Thursday, December 3, 2009

Flatbread Company Restaurant Review


All I can say is WOW.  Went to Flatbread Company for dinner tonight and I don't have a single regret!  Got to dinner around 6:30.  Fell in love with the restaurant as soon as I walked in.  The host was really nice and the environment was casual yet cute.  There was a guy playing a guitar and singing stuff from The Beatles to Jimmy Buffett and the huge wood fired stone oven was the focal point of the restaurant without being intrusive.  
I ordered myself a glass of Pinot Grigio and scanned the menu.  Our waitress walked us through the specials (they have one meat pizza and one veggie pizza special each day), and gave us time to think about our selection.  It was clear this place was special.  Just about everything on the menu was organic.  The meat was free-range and you know what else?  LOCAL ingredients were spotlighted!  
I ordered an amazing salad with  organic mesclun and organic sweet leaf lettuces tossed with organic celery and carrots, toasted sesame seeds, organic arame, homemade berry vinaigrette and Vermont artisan goat cheese!  I was particularly excited about the arame after reading about all the health benefits of sea vegetables in Clean Food last night.  If you've never heard of arame... don't worry... I hadn't either!  The links will bring you to Wikipedia (which I'll link to a lot until I find some cooler sites to reference... suggestions welcome).  Because I've accounted for the fact that you might not feel like clicking on the links, here are some highlights about arame from Wikipedia: "Arame 荒布 is a species of kelp best known for its use in Japanese cuisine. It is one of many species of seaweed used in Japanese dishes.



Arame is high in calciumiodineironmagnesium, and vitamin A as well as being a good dietary source for many other minerals. ... Usually purchased in a dried state, it is reconstituted quickly, taking about five minutes. Arame comes in dark brown strands, has a mild, semi-sweet flavor, and a firm texture. Once reconstituted, it may be served alone or as a garnish. It also may be served among other seaweeds as a mixture or a salad, including marinated dishes.  This seaweed also may be added to appetizers, casseroles, muffins, pilafs, soups, toasted dishes, and many other types of food. Its mild flavor makes it adaptable to many uses."
Now I don't usually like seaweed (it took me like a decade to even appreciate sushi), so I was pleasantly surprised when I loved the nutty flavor and crunchy texture the arame added to my amazing organic salad!  I can't wait to discover more sea vegetables and plan to check out an Asian market soon to start experimenting (again, suggestions welcome!)
After savoring every bite of the salad (OK, I admit, I had half of it packed to go... I wanted to save room!), it was time for the special veggie pizza which had fresh sliced plum tomatoes, whole cloves of roasted garlic, mozzarella, and basil.  OH, and it was topped with a balsamic reduction.  It was SO yummy!  But I wasn't stopping there.  All the reviews on yelp advised saving room for dessert, and I listen to my fellow yelpers!  Not only that, but I was watching desserts come out of the stone oven all through the salad and the pizza.  I'm glad I sat in plain view of the oven and the prep counter, as it was a great reminder that dessert was not to be missed.  The soft gingerbread (prepared by a local baker who makes all the baked desserts at Flatbread) topped with two heaping scoops of pumpkin ice cream and a generous dollop of fresh maple infused whipped cream was insanely good.  I highly recommend you try some... and soon!
The staff at Flatbread Company were great, too.  Our server, Michelle, was very attentive and the manager, Evan, came over throughout our meal to check in.  I asked where the ice cream came from and it was from southern New Hampshire, which is probably a good thing because if it were any closer, I might have discovered a new addiction tonight!  Evan also asked our opinion of the live music, which I found to be absolutely perfect.  Before I left, I signed up for the list serve so that I could get the weekly emails with the updated specials.  This conversation with Evan gave me a nice opportunity to comment on their lack of a decent website, which I just might offer to help out with (hey, why not?)
By the way... I did bring home about half the salad and a little bit of pizza... which I polished off as soon as I walked in the door.  I'm glad I ate light today (greek yogurt with berries and some trek mix can really hold a girl over!) saved my appetite for dinner!
From Seed to Stomach would like to officially grant it's first 5 Seed Rating...
... to the one and only Flatbread Company!