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A Hot Tip for the Cold Months Ahead

October 17, 2018

Last night was incredible. The Adelphi Hotel invited forty of us—members of the Yelp Elite Squad and their guests—on “A Culinary Tour” of its three restaurants. Those would be Salt & Char, The Blue Hen, and Morrissey’s.

Morrissey’s has always seemed a bit off the radar, but it has significant talent behind the bar, and is one of the gems in the region’s growing craft cocktail scene. Seriously. They are doing delicious and innovative things there.

The other restaurants are a bit more high profile. That said, both Salt & Char and The Blue Hen have changed significantly since opening their doors. Last night I got to spend a little bit of time with chef Chris Bonnivier to learn about the direction he has taken the restaurants. And more importantly, something exciting he’s just rolled out.

Salt & Char will always be a steakhouse, and steakhouses will always be special occasion places. The new focus is to be simple, but with a twist. Bacon wrapped scallops are a good example. For starters these things are gigantic. A portion includes three of them. But this simple and classic appetizer is enhanced with a a smoked tomato jam, that plays well with the bacon and adds some life to a dish.

Part of me remembers the place being super expensive in the past. But now there is a $30 sirloin on the menu, which takes the dining room out of the stratosphere and makes it more competitive with other players in the region. Except here you can now also get “David Burke Salt Dry Aged Steaks”.  I got to try some of the 45-day aged Kansas City strip steak, and it was incredible.

The Blue Hen has said goodbye to its southern concept and allows chef Chris some room to be more creative with fine dining outside the steakhouse. It’s a place where a warm brussels sprout salad can go alongside a roasted lamb loin crépinette. Both of those dishes, by the way, were delicious and some of my favorite of the night.

But the most exciting thing was what I didn’t taste.

The group was headed over to Morrissey’s for dessert where we got to try the chestnut financier with whiskey caramel, which went beautifully with the Doctored Pepper cocktail. That, by the way, was a drink which featured a reduction of Dr. Pepper. It made a balanced drink by mixing it into a base spirit of rye whiskey, and shaking it with lemon juice.

Anyhow, I was talking with Chris about what he was doing with Morrissey’s. It’s not on the printed online menu yet, but he’s just put out a ramen, and it sounds fantastic. Neck bones. Pressure cookers. Hours and hours of time and love to make the broth. Noodles sourced from the same supplier of the most beloved noodle shops in NYC. And it’s just in time for fall.

So now, I have to get back. And they have happy hour from 4-6:30 Monday through Friday. Actually, that might be hard for me to make. Maybe I can qualify for Industry Night which is on Mondays from 7-9pm and features the same special prices on beer and cocktails.

Monday night for ramen and beers at The Adelphi sounds like a pretty sweet way to start the week to me. Just remember, you heard it here first.

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