On Saturday, John and I went to The Lodge at Castle Hills. The Lodge is Jason Dady‘s first restaurant. It’s in an old mansion, just like the name implies. The Lodge is more about tasting menus and New American food.
We started with a bottle of wine, of course. We got there a little early and drank some wine. Right after we sat down, we saw our old DUK friend, Josh, who had been our waiter for DUK. We said hello and asked him a bit about Insignia, the next Jason Dady restaurant in The Fairmount. I’ve never been to The Fairmount, but I follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/TheFairmount) just to see photos of their resident dog, Luke. Once Insignia opens, I can go eat and see Luke! That may not seem like a good time to you, but I love both food and dogs, together (though not together on a plate).
Anyway. Where was I?
Oh yes. The Lodge. Hey, don’t you like our new haircuts? We both got our hairs cut on Saturday. We felt especially good-looking on Saturday. Hopefully that comes through in the photo.
Crap, I have to stop with the tangents. OK, The Lodge. We got a bottle of Shiraz because we love bold red wines. The evening started with a palate cleanser cocktail, strawberry and basil with fennel seeds on the rim. Nice and refreshing. Then there was salmon and pumpernickel, which tasted like lox and cream cheese. In a good way.
(I forgot to take photos of the first half of this meal, so please just envision the food in your head.)
Then came a scallop on brioche. I love buttery brioche and scallops. John and I discussed how it is the scallop’s fate to always be on the menu, because they are one of the few seafoods that are both delicious and headless. Poor, poor scallop.
Next was a turnip and yukon gold bisque with a dollop of marscapone in it. Creamy and velvety, this bisque was delicious and had a nice tartness from the turnips.
Then, duck confit with oriechette and parmesan. Oriechette is John’s favorite pasta. I like it too, even though it reminds me of tiny diaphragms. Or tiny sailor hats. We;ll go with sailor hats. This pasta was surprisingly light, given the duck. I love confits of any kind.
OK, here’s where I finally started to take some photos. Doesn’t this look good? Foie gras with strawberries and basil, dots of balsamic vinegar and more brioche for spreading. So creamy and delicious! I could eat this every day, diets be damned.
Dark shot of rabbit wrapped in bacon, surrounded by mushrooms and carrots. The waitress explained that the carrots and mushrooms are there because that’s what rabbits eat. How clever is that? I tried not to think too much about the idea of an animal being surrounded by everything it eats. I only hope that rabbit was satisfied with being united with carrots and mushrooms in my stomach. This dish tasted like autumn to me, because of the meaty, warm flavors.
Quail with salsa on a bed of “farrotto,” which is farro cooked like risotto. See, this is why I like Jason Dady’s food. He’s always experimenting with foods, offering different menus, trying out different flavors, challenging his customer’s palates. Would you have thought to cook farro like risotto? I wouldn’t.
The farrotto was cooked with bleu cheese. I love all cheese and bleu cheese in particular. Some people don’t like the way bleu cheese punches you in the face with the flavor and pungency, but I love it. So I was surprised at how subtle the bleu cheese flavor was. Delightfully subtle.
All in all, it was a delightful meal and a delightful way to spend a Saturday night. The Lodge has been named one of the most romantic restaurants in San Antonio, and it’s easy to see why with the small dining rooms, cozy accents, and lots of wine.
After all this food, I had to go lay on my couch and moan.
Thanks to our waiter Todd for keeping us wined and dined, Josh for saying hello, all of the other staff for doing what they do, all of the kitchen staff for the delicious food, and Chef Jason Dady for letting us explore our palates!