wondered…certain fish are flash frozen immediately or very quickly after they are caught (such as tuna) in this country, anyway…so the word “fresh” depends on what seafood you are talking about. It seems to me that a day more frozen is not going to affect the hamachi appetizer that you had, for example.

    I could see with certain items, like fresh (or raw) oysters, clams, lobsters…then Bourdain’s advice holds.

    What Bourdain neglected to tell us (if I recall), and my relatives in the food industry state, is that it isn’t a good idea to go out to eat on Monday’s period…given the fact that the “first string” cooks have all worked the popular weekend shifts, and need a day or two off…therefore, the “second string” is usually cooking on Monday’s…and in many places, it shows!

  2. I actually picked up and read Bourdain’s book today. He’s definitely a character.

    I have to say, somehow eating venison with a BBQ-type sauce seems like almost a waste. But perhaps it was a very excellent sauce and wasn’t, in fact, a waste.

  3. Adam, as a long time reader, I can no longer stay quiet about the subject. You need to resize the images to the size you want them to be on your site before you put them up. Resizing them using HTML is making a lot of the photos look like they have jagged edges when they should look smooth!