As long as people are continuing to pay $10 for sliders, I guess you may as well order Susser's too. The Wagyu "Kobe" patties don't do anything to elevate the form or detract from it. But they don't belong on this menu any more than Susser's tuna tartare belongs served in ice cream cones ($10). Peekytoe crab "po' boys" ($12) served in the same format as those sliders are far better prepared — though would it have killed him to make this an actual New Orleans-style sandwich?

At least Taste's larger dishes — the whole four or five of them — maintain some focus and promise. On one visit, after working through a parade of forgettable small plates (oily dates wrapped in sopressata, dime-sized pieces of bland octopus, runny duck confit "pot pie"), we were still far from sated, so we ordered Susser's version of pan-seared snapper ($25), a supple piece of fish cooked just until it gave up its milky-sweet juice. Plated above a pea-green edemame purée that added heft and character, the fish completely rocked. So did skirt steak with housemade fries ($23) and a special of shepherd's pie made with lamb and plenty of fresh vegetables ($24), at least according to my tablemates. They each wolfed their (relatively small) helpings before I could get a bite.

Unlike so much of what's offered at Taste, each of those bigger dishes seemed fitting in a place that calls itself a gastropub, even one that looks like it was designed by Sprockets. The same can be said of the menu's "daily braise," a rotating special that involves slow-cooked dishes like coq au vin and a version of Julia Child's beef bourguignon. I can really admire the sort of quasireligious dedication it takes to braise at least one fatty cut of meat per day. Unfortunately, it's all in the execution: The curried lamb shank ($18) I had was woefully dull. Braising is supposed to deepen flavors, to render the rough and raw into something deep and clarified. Instead, Susser's lamb tasted distant, like it was an echo of a dish far removed from what it should have been.

C. Stiles

Would that Taste didn't end up the same.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...