Monday, September 12, 2011

Satchel's on 6th (Country Club North)

When it comes to a mantra- I live by a rather simple code. Do what you have to do every day- but when you take time to decompress, indulge. Thankfully, there has been a recent influx of fine eateries that can assist in fulfilling this simple mission, and ultimately surprise one who walks in their doors; each as unique as the next, with a different palette of flavors and design.

On a recent Saturday night we had plans to get together with one of our particularly eclectic group of friends- and though we all have a strong common thread, from the surface one might be left guessing. Deep roots and an appreciation of fine food always bring us together, and ultimately left smiling and satisfied. Humbly, I was charged with the choice of venue- and after deliberating over a short list, I opted for Satchel's on 6th: a somewhat 'new' neighborhood joint that has kept me waiting... and waiting.
I had missed out on a few opportunities to join them at their previous location either due to private events or elusive operating hours. In short, this one was quite some time in the making.

We were the last to arrive for a 7pm reservation- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Our friends were able to get comfortable and satiated with a few drinks from the bar, and then take a very short walk to our table. An otherwise simple layout, Satchel's consists merely of a prominent u-shaped bar, surrounded by an array of four-top tables, and simple lighting. Unassuming in nature, the decor is merely old-school brick walls, with a number of incandescent fixtures scattered about. And though there's no artwork or additional decor, one is forced to enjoy the elementary nature of the meal- that being the cuisine, and the company.

Always a sucker for a well-rounded experience and an affordable prix fixe menu, Satchel's offering of 4 courses for $40 made a lot of sense after the local CFO crunched some numbers. So with a little help from attentive and well-timed service, we whetted our appetites with a bottle and some small plates:

House-cured Rosemary Olives with flatbread - a tangy,
refreshing palate punch to start the meal

Satchel's Truffled Popcorn- which I've noticed
has become some sort of a dining fad of late...

A fine selection of well-picked Kumamoto Oysters - with an
intoxicating and tangy melon gastrique

Asparagus Salad with poached egg and sheep's milk Ricotta - ultimately dressed in what was a tangy, well-balanced vinaigrette. In short, a VERY nice dish that I would eat again and again. 
An otherwise social experience, we found ourselves very casually pleased in the experience and the constant flow of simplistic but powerful cuisine. In terms of a top-to-bottom conceptual integration, Satchel's is a book with a very simple cover and captivating pages within. Even as each dish hit the table in an otherwise basic presentation, the flavor and textural combinations surprised us in an endless fashion.

Once again a very simple, yet enjoyable dish. Fava bean ravioli with oyster mushrooms, parmesan, tarragon aioli, and fresh greens. Earthy, with appropriate highlights that accentuated the natural flavors of the dish.

Prince Edward Island Mussels in a creamy, white wine broth. Though Jess objected to the
broth composition, the mussels were top-notch, tender and juicy.
Tender and juicy pan-seared steak, adorned with crisp-fried calamari and
arugula, balanced with a fresh, acidic complement of Chimichurri sauce
As the meal carried on, we noticed that not only had we taken advantage of a wide variety of dishes, but in essence we were not left overindulged. Ready for some palate cleansing desserts, we took advantage of a fine spread.

A nice selection of artisan cheeses with appropriate accompaniments

Lemon Ice Cream Pie with blueberry compote
Amazingly still able to walk after 4 courses of great eats, I realized that aside from delivering on their slogan of 'a nice place to eat and drink', what Satchel's offers is balance. Unique and complementary flavors, attentive service, and in general a comfortable and non-pretentious concept resonates with me. I want to be a regular at this place. I want to indulge in the creativity and elementary focus that pull the simplest nuances from the ingredients and make them pop. Simply put, Satchel's teaches me to not judge a book by its cover but rather to just start reading. And call me when you're done, because you won't be able to put it down.

Dish It Up!

Rating: Very Good (2.5 dishes out of 4)

Check out Sunday brunch
Join them for a Shift Meal: Wednesdays 9-10pm
Avg Entree: $20
Park on the street- easy enough
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