Thursday, March 17, 2005

25/$25: Barking Frog

(25/$25 is a regular restaurant promotion in Seattle, where 25 ‘top’ restaurants offer 3-course dinner for $25)

We went to Barking Frog on Wednesday for dinner (6 of us total), under the direction of Mathias. I've been 3 or 4 times before, also for 25/$25 dinners, and had good food previously. After a cold and blustery day, I was looking forward to some good food and wine...

The place was pretty busy (the big round table was full and had a rowdy crowd that added to the already high noise level, and made it pretty hard to hold a conversation). We were seated quickly and the service throughout the evening was great - prompt and unobtrusive.

I ordered the carrot and ginger soup, asparagus and morel pot pie, and coconut flan for dessert. The soup was a little cold, but tasted good (more ginger would have been nice). It was garnished with a mini crab cake that sounded nice on the menu, but somehow didn't pair well with the soup. (Plus it was cold and tasted like it was prepared in advance). The pot pie was also disappointing: the asparagus was woody and underdone, and the puff pastry was a little soggy. (It was actually more like a pastry sandwich filled with the asparagus and sauce). The sauce was good though! Dessert was also a little off the mark: the flan tasted of canned condensed milk, and had no discernable coconut. The fruit salad accompaniment was very good, though (kiwi, lychee and mint, I think).

Their wine list is impressive (it’s won some awards), although it's a bit confusing to not have the wines broken into red & white. Instead they have categories like "Wow", “Round and Woody” and “Bright and Easy”. Anyway, I had a nice glass of O'Reilly's Pinot Gris, from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

Overall, I’d give them 75%. The dinner was still good value, but I don’t see myself paying full price ($30-$40 for entrees) if the quality is the same for the normal menu.

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