I had planned a fairly lengthy review of the Starving Artist Cafe, and sat down a few minutes ago (after spending my morning with yoga and walking and wow now my legs hurt) to work on the photos only to discover that the above photo is the only one that came out well at all.
I suppose I wasn't paying a ton of attention when I took photos on Saturday.
So I'll leave you with this: We shared a warm baked-brie appetizer. It was topped with crushed almonds and served alongside Granny Smith apple slices, crackers, fresh strawberries, and a fig-and-apple jam. It was delicious and just the perfect warm starter-food.
Jason had the smoked trout salad for his meal, with a Yuengling beer alongside. Mixed greens, smoked trout, nice big cuts of tomato, walnuts, a good dressing, and a sweet croissant served with it. He really liked the salad and said there were a lot of 'palate cleansers' in it, which meant you never really felt overwhelmed by it or anything. Smoked meat can really overwhelm a dish, so that's definitely peaked my interest for the future.
I had a linguini pasta dish that had calamari, pancetta, garlic, olive oil and was served with an amazing broth in a bowl. It was definitely one of the best pasta dishes I've ever eaten. I love anything seafood, and I especially love squid, but it can be hard to find places that cook it well.
The cafe definitely did; it wasn't rubbery, but tender and the taste wasn't overpowering at all. The pancetta definitely worked well with the dish and wasn't too salty. I had the house Sauvignon Blanc with it.
Our server was super nice and friendly, and we actually ended up chatting with her for quite a while after our dinner was over. There was a musician setting up in the corner for live music.
It was a combination restaurant and art gallery, so it is very relevant to my interests. Unfortunately, the gallery part closed before we came in, but there are paintings all over the walls in the restaurant side too, so we were not hurting for pretty and interesting things to look at. Add to that, the booths and tables are well-spaced.
There are too many restaurants where I feel like, no matter how good the food is, I'm rushed to leave before I'm really ready because my elbow is bumping the shoulder of the people at the table next to us. In a lot of places, things are smushed too tightly so that they can fit in more tables. I did not have that feeling here - the restaurant has plenty of space, and if you just want to grab a pastry on the way to work, they have a counter you can head over to as well if you're not looking to sit down.
I took a lunch menu and a business card - this definitely seems like a great place to call ahead and then run and pick up some food on my lunch break for work. I am big on patronizing local places; I may love chain restaurants like Chili's when I'm in the mood for definite comfort-food-with-no-surprises, but I want small businesses to succeed and if I can find one that really works, I feel good putting my money there.
Sorry for the lack of photos... my local friends and family will just have to go try it out for themselves, I suppose.
Today promises to be a lazy day, now that I've accomplished my exercise goal for the day. I just need to work on dishes, run out and grab some sandwich stuff for our work-lunches for the week, and read.
Hoping to make mussels in white wine broth for dinner tonight.
It's time to make friends with some coffee.