Date Reviewed: 10/2/15
My annual pilgrimage to a nice restaurant this year took me to 1515 Restaurant, named for its location at 1515 Market Street. I ordered the eight-course tasting menu.
Amuse-Bouche – Shredded Beef with a Cantaloupe Gazpacho – The shredded beef was tepid at best, as if they made it at opening, set it out, and waited until a server came by to offer it to a diner. In addition, the beef lacked a little seasoning. Although topped with potato sticks – very similar in flavor profile to French fries – which helped with the seasoning, but on its own the beef didn’t stand out on its own. The cantaloupe gazpacho was very good, a sweet delicious opening.
Bread – I have long believed that you can judge a restaurant solely by the quality of their bread. It doesn’t work all the time, but there is a high degree of correlation between the quality of the bread and the quality of the food. The bread here was served with a roasted garlic butter that completely overpowered any flavor the bread may or may not have had. Not off to a great start, 1515.
1st Course – Spring Salad – Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, potato sticks, dilled champagne vinaigrette. I’m not a salad guy, but this salad was good. The champagne vinaigrette was the highlight – it gave the whole salad a sweet and tangy kick. The potato sticks were the same as on the Amuse-bouche, and gave the salad a crunch – a nice textural contrast. The cherry tomatoes were off. I am used to them having a sweet taste; these were a bit sour and more acidic like a normal tomato. Wine pairing – Prosecco. Paired well with the champagne vinaigrette. On its own a bit flat (flavor-wise, because it was still a sparkling wine).
2nd Course – Sweet Corn Bisque, Shrimp, Gnocchi – almost a creamed corn served in soup form. I love creamed corn, and it was very good here, but the texture was a bit off-putting. It didn’t have a smooth consistency, rather there were small chunks of corn (as you might expect with bisque.) The gnocchi was fried, giving it a nice crunch on the outside that had me looking forward to the gnocchi dish. Wine Pairing – White wine blend. This blend was very dry, only a mediocre pairing for the sweet corn dish.
3rd Course – Molecular Shrimp Cocktail, Bloody Mary Ice – a fun dish, the “cocktail sauce” was a Bloody Mary mix that was flash frozen. It still had wonderful spicy kick like that of a traditional horseradish tomato cocktail sauce. (Obviously not the same kick as St. Elmo’s, but that is okay, it was a fantastic balance). One of my favorite dishes of the night. Wine Pairing – Chardonnay – A velvety smooth, slightly sweet chardonnay. It paired very well with the shrimp dish and was definitely my favorite wine of the night.
4th Course – Roasted Shallot Gnocchi, Pepperonata Agrodolce, Parmesan – After the bisque course I was looking forward to having a whole plate of the crispy gnocchi. Somehow, however, these were less crispy than the one immersed in the corn bisque. It was slightly disappointing from that standpoint. It was still a very good dish. The shallots and agrodolce it gave it a nice sweet touch. It could use more Parmesan – I only say that because everything could always use more parmesan. Wine Pairing – Rosé blend
5th Course –7x Colorado Cattle Company Wagyu Beef (Ishiyaki style cooking at the table on a hot stone), XO Paint, Yuzu Ponzu – The 7x refers to the amount of marbling in the meat, normal meat has a rating of 4.5x, so this has more marbling than a similar cut. It is always fun to play with your food and with a hot stone over 500 degrees, the meat cooked in seconds. By far one of the tenderest pieces of meat I’ve ever had. It could have used a bit of seasoning though. Wine Pairing – Malbec – Malbec is my favorite type of wine, and I found this one to be a typical-Malbec, though perhaps a bit on the dry side.
6th Course – Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon, Risotto, Asparagus – Another of my favorite dishes of the night. The salmon was cooked perfectly, and while it could have used a bit more seasoning, the sauce on the plate complemented it very well – the drawback was the minute amount of sauce the put on the plate. The star of the dish was the mushroom risotto. The mushrooms gave the risotto a great earthy flavor. Wine Pairing – Pinot Noir – this wine paired well with the earthy risotto and the tender, flaky salmon.
7th Course – 7x Hanging Tender, Lacinato Kale, Red Wine Demi – Another steak course. This was better seasoned, but not nearly as tender as the Wagyu dish (as you might expect). Wine Pairing – It was red? – definitely red. Don’t remember it otherwise.
Desert of the Day – Profiterole filled with Orange Crème, Blackberries – a good light desert to finish after a couple steak courses and a fish course. Wine Pairing – Tawny Port. Cloying sweetness, highly alcoholic kick. I have never liked port wines and this was no exception.
Overall, a very good meal. Everything could have used a bit more seasoning, in my opinion, but otherwise a good solid meal. Though I would recommend getting a steak entrée instead of the tasting menu, as the tasting menu drove the price up above what I think it was probably worth.
WWYT Rating: 7.5
Gayot Rating: 14/20