What do you get when you combine a double-date with two foodies, two foodies-by association and restaurant week? Everything on the menu. That’s what. To mark the end of restaurant week, we ventured out to a restaurant not yet reviewed by neither I, nor Kate from Blueberry files blog. And while the tapas style of the restaurant gave way to having a bit of everything, here’s what I mostly had.

To settle and nibble, I had the Maine Board. Which carried pork sausage, cheddar cheese, pickles , roast garlic and toast points.

This was a very creative take on the already interesting cheese board. The bread was toasted to a thin crisp, making for a delicate and textured base for the surrounding elements. The sweet and slightly spicy sausage gave way to the sweet beets. The pliable cheddar cheese gave the impression that it was still very young, further confirmed by its buttery but still salty taste.

Honoroble mention to the Mixta. A dish of marinated un-pitted olives that were so fresh, I dreamed of them for the remainder of the weekend. I have been ruined for other olives.

To follow, I had the crispy pork belly with wheat berries, kale and pickled white beans.

How I have craved a truly crispy skin during my stay in Maine. And finally, I found it. Was it perfect? Perhaps too tough on the bite, but I appreciated that it lived up to its name. Also giving way to a fatty, rich cut of meat. I didn’t know what to make of the wheat berries but underlying flavors and subsequent textures brought memories of lentils. Without the earthiness. I was very pleased to see the lost art of cooked kale. The dish came together reminding me of my mother’s balanced diet meals of equal parts carbs, protein and vitamins.

To savor, was my favorite part of the meal. Thumb potatoes, herbed butter, crumbled blue cheese and pickled jalapeno.

Everything about this ensemble was perfect. From the crispy outside of the potatoes met with a fluffy inside, to the crumbly and aromatic bleu cheese. Which may make me reconsider my dislike for this otherwise chocolate-meets-nuts tasting  cheese. And finished off by the spice of the jalapenos which brought the entire dish together. Every element of the dish tasted good on its own, while coming together to form something greater than their individual parts.

To finish off, you guessed it, was a passion fruit panacotta.

Mason jar again. Now I don’t know whether to take away points for this, or to give some points back to Little tap house in my previous review. Only difference is that it did not seem like Sur-lie was going for a traditional pana cotta. This seemed to derive all its gelatin from the coconut-padan foam , if at all. And seemed to be just yorghut-like dairy. Cue the granola, which perhaps was the idea? But a great addition of crunch nonetheless. The passion fruit acidity cut through the already subtle sweetness. Overall I didn’t quite understand the dish. Then again, I was well into my third drink so take my review of this with a grain of salt.

Sur-lie demonstrates the epitome of fresh ingredients. Food that leaves the pallette feeling clean and unaltered. Serving portions were true to their name. Small, but enough for a four course sitting. The chefs do a good job of combining textures, and flavors with presentation and style. Disappointing to see, was that the restaurant week menu was similar to their regular menu. The interior of the restaurant, however, is small and missed the mark on character. The restaurant did not seem to have a defined ambiance. The spaces between tables felt rather small and as such would not be my first choice for an intimate date. Despite a lengthy wait to be seated and a mix-up at the bar, the dinner service thereafter was attentive, prompt and courteous. And very handy with the drinks too! Definitely a spot on choice for a nice outing with friends.

Food: 9.3

Ambiance: 7.8

Service: 8.9

Overall FAS rating: 8.7


Sur lie menu