I really liked my goat
There’s a line you just don’t hear every day “I really liked my goat”. But it’s true, and it speaks volumes about last night’s dinner.
We went to Revival Bar and Kitchen, on the corner of Addison and Shattuck, instantly recognizing the building as a place where we had dinner before, in a previous incarnation. It is on the same block as the Aurora Theater and Berkeley Rep, so it would be perfect for a pre-theater dinner.
Revival is your modern, eco-conscious place. All their meat is local and butchered in house. Everything is local, organic, sustainable, just as green as Berkeley can be. Not only is this politically correct, it means the meat and produce you get is fresh, seasonal, the best you can find, healthy, tasty and good for you.
The layout of the menu is more than passing strange, with some salads listed under salads and others listed under sides. Small plates are common these days, but that doesn’t make them all appetizers. It took us a while to figure out what they had and what we wanted and how large was a large and what was a small, but eventually we put together a plan.
Dinner started out with a charcuterie plate, all house made:
Duck liver mousse, duck/pork pate, pork rillete, smoked ham, mortadella. Accompanied by grape chutney, mustard and pickles. I like all of these things (except the pickles). I never understand why they put a plate of stale bread chips alongside to spread the goodies on–it’s like eating roofing shingles. Fortunately, there was fresh bread on the table so I just used that and wondered about the other.
Next up was the soup:
This sounds like a good idea, and it sure looks good on the plate, but the “crispy leeks” just turn into unchewable strings you have a problem dealing with. Maybe it’s a plan to combine eating and flossing, but it doesn’t work for me. The soup was great, the leeks were a definite loser.
Gail and I virtually never order the same dish. We thing eating out is about trying different things, so we want to try as many dishes as we reasonably can. Jack and Carol, though, both ordered the pork chop. The good new is that Jack thought it was the finest pork chop he’d ever eaten; moist, succulent and, most importantly, not overcooked.
The grits cake was an interesting and different choice. Chard doesn’t move me–I think it’s poor man’s spinach, and I can afford the good stuff. This chard at least was cooked with house cured pork belly, which could make cardboard taste good. In fact, I’d rather have cardboard and pork belly than chard.
“Flatbread” is just another way of saying “really skinny pizza, $15 please”. We own a pizza joint, why order it out? I don’t know, but that’s what Gail had. It was good enough that she brought the leftovers home for breakfast, and she’s generally opposed to that.
Now for the best part:
Gail knew the minute she saw the goat on the menu what I would be ordering. Revival offers a mixed grill, with a goat steak, a rib chop, and another cut that escapes me, along with a warm salad of bitter greens and lamb bacon.
I think that we have come so far from the farms of our ancestors that we have developed an unreasonable prejudice against goat, thinking it is tough, gamey and stringy. None of which is true–this meat was just like more flavorful and slightly less tender lamb. If I told you it was lamb you would believe me, and think it was particularly good. I ate every bite and loved it.
Service was a trifle erratic, and I thought the 2 hours dinner took was 30 minutes excessive for the number of courses. We were in a back room, which I appreciated because it was quieter; perhaps that explains the lengthiness of the meal.
The dessert card looked interesting, but I was full of goat and not about to dump ice cream willy-nilly on top of it.
Prices are reasonable but not cheap. We had a good time, thoroughly enjoyed the food and intend to go back. Maybe I can get Gail to try the goat, too.