Posted by Foobooz on May 13th, 2013
Craig LaBan bestows an enthusiastic two bells on David Ansill’s version of Bar Ferdinand.
The fennel-crusted tuna, essentially Spanish-inspired sashimi draped over haricot verts, caper berries, kalamata olive vinaigrette, boquerone anchovies, saffron-tomato conserva, and shaved bottarga (“a little smoked tuna dust!” says Ansill), pushed piquance to the edge of boldness without sliding over. His citrusy, sous-vide-cooked octopus was meltingly tender. A simple crab “croqueta,” almost fluffy with sweet meat beside a crunchy nest of shaved fennel and citrus, showed classic elegance.
A crock of crispy noodle fideos tossed with sherry cream and wild mushrooms brought focused, earthy vegetarian flavors. But Ansill’s talent for alt-meats is also on joyful display. Aside from the shoestring shreds of fried pig ears with purple mustard, there were juicy squares of pork belly with a bacon-sherry reduction, and pork cheeks, brined overnight, then sublimely braised in tomato brava sauce sparked with ginger.
Two Bells – Very Good