Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Katharine Brasserie in Winston-Salem

The Katharine Brasserie & Bar (401 North Main Street, Winston-Salem 27101, (336) 761-0203, katharinebrasserie.com) is located in the historic Reynolds Building, now the Kimpton Cardinal luxury hotel. Ambience is unique- an art deco French brasserie, the concept chosen in homage to and named after Katherine Reynolds, who loved her travels in France.

Dining Room, photo by Amber Renea Photography

Executive Chef Adam Barnett, who trained under illustrious names such as Eric Ripert and Patrick O’Connell, introduces new menus every quarter. Additional, special menus will be in place for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fall-winter menu is stellar. This restaurant is hitting its stride. I now rank it among the elite.

Executive Chef Adam Barnett, photo  by Amber Renea Photography

(Food photos below by John Batchelor, just cell phone shots from table.)

My wife and I started a tasting meal with a cheese plate. French styles are sourced in the US, from Georgia and North Carolina. These are all pleasantly mellow in flavor. The arugula salad in the center is lightly dressed, the toasts crisp.

The Crab Salad is flavored with preserved lemon, herb aioli, and celery root. It is light, the taste of fresh crab subtly undergirded by chives, sharpened by the lemon. This is really special!

Mussels Mariniere are delightfully fresh and tender, no grit, no muddy taste, resting in broth of white wine, garlic, and creme fraiche, with slices of celery and fennel. Seriously flavorful!

(Note that the entrees below are part of a tasting menu, therefore small portions; 
if you order as a main course, the serving size is larger.)

Salmon is sauteed, its crisp crust giving way to tender interior. It is surrounded by melted leeks and celery, red and purple potatoes, all accented with a mustard buerre blanc.

Trout is served with its crisp skin side up, over horseradish creme fraiche, braised greens, and sweet potato hash. The trout itself is moist and tender; it picks up a subtle accent from the mild horseradish.

Ricotta Gnudi combines tender duck confit and gnudi- similar to gnocchi but based on ricotta cheese- plus greens, butternut squash, and hen of the woods mushroom on top. The mushroom looks weird and tastes great!

Creme Brulee is both light and rich. Couldn't wait to take that first bite!

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