Restaurant Review: The Pass [& Provisions]

It really should have been my New Year’s Resolution, but instead, in addition to giving up things for Lent I’m also deciding to add a healthy habit to my routine — blogging again! I made too many excuses between my last post and this one as to why I was too busy to write, but I guess better late than never, right?

The past three months have just FLOWN by! Back in November I bought the cutest little Corgi pup and named her Nessie. Little did I know that just when I had sworn off boys, this sweet monster of mine would introduce me to a cute dog and his owner. That’s right, 101 Dalmatians style. HAH!

Fast forward a few months and here I am with the nicest and coolest boy on the planet to call mine on Valentine’s Day. ((Had to squeeze something mushy in!))

Well Chris, the boy mentioned above, planned way ahead (I’m talking January 6!) and made reservations for us at The Pass & Provisions for our Valentine’s dinner. When he told me where we were going I had no clue what to expect until I started reading up on the place. We’re talking top-of-the-line foodie spot. As the days ticked off the calendar I was getting more and more anxious for our date. I knew it was going to be super fancy and adventurous but I was not expecting to be mind blown.

The Pass & Provisions is actually two restaurants in one. The Pass is fine-dining with a prix fixe menu while Provisions is more everyday-casual dining. We arrived to complimentary valet and upon walking inside, the place looked very modern-hipster. We told the hostess the name for our reservation and were escorted into a wall. Yes, I said into a wall. I was very confused as we walked past what I could tell was Provisions dining area and were stopped by a huge, black, floor to ceiling wall. The hostess pushed one area of the wall and BAM! secret entrance into a completely pristine black and white dining room. Just by this grand entrance I am already feeling super important.

We are seated. Immediately a waitress comes over and asks if we would prefer black napkins over the white napkins that were already placed at our table. What restaurant have you been to that asks your napkin color choice?! After we decide to stick with the white napkins another waitress comes over to promptly fill our water glasses while we decide on the 8 course experience. We had NO IDEA what kind of back flips our taste buds were about to do for the next 4 hours.

There is a sommelier – fancy word for a wine waiter – in the dining room that helps you choose your drink of choice for the evening. Since we didn’t opt for the pairings we settled on a delicious pinot noir rose.

It was literally freezing inside the restaurant and I had left my jacket with the coat check. I guess our waitress could tell I was shivering and offered me a shawl, which actually seriously helped me to enjoy my dinner more.  The service was impeccable, with everyone on staff being super attentive without feeling like they are hovering.

One detail I failed to mention earlier — the kitchen is open to the dining room area and you can see the chefs and sous chefs working diligently in quiet ordered chaos. If we ever go back, we want to request the table nearest the kitchen just so we can watch how they create these artful dishes.

The menu does the description of these dishes no justice. I could not even try to pronounce or repeat even half of the ingredients and techniques that were described to us as they brought each of our courses out. The chefs themselves even came out to present a few of the plates which was pretty cool. So without further ado…

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Tasting Menu [photo taken from http://www.underconsideration.com]

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The most handsome boy in the restaurant.

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EXTRA: Palate Prep: Dehydrated Gulf Shrimp

This was an interesting way to start the meal. It tasted like shrimp but was like a very fragile chip.

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SNACKS: Oyster/Foie Gras ‘ol Fashioned/Nasturtium Soup/Black Olive Pocky

My favorite of these was the pocky followed closely by the oyster.

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HAM & EGGS: Caviar Service

Interesting play on “ham & eggs” — caviar and pig skin. I have never eaten caviar, but if I was going to try it sometime, I am glad it was at The Pass. The seasonings and pudding layers really added to this dish and it was even yummier when you put a glob of it on the crunchy chicharon pictured below.

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Cracklin’ to compliment the Caviar

This came out literally crackling! I watched in awe at some of the HUGE pieces that were served to the larger parties.

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RAW: Nori Bucatini/Tofu/Uni/Clams

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BEEF: Tar Tar/Yolk

I was nervous to try this because of the experience Chris had told me about eating beef tar tar in Europe. He said he felt so sick after taking the first bite and that it was just horrible tasting. But unsurprisingly, the chefs here knew what they were doing because this was one of my top favorites of the night.

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Marrow Brioche to compliment the Tar Tar

This was a little bread roll that you took out and ate with the tar tar. Inside the bone is bone marrow seasonings that you could add as you pleased to the tar tar.

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BREAD: French (onion soup) Toast/Onion Variations

To.Die.For. I love onion. That is all.

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PIG: Headcheese/Bread (blood) Pudding/Candied Apple

I was literally TERRIFIED when I saw headcheese on the menu. For the weeks leading up to this night I was hoping and hoping they would change the menu and take this off. Chris and I had been on our Sunday grocery shopping trip several times and every time we made our stop at the deli counter he would always point out the atrocious looking chunk of headcheese. It looked like gelatin with chunks of God knows what inside. PUKE. But as with the caviar, the chefs somehow made it pretty dang tasty!

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EXTRA: Transition from savory to sweet. White Chocolate Ice Cream with Cocoa Seltzer

I loved the presentation of this. It came with a lid so it looked like a full egg. This ice cream was so delicious but the overall dish was just enough sweetness to move us into the dessert portion of the night.

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FERNET: Milk Chocolate & 27 other secret ingredients

The presentation on this was incredible. It looked like a mini forest on a plate. There was so much going on here. 27 ingredients.

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CHEESE: Macarons

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PETIT FOURS

The 8 course meal, turned into an 11 course meal with the extras that we got. When they brought the bill they gave us two individual lemon cakes for breakfast the next morning! This dinner was definitely an experience unlike any I have ever had before — it takes “foodie” to a whole new level for me.

If you are an adventurous eater and have a few hours to indulge, I would HIGHLY recommend exposing your taste buds to The Pass!

Valentine’s Dinner SUCCESS!!

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