Wednesday night I had a client dinner at Balliceaux. This was my first time. I had heard everyone say how great it was, but the website didn't excite me, and after visiting, I don't think the website does it justice. This is definitely a foodie place
We had the big table in the back. While we were waiting for our party to filter in, our waiter, Mike, was outstanding. People didn't get a chance to put their coats down before he made sure they had a drink ordered. I can't say enough about his service throughout the meal. Request him as your waiter and you won't be disappointed.
We started with appetizers around the table. The tandoori fried cauliflower, fried oysters, truffle fries, and a cheese tray. I didn't get a chance to try the cheese tray. The cauliflower was outstanding. Light, not greasy at all. The oysters were perfectly cooked, not rubbery and over cooked, not slimy and barely cooked, but perfectly coated. It was the right mix of breading, and the sauce that accompanied them was great as well. The truffle fries were decadent. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the truffle oil almost seemed to infuse the fried. Grated truffles on top would have made the dish over the top, but it was decadent as is.
On Mike's recommendation I started with the split pea and Italian sausage soup. It was thick, but not overly creamy. Good amounts and sausage and it tasted freshly pureed.
For my entree, I ordered the Shrimp Pepperpot. It was good, not great. The shrimp were slightly over cooked. I was impressed with the portion sizes here. I have about 10 shrimp over rice, that had a great sauce, almost like a gumbo. Great flavor.
The person next to me ordered the pork belly. This was decadent. It was a four inch square of bacon, but not cured, instead it tasted like it had been slow roasted, or braised. Fork tender and incredible. This is definitely a guilty pleasure because it is a fatty cut, but the fat melds into the thick pork for culinary perfection.
I didn't get to taste the rest of the tables, but others ordered the hanger steak - this was a huge portion - and would be my choice next time and the braised lamb shank (special of the day). Both were huge portions and got rave reviews.
The food was top notch, as was the atmosphere and the service. This is definitely one restaurant that is worth the trek back downtown from the West End.
Can't wait to go back with The Wife.