Bardo, you killed it. Simply killed it. I love it when I have a completely amazing dining experiences and last night Bardo delivered. Now someone in my social circle told me the wait staff there was horrible, but the young lady who greeted me at the door, recommended a killer cocktail (Amoha - Three Olives Pomegranate vodka, Pama liquor, pomegranate juice, topped with champagne) while I waited for my dinner guest and then escorted us through our entire meal was a dream. (I wish I got her name, but I was really into the food and the amazing company. But she had a “hang man” tattoo on her calf.)
Catena Malbec, Argentina 2006. It was buttery and smooth just like a good Malbec should be.
I was responsible for the vegetables and ordered the Hummus Duo of roasted red pepper and truffle edamame with grilled pita wedges. Generally I am sold on the roasted red pepper hummus thanks to Azar’s (just down the street from Bardo in Norfolk) but the truffle edamame blew it away. Big fan of edamame (wish they sold it at the movies instead of popcorn) and had never considered it in this fashion. Second veggie was the black sesame seared asparagus with lemon. We had to go back to the menu to remember how this was prepared. First hit on the taste buds was this wonderful smoky flavor and then the tartness of the lemon hits you. So good.
My dinner companion got to make all the protein selections and he went crazy. (I think he must have skipped lunch.) We started with the salmon wrapped in potatoes, the duck with gnocchi (my apologies for the lack of description here, I’m not a critic, just someone who shares her food experiences and therefore I don’t take notes – these two aren’t listed on the website menu), and the Kobe beef Carpaccio drizzled with chili and truffle oils served with a Japanese cooking stone. The beef Carpaccio was a first time experience for me. While I like my beef medium rare, I have never had it raw. Even with the cooking stone, it had to be done and with the spice of the oil it was so yummy. However, you can’t put this hot cooking surface in front of me and not have me play with it. Despite what my mother told me, I love to play with my food. Sizzle, flip, sizzle, flip – still awesome.
Satisfied with the smorgasbord experienced to this point, we still wanted more. Enter fabulous waitress again with the recommendation of panko and pistachio crusted lamb chops with truffle jus over wasabi mashed potatoes (SCORE! Homerun! We debated packing the bones to chew on the way home.) and black and white sesame seared tuna over watercress and blood orange vinaigrette.
Finally, dessert. Anyone who has been to Bardo has had the “Dip Sum” doughnuts, yea yea you love them, but while looking over the selections I noticed a banana, peanut butter and chocolate eggroll. Now to me that says heaven on a plate. If I have one critique of the evening it would be that the waitress said the doughnuts were better than the banana eggroll. I disagree. The eggroll concoction was off the chains delicious. While the doughnuts are good (the raspberry sauce is the best) they are way too heavy. We actually left most of them.
According to the website Bardo is defined as the time of existence after death and before rebirth as life occurs in stages. Honestly, I walked in feeling a little bit like death and left feeling amazing. Call it a rebirth if you like. I will take it. Again, and again, and again, and again…