A dual birthday celebration at Justin's- 2/8/14

The restaurant The food  Cake and gifts

Appetizers

There are only 6 appetizers listed on the menu so it was fairly easy to narrow it down to 3 dishes we wanted.   We ordered 2 portions of each dish for a total of 6 plates to be shared among 12 people.

1- Calamari Scampi - $13

Scampi style pan seared calamari steak with crispy pancetta, grilled lemons, and Mediterranean olive slaw.

The calamari was pan seared and has a really nice texture.  The scampi style sauce made with butter, garlic, white wine, salt, lemon juice and parsley was a bit rich and bit too sweet for my taste but overall this is a decent dish.

 

2- Duck Confit Lavosh rolls - $14

Duck confit lavosh rolls with eggplant caponata, arugula, lemon rosemary vinaigrette and shaved Manchego cheese

Lavosh is a round thin Middle Eastern bread that is soft like a tortilla; also written lahvosh or lavash.

I enjoyed the duck confit with eggplant caponato rolled in lavosh bread.  The arugula salad was fresh and tasty, the parsley sauce added some brightness to the dish and it felt like a healthy dish. 

 

3-Escargot - $15

Truffle-sage escargot spoons with dark chocolate shavings and toasted pistachios.

 

When we saw escargot on the menu we thought it was interesting that the chef uses dark chocolate shavings so we wanted to give it a try.

Oh my god it was such a disaster!  The dish was so sweet and the ingredients he used did not compliment each other and it was simply horrible and almost inedible.  The only good thing is that each portion was fairly small so we did not have to eat more than one bite.

We all agreed that the classic Escargot de Bourgogne is by far the best way to prepare escargot.  When in doubt the safest bet is to stick to the classic.   Stay with something that everybody is familiar with and perhaps you can add a little twist but when your creation so par below the classic then you might as well not serve it. 

 

Main Entres

Colorado Lamb - $36

Roasted bone in Colorado lamb with Italian style apple curry sauce and roasted truffle Brussels sprouts.

I think a few people ordered this dish and I did not hear any complaints about the dish.

I had a bite and the lamb was cooked properly but I can't remember the taste of the sauce.

 

Muscovy Duck Breast - $28

Pan seared Muscovy duck breast with smoked blackberry, demi glace sauce served with buffalo mozzarella stuffed risotto balls and basil oil.

 

Tuan thought is was Okay but I think Phuc liked it more than Tuan did.

 

New York Steak - $36

16 oz  New York steak with cognac and pink peppercorn sauce served with salt and malt vinegar smashed purple potatoes and crispy leeks.

Hoa and I we shared the steak.  We ordered rare and the steak came out more like medium rare than rare (I know we like our steak to be on the bloody side).

The cut was a bit rubbery and some portion of the steak had lots of cartilage making it difficult to cut and chew.  I enjoyed the smashed purple potatoes but the crispy leeks were not crispy and actually were a bit oily. 

 

Osso Bucco -$34

Free range veal osso bucco shank with mirepoix, demi glace, and saffron risotto.

Trung and Ha shared this dish.  Osso Bucco is a classic comfort dish and if it is braised correctly it should be very satisfying.

I think Trung enjoyed this dish.

 

First of all Justin's is a spacious and very nice restaurant but unfortunately the food did match the decor.  The first 2 appetizers we ordered were fine but the escargot dish was horrible and they should it take off their menu.  Most of  main dishes are average at best and nothing really stands out.  Most of the sauces are overly sweet and not well balanced.  Service was acceptable but overall I think Justin's wants to be an upscale dinning destination but they have not reach that level yet.  We gave Justin's a try and now the main question is would we comeback again?  To be totally honest, we probably will not.

 

NEXT... CAKE AND GIFTS

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