I had heard quite a bit about The Catbird Seat - eclectic, unusual, a place that changes and makes you think about your food. However, after a month or so of having to chase a reservation, I was about to give up. Luckily, a cancelled reservation was posted just as I happened to look one last time.
The place is intimate, and while we dressed up because we came straight from work, there's no need to bother. Your money spends just as well as anyone else's.
We lucked out and were seated on the corner, so we each had a great view of the chefs, each other, and the door (and once in a while, we got a nice breeze - yes, being in the kitchen does make it a little warm.)
Trevor, the head chef, is funny and personable. He comes across as a kid with a science kit - all giggly about his latest invention...and he should be.
Granted, I was a little wary when he brought around our first dish - almond "snow" with a still-live longneck clam on top with herbs. He delighted in telling us that not only were the clams so fresh, one of them knocked an herb off its back, but likely when we put it in our mouths, we might feel it still throbbing.
Admittedly, I wanted to walk out then.
I'm adventurous, but I have a few limits.
In any case, I tried it and it was amazing. Trevor has a real knack for subtle flavors.
All in all, we had about 13 courses (!), each one different; each one with its own personality. We took our time eating so we could savor the smells and textures.
I have to stress one major point with us: both of us have unusual allergies - him, mushrooms; me, peppers (all), jalapenos, chilies, paprika, etc. It can make a dinner out difficult for us and the restaurant staff, However, their staff seemed to take it as a fun challenge, to see how they could rethink the night's menu to accommodate us and still make something spectacular. They did not fail.
The pricing is steep. It's not Joel Robechon/Las Vegas-steep, but it's significant. For us, it was worth it. We like how adventurous and experimental the food was.
The only thing I would change is the temperature. Towards the end, it got a bit stuffy.
But, as they say, if you can't take the heat, get out of their kitchen.
P.S., we will do this again, and again, and be luckier for it every time.
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