I recently enjoyed a meal at a new restaurant in the Palisades called Taste. Located on Palisades Drive in a small shopping center, it seemed to be doing well as it was quite crowded when we arrived at 6:30 p.m..

We had very good service and proceeded to order a lovely bottle of wine and two appetizers. The appetizers were both very good; a roasted beet salad with goat cheese on a bed of arugula and a tuna tartare with crostini and a spicy aioli sauce. I would order both of these dishes again as they were seasoned well and the portions were large. For the diner who’s not starving, you can definitely split both appetizers or order this as a main course.

We then decided to try one of the specials, which was a chicken breast on top of creamy mashed potatoes with cipolline onions and a brown butter sauce, as well as one of their regular menu items, a pork chop with macaroni and cheese and sugar snap peas.

I ordered the special and was very happy with my dish. It was quite rich though so I couldn’t finish it. Maybe go a little lighter on the butter, but the chicken was cooked perfectly and the onions were amazing in texture and flavor.

My husband was less thrilled with his pork — it was a bit over-cooked and overly smoky, once again leading me to wonder if liquid smoke had been used. We had this same overly-smoked meat last week at another place. The problem with that is you can’t taste the meat. He enjoyed the snap peas, cooked beautifully with quite a bit of snap left in them.

The mac and cheese was another disappointment as it was heavily flavored with truffle oil. I am definitely the wrong person to serve truffle anything to because I find it so over-powering but I also feel it needs to be paired with something more elevated than macaroni and cheese. This dish would have been better left alone and who doesn’t love a great macaroni and cheese once in a while?

The menu had many items with the loathed truffle flavor, which is something I would rather see less of. We also felt the portions to be a bit large and would rather have seen less food on the plate.

The manager suggested we try their chocolate bread pudding with vanilla ice cream for dessert and it was perfect! Truly the best bread pudding I have ever had — moist and creamy egg batter binding the bread together and just enough chocolate. It was served with a crème anglaise sauce, which was also just right. I highly recommend trying this dish when you visit Taste.

The atmosphere was cozy and comfortable but be forewarned that it is family friendly so if you want to dine without children around you, come later.

Satisfied with the salad, I wanted to share with you my own version in hope that you will make it at home and then venture to Taste to compare. Enjoy!

Amanda Cushman is a culinary educator who has cooked professionally for 25 years. She teaches privately for groups of two to 20 students. She has developed hundreds of recipes for cookbooks as well as food magazines and Web sites. She can be reached amandascooking@gmail.com.

Warm Beet Salad with Endive and Goat Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds beets, washed and quartered

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tbs. olive oil

salt, pepper, to taste

6 tbs. minced mint

1 tsp. lemon zest

2 heads endive, sliced into thin julienne strips or 1 head frisee can be used

1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed

5 oz. goat cheese

Procedure

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the beets on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tender about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, mint and lemon zest in a medium bowl and whisk. Taste and adjust seasoning. Reserve 3 tbs. of the dressing in a medium bowl.

Peel the beets and dice and add to the reserved dressing, toss.

Add the endive and watercress to the larger bowl of dressing and arrange on salad plates. Top with the beets and crumble the goat cheese over the top, serve warm or at room temperature.

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