Spurring the Imagination – Spur Gastropub

Once upon a time, there was a pub, that strove to be more than just a simple pub, and thus set lofty dreams of becoming a “gastropub” – an establishment frequented primarily for cocktails and jovial atmosphere, but with food fit for a foodie.  Hailed for their molecular gastronomy techniques (the science and art of mixing chemistry to push ingredients beyond their traditional identities) and inventive dishes, they attracted accolades locally and nationally.

The Princess and Nutkin chose to dine at Spur after acquiring a voucher from a local merchant.  They started with the smoked hamachi, an impressive dish serving sashimi without the aid of wasabi or soy sauce.

appetizer - smoked hamachi

smoked hamachi – yellowtail sashimi with avocado wrapped veggies

The venison tartare (yes, raw deer) tasted rather bland.  Though that might be the nature of venison, the smoked beet should have provided more flavor along with the quail egg.  Some would argue that flavor of raw meat going unnoticed is a positive – to each their own.

appetizer - venison tartare

venison tartare with quail eggs and beets – the venison was quite mild and the beets didn’t add much flavor

If the smoked beet quail egg failed to impress, its richer sibling, the sous vide duck egg on the tagliatelle made up the difference.  A standout entrée, the whispered romances between the runny yolks and the airy parmesan foam clinging to the strands of tagliatelle, made the diners swoon.

entree - duck taglitelle

sous vide duck egg over tagliatelle pasta with parmesan foam and mushrooms – amazing!

Pork belly sliders, perched precariously, on sweet brioche buns, failed to impress.

entree - pork belly sliders

pork belly sliders with cranberry – the broiche bun was excellent, but the pork belly was chewy and overcooked

To conclude the meal, they ordered a butternut squash dessert.  Ambitious in nature as an attempt to morph vegetables into dessert, the dish ultimately was unsuccessful at combining a menagerie of odd flavors.

dessert - squash

butternut squash sorbet, white chocolate ice cream, pie crumbs, pumpkin custard – inventive, but the flavors didn’t seem to fit together well

While some dishes impressed and others have room to grow, Spur Gastropub remains true to its dreams.  As long as they keep trying, keep reaching, they will make them come true.

bittersweet ending
Highlights: duck egg tagliatelle
Footnotes: fine dining prices for risky conceptual dishes in a bar, portions are small, the room is noisy and lively, try this place if you’re interested in molecular gastronomy

Spur Gastropub on Urbanspoon

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