Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Bear Rocks it Out for My Birthday
Last week was my Birthday Week, as I call it and I celebrated in many ways. One of those ways involved getting together with my closest friends and family at Bear Restaurant and having a smashing meal. I love to come by and sample their delectable local and seasonal dishes, and now with the official launch of the chef-driven menu that changes daily, I couldn't wait to see what was in store.
And as Chef Natasha hinted to me during our interview, she handed us a handwritten menu, full of daily specials, which we first devoured with our eyes. Here are some of the awesome new things we tried that night, which you can probably find again this week or later in the summer:
Roasted Beet Salad - This was my appetizer, and it was really delightful - the beets looking beautifully crimson and tasting super fresh. Dressed with the perfect accompaniments such as crunchy pickles, greens, cucumber and a little bit of fresh dill, the whole plate was earthy and left a clean taste on your palate. Overall, it was a perfect way to tee up dinner.
Cheese Plate - One side of the table got the colossal cheese plate, which featured local cheeses from Hudson Valley, including Camembert, Brebis rousse d'Argental, Selles Sur Cher and Fourme D'Ambert along with creative fixins such as strawberry and blackberry purees and buckwheat honey. The whole thing looked like a work of art, and was a delight to try, juxtaposing the savory cheeses with the sweet purees, bringing your tastebuds to attention through all that complexity. I'd recommend this for hard-core, adventurous cheese lovers, and it can be something to get in the beginning or at the very end of your meal.
Pulled Pork Ribs - I love me some ribs and was expecting this to be tender and luxurious. I think I'd call it more rustic instead, but as far as taste is concerned, it was spot on. Loving the spices that were incorporated into it, such as mustard seed and cumin, the dish was comforting and really primal. While it had some nice, fresh sauteed veggies on the side, it didn't need much, as the protein itself was pleasantly filling.
Dessert - We chose to try both desserts of the day, including the homemade chocolate mousse and the yogurt parfait, both dressed with fresh berries. Both were lovely, but I preferred the chocolate mousse, which was soft and velvety and as light as a cloud. The fresh berries were simple, but really did the trick of making the overall flavors in each dessert pop.
Service and Cost:
I'm happy to report that the service continues to be a home run, full of personalization and special touches from Chef Natasha, her brother Alex and the rest of the Bear staff. They really do make you feel like at home, and my guests were pleasantly impressed.
Costs are moderate and include:
Bear - 12-14 31st Avenue, Long Island City NY 11106
N/Q Train to Broadway