Preview: Fiddlehead Cafe | Bleader

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Preview: Fiddlehead Cafe

Posted By on 11.16.06 at 01:44 PM

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The Square Kitchen in Lincoln Square has morphed into the somewhat more upscale Fiddlehead Cafe. The place is still finding its legs, so we haven't sent a reviewer to check it out yet, but here's what Patrick Brown, one of more than 2,000 volunteer Reader Restaurant Raters, has to say about a recent visit:

"The Square Kitchen mix'n'match concept is gone, the menu has changed drastically and the decor has been stripped (I assume they'll decorate the place soon--it's quite drab right now). The menu is sort of Franco-Cal bistro (for example, "steak frites" comprises skirt steak served with three fries: white potato, sweet potato and polenta). The wine list is well-chosen and reasonably broad in varieties and price points.

We started with a roasted beet salad; it was OK, but sort of matter-of-fact. A (very thin) grilled swordfish entree served with roasted brussels sprouts and red onion was also OK (the flavor balance was off a bit--the onions took charge). My companion had a roasted whitefish entree with cider-dijon jus; she liked it, I thought the flavors were a bit off. Dessert was outrageous: a very intense flourless chocolate cake served with cinnamon ice cream; the texture of the cake was quite coarse and the flavor was superb (and it was presented simply and dramatically). Coffee was a good fresh dark roast. Our server was welcoming and cordial; the bussers were a little too eager to clear the table, especially since the place was essentially empty early on a Saturday evening.

Though I am in mourning for Square Kitchen, I will say that Fiddlehead has promise: there are appealing appetizers and a few intriguing entrees. With some decor and a little more attention to the cooking, this could be a good place in its own right."

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