23 July 2016
After a few more days travelling through Michigan — including a few more lacklustre meals (such as at Chartreuse back in Detroit) I decided not to chronicle here — I made my way further west. Unfortunately, no thanks to a faulty plane and bad weather, we arrived in Madison quite late, and to be greeted by foul weather. I wasn’t staying in Madison this night, as I planned to head further west into Iowa.
Sadly the weather deteriorated further — the curse of summer and this part of the country sometimes. I drove through a very nasty storm en route to Dubuque — which reminded me of a few years back when I drove through the deadly derecho from Chicago up to Madison. After a few stops I made it to my destination, Cedar Rapids. I later learned I had missed a tornado by about 90 minutes en route…yikes…
I chilled out in this interesting town before I headed to dinner at a place I had wanted to try for awhile now, Cobble Hill. I always love finding good restaurants in places people don’t associate with excellent food, such as Parlor Market in Jackson, Mississippi; Dovetail in Macon, Georgia; Rx in Wilmington, North Carolina; and of course Stages at One Washington in Dover, New Hampshire. Will I be adding this place to that list?
It’s a charming little place with live music near the bar on this busy weekend evening. I chilled out with a cocktail, relaxing after the difficult and long drive in a really shitty rented Prius (whoever designed this car must have been on shrooms…). I ordered a series of items and relaxed.
After a little time the first item arrived, shishito peppers.
Not bad at all, blistered just right. There were no spicy ones here (bad luck?) but it was a good snack to start — and to accompany the now-drained cocktail. Next up, some crudo.
It’s escolar. I know what you’re gonna say, and I even asked my server. They said the kitchen was very specific about portion size on this. If you’re wondering why, just do a search for “escolar oil” and you’ll see… But it was excellent. I love escolar, and it was just the right amount.
Happy with the meal so far, and I’ve stayed on cocktails but switched to wine for the main course — sturgeon.
Excellent! The fish, portions which were generous, was cooked perfectly. Full of flavour, the beets really added a nice touch to the overall taste. A really lovely dish! I am so enjoying this dinner I actually ordered dessert…
A tasting of peach, from fresh local peaches to a peach gelato. Fabulous end! I closed with a nice after-dinner drink and coffee before I sadly took my leave. This is a really good restaurant with excellent cocktails and fabulous cooking. Not overbearing, but bringing out the best of the key ingredients — which is what kitchens should do. Solid execution and solid planning. I see why people rave about this place and drive distances to eat here!
I headed out in the sunshine — odd after the horrible storms. Greeting me at my car was a bunny…
Oh, I really like this town…
219 2nd Street SE
Cecar Rapids, Iowa
* Don’t ask me why, but there’s a bar attached to my motel that is frequented by bikers, and I ended up drinking there all night…