Mountain View Brasserie #3 - February
7.35 - 7.8, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7.25, 7.25, 7, 7
Quality, calm, anticipation, and expectation converged over
Mountain View Brasserie this Thursday evening.
Perhaps, it was the consistent excellence of the entrées.
the pork tenderloin special with pineapple bits, with a side of somewhat spicy ratatouille, accompanied by a Duchess potato or vegetable risotto (Chay and Don, both excellent, with Don thinking it was one of his best MVB meals);
the shrimp risotto special, with creamy risotto ringed by seven large shrimp (Deb K and Judy, excellent);
the seared scallops, a base of spinach topped with bacon bits in turn topped with 7 or 8 crisped, perfectly browned scallops (Deb, who else, and loving it);
the veal cordon bleu special, a breaded veal cut stuffed with prosciutto and cheese; sided with the ratatouille and Duchess potatoes (Tim, excellent, good potatoes, the veal breaded a bit heavily for his tastes);
chicken parmigiana (Kriss, one of her favorites);
pork chops, topped with Duchess potatoes (Ken, excellent, except for his distaste of red cabbage side)
Or, maybe it was the salad/soup that is priced with dinner. A fresh
garden salad – with mixed greens, three cherry tomatoes, and shreds carrot and
zucchini – was deftly mixed with MVB’s standard but tasty dressings. The
carrot and ginger soup (Tim) garnered a “most excellent” recommendation Or,
the lone appetizer (Deb K) – the French onion soup that arrived as hot as it
should be, with the thick cheese topping crisped to tasty shades of brown
hanging tantalizingly over the lip of the cup. Or, it might have been the
starting silver trays of artisan French bread with ramekins of butter.
Or, it could have been the consistently excellent service. It starts with Terry greeting, and Rachel doing water duty, and Todd serving – just formal enough to feel special and just casual enough to feel like we belong. Personable, attentive, efficient is personified in Todd’s performance. Another excellent job, Todd, that we appreciate and respect. Water glasses were constantly filled, the side plates of lemon and lime slices was widely utilized, Ken’s coffee cup always had a topping, and dinnerware and silverware were appropriately removed or replaced.
Then again, it might have been the ambiance, with the French flair, with yellows and blues gracing the rooms, substantial and crisply white table linens, sturdy glasses and silverware, a center serving table, and modest lighting. Harpist Jim Davis’s music pleasantly accompanied the evening’s event. A seating of three on the side with heads of Chay and Ken fit the conversation level we like. And, a Thursday night is quieter than our usual Saturday.
The drink order was low-key but certainly satisfactory for us. Six red wine drinkers (Deb T included) sipped the D. Bosler Birdsnest 2007 organic pinot noir – a heavier, darker-than-usual pinot noir that we liked. Other drinks included a white zin and a kir royale. Good pick, Tim.
Even the dessert course maintained our feeling of satisfaction for the evening – two Key Lime orders (Judy and Deb T, good); the chocolate mousse with shavings and surrounded by strawberries and oranges (Kriss, very good); Tim had his Frangelica, Chay his Sambuca, and Don surprisingly passed on the chocolate in favor of the tawny port.
Even the final tab – $93 per couple – was slightly less than our previous dinners here.
Off we left just before nine, having declined an after-dinner drink on the house, thanking Jim for the music, and having thoroughly savored an ideal dinner event. Thanks, Terry, Max, and staff; all the elements melded so harmoniously.
(Although MVB is our local favorite, we try not to grade more easily, and had not yet given a score of 7 or higher (of eight), even in its first incarnation as Freehold Country Inn. The 7.35 is the fifth highest score of the nearly 90 dinner events. Bravo, Mountain View Brasserie.)
The lead-up to the evening would not have predicted an
outstanding dinner experience. The moderate and quiet, forgettable, February
weather led DP8 to our annual stay-close-to-home winter date. With a crowded
Super Bowl weekend, we chose an early Thursday evening so the Friday workers
could have adequate sleep time.
Talk included .....