Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mockingjay and Top Flr

Just picked up my long-awaited copy of Mockingjay, the third and final book in the YA Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins! Along with a keychain so's I can properly advertise my dorkiness (since Scholastic has, for some reason, decided not to cash in on the pins they're making but rather to offer them only as prizes and student incentives).*

Please note that I'm being responsible and doing the writing/editing I've promised to finish tonight and tomorrow, and that I'll bloody well put an arrow through the pig of anyone who spoils me before I get a chance to read this thing. ^____^

In quick food updates, I had dinner at Top Flr last night -- they do a $15 3-course prix fix on Mondays, and you should really go the next time you've got a Monday evening free.

Last night, the first course was a salad of peppery-green arugula with sweet slivers of dried fig, heat from slices of pepperocini, bright cherry tomato halves, creamy-sharp parmaggiano flakes, and a bare, tart lemony dressing to bind the lot together.

The second course was an option of a crumbled chorizo, jalapeño, onion, and arugula flatbread or a seared scallop with a warm, Asian-inspired salad of kale, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, celery, onion, and octopus. The flatbread was tasty in a distinctly late-night-college-snack sort of way, but the scallop dish was really delightful -- the sugared soy & sesame dressing playing against the bitter of the vegetables and the sweetness of the tomatoes and seafood, and both the scallop and octopus cooked to tender-chewy excellence.

The third course was an option of a chocolate ganache tart, which I didn't try, or a coconut bread pudding with a spiced sauce and carmelized sliced bananas. Though I didn't detect much coconut in the bread pudding, the dessert was warming and lovely, not too sweet and slightly strange for the Indian-inspired heat of the sauce. Fans of chilies + chocolate should be on the lookout for this one.

For $15 it was a light dinner (dessert doesn't count as filling. Hungry diners might want to order a pre-prix fix snack), but an excellent value for the experience of such playful flavors. Service was polite and attentive, but the kitchen didn't seem to be in a rush to get the courses out -- I would reserve Top Flr for a night that you don't have a schedule to keep. And I feel obligated to mention feeling a little foppish when the price of my dinner nearly doubled upon ordering a cocktail -- which was terrific, something they're calling A Sordid Affair: smoky Scorpion Blanco mezcal tequila, bittersweet Cynar artichoke liquor, spicy black peppercorn simple syrup, bright blackberries, and a squeeze of balancing citrus, served over ice with a straw for sipping and a pretty circle of lime set against the interior of the glass. But yeah, I'm just sayin' -- even with the prix fix in hand, Top Flr isn't tight-budget friendly. Which is okay sometimes! I'll definitely be back to try the regular menu and more of the cocktails. Let me know what's best there if you've been before.

* Scholastic, won't you please let me give you cash monies for a Mockingjay pin? I approve of ALSO using them as prizes and student incentives, and I'll make one myself out of the aforementioned keychain, but you're making fandom difficult, here.

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