Beast is known for brunches, according to the bartender who informed me there is always a line out the door waiting for tables. After our phenomenal dinner, I absolutely understand why there would be lines out the door for this food!
There were 5 of us and the menu comprises tapas-syle portions, albeit, much larger than the typical portions you might find at a more "authentic" tapas restaurant. The idea really wasn't Spain (although there were homages to Spanish cuisine--fried manchego cheese, lots of seafood, & apparently the tempranillo is a very popular wine by the glass as it was sold out) it is more the tasting and sharing of the dishes, which isn't just a luxury, but a necessity as not one of us was able to decide on just one dish anyways! Everything looked amazing.
We started with the 5 cheeses with Sullivan St Bakery Bread, Apples & Walnuts. From the blue to the creamy mild cheese--they were phenomenal. Everyone at the table was impressed with the cheeses.
Then we had the Stuffed Mushrooms with Italian Sausage--they weren't the large Portabello caps you might expect, but a much smaller, bite-size mushroom. We each had one and they were pleasant and decadent.
After that we tried the Chilled Seared Tuna--which was DELICOUS and dusted with cumin and garnished with a cucumber salsa. The Burger was next--a 10 oz. patty (one of the only "non-tapas" portioned dishes)--it was mouth-watering. The bun was substantial, the cheddar was sharp, the meat was perfectly cooked and it came with a house-made Ketchup that had interesting spices that took the burger to a whole other level. We also had 2 orders of the Short Ribs--which was essentially a Stew with potatoes and roasted veggies and the meat was falling apart, it was so tender. Then there were Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Butter, Blackened Shrimp Skewers with Israeli Cous Cous, a Potato-Cake-Tart with Parmesan Cheese, Pesto & Bread Crumbs.
And my favorite--the Scallops with Butternut Squash, Crispy Onions & a Balsalmic Vinegar Reduction--it was INCREDIBLE. It was almost a dessert it was sweet and so decadent--this dish changed my perception of Scallops forever. Phoenomenal.
For Dessert we had Chocolate Mouse with Berries, and a Ginger Creme Brulee--to be honest I only had the Moussse but I couldn't even stop eating--it was light, fluffy but at the same time naughty and dark. Mmmmm.
I can't wait to visit for brunch!
Monday, March 3, 2008
BEAUTY @ BEAST
What a pleasant Sunday night surprise! When I was invited to dinner at Beast in Prospect Heights, I immediately pictured a dark typical bar setting serving typical burgers, fries & beer.While I wasn't too far off on the decor (it was dark, there are cheesy dragons & artwork on the wall) I didn't care as soon as I saw the wine/beer list and menu. Whoever put together the menu & drinks paid attention to detail, only a little bit trendy, but very substantive with a wide range of tempting choices.
638 Bergen St ( @ Vanderbuilt Ave)
Open for Lunch: Mon-Fri, 11:30 - 4
Open for Brunch: Sat & Sun, 11 - 3
Open for Dinner: Everyday, 6 - 10:30/11:30
*Bar Open for Drinks after Kitchen Closes