Remain Calm and Apothecary On
After 5 years, the Burnet Road oenophile hotspot ups its game
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
5:45PM, Wed. Feb. 26, 2014
Well, maybe not ups its game, exactly.
Because it would've been in the neighborhood of impossible to up that already-fine culinary game of theirs, actually. But, certainly, the Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar has changed its game, its menu, a bit. And now I return from a recent tasting soirée with some nom-based palaver for you, O Chronicle-reading gourmand.
First, the bad news: Those migas are gone from the brunch menu.
And when I say "those migas," I mean those migas that were like all the rest of the world was eating migas made for the common people but the brunch patrons at Apothecary were feasting on migas created for royalty. Like maybe, I don't know, even The King in Yellow would be lucky to ingest such eggy goodness? Yes, those migas: Gone, baby, gone.
What you might want to try instead – what I'm recommending, here – is their waffle-and-quail combo: A perfect liege waffle, set next to a thick smear of grits, drizzled with maple & agave syrup, topped with roasted quail upon which sits a sunnysideup quail egg. That golden-yellow orb of tiny egg is all like "Here's lookin' at you, kid" from the plate on which it's served, and it's one excellent item to break your fast on. Behold: The photo accompanying this very post.
Apothecary being Apothecary – and Chef Albert Gonzalez being a man who will, it seems, push gastronomical envelopes to wherever adventurous and rewarding taste is to be found – it's not surprising that the addition of breakfast tacos to their menu is represented by a combination of wild boar, eggs, and vegetable escabeche wrapped in a duck-fat-suffused tortilla. About which I'll merely say yum and give it a still-happily-chewing thumbs-up.
Briefly into the dinner side of things, here, and I want to be sure to mention the short-rib wonders that Gonzalez works via 36 – He did say 36, right? – via 36 hours of sous-viding those pork ribs into tender delicacies and providing them an accompaniment of parsnip purée and cipollini and who knows what other surprises may occur. Precede that with one of the cheese plates the cafe arranges with a selection from Antonelli's and you've got yourself a full belly and taste buds that are weeping in pleasure.
(Did I mention the scallops? With a bit of Meyer Lemon gremolata? Consider yourself apprised.)
Oh, hey: Beverages. You know … it's sad that this reporter is no wine-lover, because the whole oenophilia thing is one of the main drinky concerns of Apothecary. On the other hand, since I actively dislike most wine, especially the drier wines that result in an instant oral sensation like one has developed cotton-mouth without having toked too long on one's roommate's disastrous skunkweed … because of that, how pleasant to discover a sweet wine, this newish German type [Note: Gessinger Kabinett Riesling, 2011], that's the closest to mead I've ever tasted, although no honey was involved in its making.
(Also, you like coffee? Get you a French press of what they serve. You won't be disappointed.)
So, yes: Sorry you missed those migas, friend.
But there's still much – and much new – to enjoy at Apothecary.