It's here! Gilt's new Spring menu is up and cooking, this time with a new dynamic. For $50, you get a full five course meal. Looking for a lighter meal or a few plates to share with a friend over drinks? They've got you covered there, too. For $35, you get 3 courses. I stopped in last night for my usual solitary feast; five dishes that reminded me the gloom of Portland winter is at last behind me.
The burrata and the vegetable pave were the first to arrive. Gilt's burrata is always made in house and is always one of my favorites. An envelope of mozzarella enclosing a soft center of softer cheese and cream. It was perfect all on its own, no crackers needed. I was a little apprehensive about the english pea puree at first (it is frozen!), but with my first bite decided that it was a perfect match. The sweetness of the english peas shines in this dish, enhanced by just a touch of Saba in the plate. No surprise there. I was, however, astonished at the extra dimension of texture added by the coarsness of the frozen puree against the creaminess of the mozzarella. Awesome.
The pave was a mishmash of every spring vegetable under the sun, with the fennel and zucchini really standing out. Here the flavor was bright, with a great al dente quality coming from the thin layers of zucchini. This dish eats like a garden-style lasagna.
For a little intermezzo, I decided on the shaved beet and grapefuit salad. Holy hell. I could have eaten at least three of these (and would have, if it weren't for the other dishes already being prepared for me.) A simple creme fraiche lined the plate, with stacks of thinly sliced beet, grapefruit, and watermelon radish built upon it. A touch of fresh dill finished. So simple, but all the flavors worked perfectly together. As I took my first few bites, the juice from the grapefruit began to mix with the creme fraiche, turning it into a sweet and slightly tangy 'sauce'. The fresh dill, not overdone, left a lingering taste that complimented the earth and sweet that came before it.
Next came the nettle gnudi with rabbit. The gnuddi itself was a perfect texture. Made with a base of housemade ricotta and nettles, there was still a nice sharpness of flavor brought about by pecorino. The rabbit sugo was light enough to let the flavor of the nettle come through, while giving the dish just a touch of salt. Finishing up the dish was a sausage of pork and rabbit wrapped in a strip of rabbit saddle. Again, perfection. It reminded me that rabbits must indeed be God's joke: so cute, yet so delicious.
Rounding out the meal was the halibut. I am not normally that huge a fan of poached filets, but here the almond milk lent its flavor over to the halibut wonderfully. The almod milk is made in house too, the almonds being soaked in water for an average of 36 hours before being ground and strained. The poach was spot on, as in addition to a light almond flavor, the milk lent a bit of fat to the filet, allowing it to balance perfectly with the delicate garlic puree.
Choice of any 3 courses for $34
Choice of any 5 items for for $50
[All items available à la carte]
Corn meal fried oysters with tarragon aioli 10
Pig head mortadella, house made mustard and pickles 9
Burrata, peas, Saba, and pine oil 12
Chicken liver toast with shejime mushrooms, Pedro Ximena vinegar, and chives 9
Manilla clams, preserved Meyer lemon, parsley butter, and pastis 10
Snake river farms beef tartar, bread crisps and mustards 11
Asparagus, elderflower vinegar, fourme d'ambert, pinenuts 11
Shaved beet salad, grapefruit, creme fraiche, dill 9
Vegetable pave, walnut pesto, parsley jus 12
Nettle gnudi, mushrooms, rabbit sugo and rabbit saddle 14
Squid ink chittara pasta, nduja, Calabrian chiles 10
Pea tenders, pork belly, slow cooked egg, twenty three flavors gastrique 10
Draper Valley ½ roasted chicken, schmaltz roasted potatoes, turnips, consommé 15
Almond milk poached halibut, spring vegetable ragout, chili oil, garlic purée 16
Grilled hangar steak, black garlic, oyster cream, asparagus, fried oysters 16