dinner at terrapin: every bite a delight

after more than three years, i finally got a chance to return to terrapin restaurant in rhinebeck. i was introduced to it several years ago by my good friend E and it’s one of our favorite dining spots. we’ve been there a number of times and we’ve never had a bad meal. in fact we even learned something new during one visit. our server suggested that instead of the usual marinara sauce with the calamari, we should consider a buffalo wing sauce with a little bit of blue cheese.

i was up in dutchess county last weekend to see british comedian, actor and “executive transvestite” eddie izzard at the historic bardavon 1869 opera house in poughkeepsie with E and another friend, M. we went to terrapin, i think, with ideas on what we would order because we’d all consulted the menu beforehand, and yet it took more than 15 minutes after we’d been seated before we finally got to order because we kept changing our minds. too much goodness in one menu!

the building is a converted catholic church

this is one of the best dinners i’ve had in a good long while. unfortunately, the photos are not going to do the food justice. we were seated pretty much in the middle of the dining room and i didn’t want to disturb the other diners so i didn’t use flash. anyway, we picked items from the tapas menu for appetizers; these are just some of them (because the other photos didn’t come out too well). we also had a duck quesadilla wedge, sea scallop with lemon curd and seared foie gras with apple demi-glacé.

cheesy bread
grilled lamb chop with chimichurri
goat cheese filled wontons
macadamia-nut tempura calamari with pineapple sauce
for the main course, we all picked different dishes (so we could get a taste of everybody’s selection, of course!). M went with beef — natural beef braised short rib gratinée, which was slow-cooked in a rich beef and onion broth and served over yukon gold mashed potatoes topped with caramelized onions and melted gruyere crostini. 

E picked the maple-brined double-thick pork chop with calvados-apple demi-glacé and topped with crushed maple-bacon almonds and served with a sweet potato gratin on the side. i don’t know how they cooked it but this pork chop is nothing like any bite of pork chop i’ve ever had — it wasn’t dry; it was moist and tender and oh-so-flavorful.
i was rather predictable, sticking with what i usually order at terrapin (because they make it soooo well!): horseradish-crusted sushi-grade (raw) ahi tuna that was pan-seared and served with miso aioli and sautéed asian-flavored oyster mushrooms and bok choy.
terrapin also makes great dessert and i went with a triple chocolate mousse cake — rich mocha cake layered with dark and white chocolate mousse and topped with bourbon cherries. it was heaven in every bite.
M picked a warm molten center chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream that looked almost too cute to eat … not that that stopped M 😉
and E chose a lemon-blueberry chiffon — lemon cream cheese mousse with fresh blueberries, graham cracker crust and blueberry sauce.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Betis Boy says:

    wow. this post had me at the goat cheese friend wontons and the calamari with pineapple dipping sauce. i wonder how you ever got past the appetizer menu. i would have order from there…and then ordered two cups of rice. ha.ha. what a perfect way to die: of too much food, while inside a converted catholic church. ha.ha. off topic, did you know that churches are the most haunted of all places? but that's another story.


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