Saturday, February 13, 2016

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle by Chef Hamilton Johnson is a pop-up restaurant that focuses on bringing together American regional flavors and international influences. Honeysuckle blurs the line traditionally separating “lowcountry” ingredients and highbrow techniques, valuing smart sourcing in service of many of its whole-animal menu items. Currently in the restaurant "incubator" space, Prequel, the Closest Metro is Gallery Place.

We visited Honeysuckle to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special tasting menu focusing on the indulgent world of chocolate. The Beverage Director curated wine pairings for each course to help bring the flavors alive.


First up was a Hudson Valley Foie Gras Parfait with smoked pecans, bitter chocolate, gooseberry confit, and cocoa brioche. The foie gras was very smooth with a nice umami flavor.  It was paired with a dry Chiarli, Lambrusco Sorbraro, Modena, Emila-Romagan, NV, which set the mood for the evening.


Next, we had Pan Roasted Cod Cheeks with white chocolate-parsnip fondue, celery leaf, blackened walnuts, and hackelback caviar. The cod was surprisingly meaty and the whole dish had wonderful balance of textures and flavors.  It was paired with a sweet white wine called Glatzer, Zweigelt, Riedencuvee, Carnuntum, Austria 2013.



Keith enjoyed the Pennsylvania Lamb roasted in coffee beans with porcini hominy, crisp brussel sprouts, truffle-onion jam, and cocoa nib jus. I had the vegetarian alternative here with baby carrots replacing the meat.  The earthy mushroom offset the sweet onion jam and the carrots were very satisfying.  We really enjoyed this plate as much as the others.  It was paired with a smoky Hendry, Zinfandel, Block 28, Napa, CA 2012.


Lastly, for dessert we had Vanilla Poached Cloudberries with milk chocolate ganache, liquorice meringue, and cloudberry caramel chocolate-hazelnut tuile.  The cloudberries are a rare golden berry similar to blackberries.  It was paired with a sweet dessert wine called Cocchi, Barolo Chinato, Torino, Italy.

Overall, we had an excellent meal at Honeysuckle.  If the chef decides to press forward with a full restaurant of his own, I am confident the food will be very worthwhile.  Service started out a little bumpy, but after the second course it picked up.  The Prequel space is a little odd and on the small side, exuding its temporary "incubator" purpose.  A bar is located downstairs as well.

Total Rating: 4.45
Food: 5, Price: 4, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

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