I am a tough critic. We all read about the latest and greatest new restaurants and then I go and sometimes I am just not as impressed as perhaps I should be. Then I go to a mediocre place and realize that I should have been more impressed with the other place. This is not a new thing. I have been a tough critic my whole life. Once in awhile (and not that often) I go somewhere and I think believe the hype.
It took me too long to get to Little Park. Here is the thing…hype well deserved. The restaurant has a wonderful soothing vibe with great lighting, good art, comfortable booths and a killer bar. I will be back as soon as I return to the east coast.
We had a group so we had the luxury of trying a lot of different things. We all had our own main but split up the rest. Someone had this at the bar before we all arrived and loved it so much we ordered up two more for the table. Thinly sliced big eye tuna with sliced radishes, little marinated mushrooms, white beech and red fresno pepper. Super fresh, lots of flavor and a nice shot of spice. So good.
We ordered a lot of vegetable dishes to share. They are all creative and the portion size is just right. Creamy squash tart with brown butter and crispy sage with a small salad on the side. I want the recipe.
Kohlrabi cut to resemble linguini and mixed with pears and hazelnuts. Crispy and refreshing.
Charred broccoli with a blood orange sauce, thinly sliced radishes and pieces of crispy ham. Wow.
And I thought everyone was making the same brussel sprouts these days. These are out of this world. Crispy and dense with smoked crispy parsnips and apple cider. There is something about the cider that pulls out the flavor in the sprouts.
Crispy chicory mixed with pomegranate seeds, pistachios and hearts of palm.
Good but my least fave. Hard to share unless somebody chops it up.
Roasted carrots covered with a mixture of seeds that melted in your mouth.
On to the mains. I did not order a pasta but I tried everyones. Next time I am going for the pasta because the dishes are just not that overwhelming. Also they are really good. Lumache (shape) with pork ragu, salmi and fresh herbs. Just simple and good.
Green angel hair spaghetti with walnuts, fennel and ricotta. This is an outstanding dish. Nothing else to say.
Poached tile fish with a crispy skin sitting in a toasted dashi broth with bok choy and black radish. My friend said she generally doesn’t love tile fish but ate every last drop.
I went with the meat. I love that all the meats are fire roasted. Oregon Waygu steak next to a roasted apple cabbage beer side that was insanely creamy.
Desserts why of course. Cinnamon toast ice cream with toasted brioche pieces.
Malted milk panna cotta with chocolate ice cream and barley.
My favorite was the frozen meyer lemon fluff with orange sorbet and candied ginger. A grownup creamsickle.
Hats off Carmellini and his team. A new gem.