Square One (SQ1) : 2 Times in 2 Weeks, Yes and Yes!

Published by Miss Prissy on November 4th, 2014 - in Restaurant Reviews

SQ1A So remember how I posted last year about Square One getting a facelift? Lo and behold, it’s happened again! They closed this past summer and ownership changed again. Jamille from The Café is now co-owner with Dominique Falkner and Carmelo and Carolyn have moved on.  So if I’ve been there

twice in two weeks, you must realize that I kinda like it.


So yes, two separate visits.  Once with old friends Paul & Sinead from Budapest and just the other night, with Steph & Ari.  If it’s alright with you, I’m just going to put some food images out there and not differentiate which dish was from which night 🙂

Let’s talk about the menu
It’s not the largest menu on the planet or even in The Keys. It doesn’t need to be. It’s the very best of Banana Café (co-owner Dominique’s other place) and The Café combined.

Both visits started with this amuse bouche: SQ1’s square knots (soft pretzels) served with herbed mustard. I liked them better than Greg, and that’s okay 🙂

Devils on Horseback: Tenderbelly bacon, smoked almonds, Gournay cheese fondue, pappadew peppers, and sherry gastrique. 100% delicious! Just wow.

 The tale of two wines and I’m not talking about quality.SQBoth the MacMurray and the Tablas Creek were amazing but I hate the “carafe”.  Really, I do.  SQ9 (2)
I can’t get into this beeker thing.  I might have enjoyed it during Mrs. Kinnel’s Chemistry class but not now.

The Café’s spinach gyoza with garlic sesame soy. These were VERY good! Chock full of veggies so I was certain that The Handsome Captain™ would take one bite and pass to me. He didn’t! Score!

And something *not* full of vegetables….
Pork potstickers with pineapple-hoisin. :::::Serious Drool::::::

King Oyster Mushroom Carpaccio with avocado, orange segments, fennel, fried capers, and browned butter. Another HUGE win! The mushrooms were obviously cold, but still melted in our mouths. Perfect mushrooms with buttery goodness. A+++

Frites!!!! Not pictured is the chipotle ketchup because, well–it looked like ketchup so why? 🙂

Braised Shortrib was the choice of Greg and Sinead. Perfectly accompanied with organic mascarpone polenta, spinach, and three-herb gremolata, Greg loved it so much that he ordered it on both visits. I don’t blame him, it was delicious!

My darling husband wouldn’t be the only one to fall in love with a dish to such an extent that it would be crazy to try something else.
Gnudi!!!!! OMG, SO good!!! It’s the VERY BEST part of “stuffed macaroni” (as some in East Utica call it)–the “insides” of ravioli, manicotti (pronounced mon-eh-gaut for you mayonnaise faces), and lasagna. So back to this dish: Spinach-ricotta gnudi, swiss chard, tomato, fried sage, smoked almond romesco, and shaved parmesan. Delicious!

Ari got the pan-roasted grouper with fire-roasted tomatoes, white beans, chorizo, and saffron broth.

For Paul, it was grilled hanger steak, chimichurri butter, roasted sweet peppers, cipollini onions, crispy shallots, and frites. Another winner!

But what are we waiting for, it’s time for dessert! It’s good to dine with other people. At least when you split, you’re not getting all those calories alone 🙂
Doughnuts with coffee pot de crème.

I could seriously eat these every day of the week. I don’t, but I could.

I have to say, I really like this reincarnation of Square One (SQ1). I didn’t dislike the last one though, and we did go a lot in the beginning. Then chefs started changing at a somewhat rapid pace and we weren’t going as much as we had. This reno of interior and menu came at a good time, I think. SQ1, The Handsome Captain™ and I wish you the very best. We won’t be strangers. Find them on Facebook.

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