out at blind lemon and sprout

If you do not have plans tonight, I’ve got you. Just repeat what I did last Friday.

It started with drinks on Blind Lemon‘s patio, which is hands down the greatest. The lush overgrown green hideaway just always hits the spot, especially with the live music musings and specialty drinks. I’ve always likened The Blind Lemon to being the perfect winter bar, but it is also the perfect summer bar too. So if my math is right, that would make it the perfect bar…

Sprout caprese saladBut after the little happy hour, we sauntered over to Sprout. I’ve raved about Sprout’s brunch before so I was equally as excited to try their dinner.

First, a quick note on atmosphere. Sprout’s got it. It is calm, warm, rustic (but not like antique-y), and casual, which was pretty perfect for a few couples and a baby to enjoy the night. I also took note that most diners seemed to be the same…a little older, a little chill. It appeared that everyone was there for the same, right reasons…to enjoy good company and even better food.

So speaking of food, my friend Kelly started with the caprese salad, which was not your typical caprese. Everything was mixed together like a chop, rather than the big slices of tomato and mozzarella that you’d expect. I had a bite, and it was delicious, but what I almost liked the most was the pungent smell of the basil. It was so fragrant that just sitting next to the salad was treat enough.

Sprout musselsMy main course was of course the mussels. And they. were. awesome. I’m hesitant to use the phrase ‘best I’ve ever had’ but they might be the best I’ve ever had. The thing about mussels is sometimes they are delicious because they are drowning in cream and butter. But these, cooked with tarragon, parsley, lemon, white wine, garlic, and butter, were light and killer and the whole dish made the mussels sing. I’m craving them as I type.

Sprout pastaAll three gentlemen ordered the house made fettucine with pesto, grape tomato, and pecorino romano. My friend Chris followed the recommendation and added pork. I asked him his thoughts and he said, “Delicious. It was almost like they hammered the pork thinly, rolled it up, cooked it, and then sliced it. It was flat looking but almost a spiral. Very tender and well seasoned. I’d recommend.” Enough said.

I also stole a bite from Kenny and the pasta was perfect. So fluffy and light. You cannot beat handmade pasta. Definitely worth the order.

Sprout trout sandwichHowever, the order of the night went to my girl Lauren, who got the house smoked trout sandwich. I had just a bite of the trout and it was awesome. It tasted like a perfectly smoked piece of white fish, flakey with a crispy, seasoned skin. Very yummy. But as a sandwich, with Fatty & Skinny Wing Sauce, Fab Ferments kimchi, 16 Bricks challah bun, and cilantro, the whole thing was dead serious. I loved the mussels, but I’m thinking about going back tonight for this guy…

Sprout custardThen, in the spirit of splurging, us gals ordered both desserts. First was the sabayon with macerated fruit and mint. The custard with the fruit was indulgent and satisfying. It was my favorite bite of the night, until I had…

Sprout lemon goat cheese ice cream…the house made lemon goat cheese ice cream with red wine reduction. Holy sweet America. I’m not even sure I can do it descriptive justice but it was pretty unreal, unlike anything I’ve ever had. It was lemony and goat cheesey and cold and ice creamy and I’d like to order it by the gallon next time.

Sprout is amazing, bottom line. The quality and craftsmanship of the food is undeniable, making each and every bite feel like a gourmet treat. Again, if you are looking for something to do tonight, start at Blind Lemon, end at Sprout, and thank me later.

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