Another Perfect 10—Plus Two
With an emphasis on local, Twelves Grill delivers great food—just what one would expect with this chef’s pedigree.
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A meaty pork chop was divinely tender. Airy whipped sweet potatoes were such a treat, I could have had them for dessert. And I was in awe of the baby Brussels sprouts, presented like jade-green gems on a pillow of orange potatoes. A scattering of golden raisins cooked in apple cider was a nice cold weather touch.
Parmesan-laced butter spilled over a thick flat iron steak, which was served atop porcini mushrooms accented with a touch of balsamic vinegar. I admire anyone who can use balsamic with restraint, who lets the distinct yet mellow flavor accent rather than overwhelm the dish. And that was the case at Twelves. Though we ordered the steak medium-rare, it came bloody. My dining companion, however, wouldn’t part with it long enough to let the kitchen rectify the problem. It was that good.
The 8-ounce burger also came pinker than we would have liked, but there was no mistaking the quality of the grass-fed beef. The fixings—tomato, red onion and lettuce—were prettily scattered across the plate so you could assemble then however you wished. I loved the hot hand-cut bistro fries, and the crisp local bacon was a treat in itself.
But bacon turned Swiss chard into a salt lick. Fortunately, the stars on the plate—four day boat scallops—were unaffected. Shining on a background of honey-brown butter, the bronzed medallions were cooked perfectly.
In contrast, the Parmesan-panko-crusted chicken was under-seasoned, despite the piquant capers. The chicken itself, however, was right on the mark, moist and fresh.
Every dish was a vivid contrast of colors on gleaming alabaster plates. Even ketchup came in a tiny white dish. A latte demonstrated why the specialty coffee trend started. A swirl of brown and white foam, sprinkled with cinnamon, gave me a mustache I was happy to wear.
Three of the specialty coffees—apple pie latte, caramel apple latte and candy apple latte—were unavailable because the restaurant was out of the apple flavoring. A disappointed dining partner opted instead for cinnamon toast, made with vanilla tea, steamed milk and cinnamon syrup.
Twelves offers decent house-made ice cream. Wedges of grilled brown sugar pound cake, accompanied by thinly sliced Bartlett pears and crème Anglaise, made more of an impression.
So what is up with the restaurant’s name? Tim and Kristen Smith’s first date was on November 12, 1999. They married on November 12, 2004. Tim was born on a January 12, and Kristen was born on a February 12.
When it comes to BYO restaurants that showcase local fare, I give this one very high fives.
Page 3: But Cereally, Folks