Friday, April 13, 2012
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Considering that I called Hoboken my home during my last few years in the City, I thought it was appropriate to start off my birthday weekend eating in one of Hoboken's classic restaurant bars. The Brass Rail is slightly more elevated than your average pub but not by much. There is still the big bar top, the flat screen TVs and the waitresses in tight fitting outfits but the food is purported to be a bit better. I've heard that the brunch, especially, is something worth trying.
Hence, I went there for dinner with two of my closest friends. The best thing I think I had for dinner was the beer. I ordered the Ayinger Brau-Weisse which is a traditional wheat beer served with a lemon. It came in a big half foot tall glass and had notes of sweetness with a murky color like you'd find in any good german wheat. The food, however, didn't live up to the beer. Additionally, I tried to snap some pics of the food but the restaurant (top floor) was especially dark, so much so that I had to hold my cell phone up to the menu when ordering.
For starters, we tried the Lobster Mac & Cheese with Black Truffle Butter. The truffle butter unfortunately, overwhelmed the flavors in the dish, enough so that you could barely find the lobster flavor. The cheesiness that you so crave in Mac & Cheese was missing and if shell pasta was slightly overcooked.
My choices for an entree were between the Roasted French Cut Duck Breast or the Pan Seared Day Boat Diver Scallops. Upon the recommendation of the waitress, I choose the scallops. The scallops had an intricate array of ingredients from a dusting of chili pepper on the scallops to roasted mushrooms, black beans & tomatoes, ancho pepper sauce and an avocado puree. I have to admit that I missed the mushrooms and avocado puree. What I did see was a bunch of scallops dusted with chili powder on top of some tortilla wrappers underneath the scallops with sauces drizzled all of them. On top of the scallops, however, was a mountain of leafy greens (mostly italian parsley I thought) which covered everything so thickly and thoroughly that you could almost call it a salad. the spiciness of the sauces were really done well but the scallops themselves were probably over-dusted with chili powder and slightly overcooked. Though they claimed the scallops were tacos, the tortillas were just awkward on the plate and you ended up just slicing them up and eating them with the scallops.
For dessert, I tried the Apple Crumb Cake with Vanilla Ice cream. The cake came out cold and should be served slightly warm so that the ice cream could melt a touch and melt into the pastry. This just felt like it was store bought, placed on a plate, and then ladled over with ice cream.
I will say, however, is that we didn't go to this place for the food. This was just an instance of friends wanting to get together and enjoy telling old war stories. This was accomplished quite well tonight and it was a great night to kick off further birthday celebration this weekend. In the future, we should really find a much better spot in Hoboken or maybe not even eat in Hoboken at all.