This will be an ongoing column where I explore delectable dishes throughout East County, sharing my review of special menu items from local restaurants! Each month will be a specific theme. This month, I am sampling dishes that are saucy.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Scotties Shutters Brasserie
One of my favorite dishes from Chef Scottie, it’s the sauce that makes this dish craveable! A lightly battered chicken breast overflowing with buttery, melted Swiss cheese dripping out, is plated sliced open. Inside, fresh braised spinach and Canadian bacon peak through the bubbling cheese oozing out. Layered upon all this golden goodness is a creamy, butter-colored sauce with flecks of green. The pesto added to this sauce is what kicks up the flavor for me, it makes each bite rich and satisfying. The crisp outer layer of the chicken mixed with juices from inside swirling into the tangy sea of cream and basil is an out-of-this-world combination daring you to clean your plate. Trust me, you will eat every drop.
Prawns Bruschetta – Sweeney’s Grill and Bar
This is no ordinary hors d’oeuvre. When you think of the typical finger food bruschetta (diced tomatoes piled onto a slice of bread), sauce is never part of the equation. Sweeney’s has reinvented this Italian food staple. The mixture set before you comes deconstructed, served in a bowl with a large serving spoon and toasted French bread points. The large prawns are laid in a circle beneath a pile of diced tomatoes and coarsely grated parsley. The entire dish is bathed in a soupy broth of lemon, butter, and a touch of cream. Slight hints of red flake pop from the juice. It’s those red flakes that bring the heat with each flavor-filled bite! My lips were stinging, juice running down my chin as I speared the large prawn with my fork and freed it from its tail. Next bite, I scooped up as much tomatoes and juice as the triangle of bread could hold and shoved it quickly into my mouth, catching every bit of the favorable fiery butter sauce. This might be a starter, but for me, it was a memorable meal.
Butter Chicken – Bawarchi’s Restaurant and Bar
Indian food is pure comfort food for me. I feel as though the unique ingredients open your sinuses, penetrating every pore in your face so that you can fully smell and taste every nuanced spice added. My favorite dish at Bawarchi’s is not very spicy but leaves a lingering tingle in my mouth. I would describe their Butter Chicken as both sweet and tangy. Surprisingly, although this dish highlights the use of butter, the sauce is pumpkin orange in color. This yummy goodness appeals to all senses as the cinnamon and cardamon combine with the coriander and cumin to create a decadent, creamy bath for the tender chicken chunks. I love to mix the sauce with a bit of tamarind chutney and sop it up with naan. I could eat this butter chicken for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—even dessert.
Check out next issue’s foodie review, focused on my favorite bar or pub fare!