Saturday, July 16, 2011

Outside: it’s where I want to eat

Of course, the most obvious way to beat a heat-wave kitchen slump is to go out to dinner.  This week, we took refuge from the oppressive box that is our stuffy little kitchen and had dinner at Nightwood (previously of bacon doughnut fame). Nightwood is always an easy choice because they source fresh, local, sustainable ingredients, and because they make things like this:
They write the menu each day depending on what is available, so you never know exactly what you are going to get until you show up. Except, on Monday night, they posted a hint. Buttermilk fried chicken, get it while it lasts. Alex and I were literally waiting outside the restaurant to get in. And we weren’t the only ones! Limited time only syndrome, it’s a motivator.
We sat out on the patio, something about fried chicken begs to be enjoyed al fresco, especially in the heat. I was surprised that we were the only ones “brave enough” to remove ourselves from climate control—talk about air conditioning—but it was nice to have a private dining experience. 

We went splitzkies on dinner: ordering two appetizers and the main half-chicken event.
The meal started with Nightwood’s signature biscuit and honey butter. I think this salty sweet bite speaks for itself. It glimmers in the sunlight.
A first course item consisted of raisin nut bread paired with radish pods. When I buy my farmhouse and move to the country, this is what I want to have for breakfast. Homey, whole, and delicious.
Next came the salad—arugula, almonds, soft sheep’s milk cheese, honey. We were warned by our waitress that the arugula was extra peppery, but I didn’t find it so. Crunch from the almond, sweet mellow honey, and the creamy cheese—every flavor worked. It was satisfying in the best way.
And then the chicken. Crusty, tender, and juicy, with lemony, herby thyme.  I must confess: I ate more skin than meat. I especially liked the “more done” bits (not to call them burnt) where the crust gets extra crispy and the herbs go a little bitter. Yum. It was paired with a tangy cucumber salad, which added cool balance and made me feel like I was having a vegetable. Probably because I was.

We left sweaty, greasy, and happy, with no dishes to wash. 
Nightwood on Urbanspoon


  1. I want those biscuits--and the crispiest bits of skin.

  2. Loved this review.