Sunday, November 23, 2008


Wade's Take:

Tradition was broken when we sat down at this latest spot. What’s our vow? Never to eat at a place where any of us dined before. Well, we had ALL been to 2201 Spruce Street once before, when the place had been the pretentious and tasty Melograno (see our thorough blog entry on the joint here). But truly, it wasn’t a rule breaker. It was a new restaurant we were dining at on 2201 Spruce Street… Meme.

Meme is at a corner spot with close tables of open-grain wood, awesome hipster lights and a snug, intimate feel. You feel like you’re in a neighborhood bistro from the get-go. This intimacy was even reflected in the smells of the place. As the stoves roared and crisped the foods all night, we had smell-o-vision of the whole ordeal, we were that close. Even the music made it feel like we were in a friend’s kitchen. With a great soundtrack of 80’s beats, Meme is beyond that blasted ambient/trance music that haunts most restaurants and makes you feel like you should be wearing a black turtleneck and dancing like Sprockets.

Okay, enough about the scene. The food is what matters.

Well, it was outstanding.

I began with a small plate of shrimp with etouffee and toast. Great combo, great flavor. The shrimp (head and all), were atop the orange sauce with chunks of green pepper and a slight Caribbean flair. It worked.

Then I went with my old favorite order… duck. It came out as tender sliced duck breast, with red beets, pearl onions and a port sauce… layered on spinach. Fantastic. The duck was the most perfectly done duck I’ve ever had… soft and red enough to have its savory duck-ness intact. The spinach was phenomenal… still tasting fresh, and mellowing the tart beets and intense duck. I don’t think I took breaths in between bites, I was trance-like in my enjoyment of this dish.

We topped the night off with two cheeses and a pot de crème. The pot de crème was actually that… served in a small pot. The espresso in it was superb and the creaminess of the dessert flowed over my tongue with great delight. It had a hat of a zest orange sauce… unnecessary.

The Pierre Robert was an incredible cheese until someone made me realize it may be in fact named after the WMMR DJ. Then I suddenly thought it tasted like socks for a minute, and then quickly got over it and re-realized it was in fact a tasty cheese (it’s actually a decadent, cave-aged triple-crème style cheese from France, I found out later). The Roaring 40s was a blue cheese from Australia, made with cow’s milk and aged in wax. It was definitely the best blue I’ve ever had – mild and the perfect last bite at Meme.

I can’t believe I’m doing this…. Maybe it was the flowing wine, the cozy atmosphere or the distinguished dishes, but:

Four out of four, I say!

NEWSFLASH: My two fellow PFBs have been selected to dine at Talula’s Table. Sacre bleu… this is big stuff. I implore them both to write about the experience and grace PFB with their descriptions of the sure to be tantalizing feast.

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