I love 1980s movie references, so I knew I would be in for a treat.
When we arrived, a line was already forming for those who wanted a seat at the bar (and didn't have a reservation); apparently, if you get there around 4:45 p.m., you are pretty much guaranteed a seat at the bar, so we may do that next time to avoid the hassle of getting a reservation. It really is tough to get one!
We brought our own wine, a 2010 bottle of Favia, one of our favorites wines, to enjoy with dinner. We had this wine during our lunch at famed restaurant The French Laundry in Napa Valley back in 2012 with our friends Rahul and Vinnie, and it's absolutely wonderful. But be warned: Staplehouse charges a $30 corking fee.
Here is a rundown of our two-hour meal and some photos to get your mouth watering. I think there were only two dishes on the menu that we didn't order.
Course 1: Crab, sunflower, marigold, dill and leeks.
Course 2: Tomatoes, XO and holy basil. I love the presentation here with the basil.
Course 3: Chicken liver tart, peach, basil, celery.
Course 4: Carrots, hazelnut, vadouvan, sorrel.
Course 5: Grandma Lillian's potato bread.
Course 6: Potato, chanterelles, porter vinegar, fennel.
Course 7: Scallops, cucumber, lovage, butterbeans.
Course 8: Aged duck, eggplant, black turnip, onion.
Final (dessert) Course: Peach, walnut, fig leaf, koji.
The food was all prepared in ways that surprised me, and I found myself savoring items (chicken liver! carrots!) that I normally would shy away from. Our waiter, Jeremy, was very attentive, and the dishes all rolled out of the kitchen in a very staggered manner. I never felt rushed to finish a dish, or even full to bursting for that matter.
The disappointment of the night was probably the dessert, which really didn't taste much like a dessert. I would have much preferred something chocolate, since I was already splurging!
The dress at the restaurant is definitely casual. I wore this neon pink Milly dress and black Jimmy Choo ankle-strap shoes for the occasion, but Chapin and I were the most dressed up patrons in the place. Most people showed up in light sundresses or even shorts, but I think "dressing for dinner" just adds to the experience, don't you?