Apparently Valentine’s day “snuck up” on us this year, or should I say snuck up on a certain husband of mine ;) When the topic of dinner on the 14th came up the week before, I knew our top choices of restaurants would have to be put on the back burner unless we wanted to eat at 9:30pm…no thanks.
So on Feb 11th I just decided to check out my options on Open Table! I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a 6:30pm reservation open at Catalyst! I was sure I had checked there a few days earlier with no such luck. It was our best option at the time, and so I booked it!
I usually like to try new places, since my list of “to try” restaurants is ever growing, but I knew Catalyst had great food and would provide an inviting atmosphere with it’s modern decor and cozy fireplace and open kitchen.
The other time I had eaten here was for a blogger dinner not long after it opened. I was looking forward to a different kind of experience as a table of 2, and was excited to try out a cocktail as I skipped on the drinks last time.
Generally, I try to avoid places with prix fix menus and did not see this on the website when I made the reservation…good thing too, because I would have missed an INCREDIBLE dinner.
When we arrived, things got off to a great start when, instead of being seated in the big open dining room where I sat for the blogger dinner, we were escorted to the other side. Behind a long fireplace built into a partition wall, was 4 tables of 2 with bigger comfy fabric chairs…and they were nicely spaced so you didn’t feel like you were sitting with your neighbor.
It was also nice to keep warm from the fire place.
I knew I wanted to try “The Undecided” off the cocktail menu. This is bartenders choice; you just tell them what you like and don’t like. I said I liked NOT sweet, citrusy, and tart.
This was gin, lemon juice, and a French aperitif called Lillet. I had never heard of Lillet before, but I LOVED this cocktail and now am on a mission to find it. It was just what I asked for. The fresh lemon flavor came through, it was not sweet at all, and I could barely taste the alcohol. I had no trouble finishing it. (I’m notorious for ordering a “fun” cocktail and leaving half in the glass)
On to the food.
We had 4 courses…an appetizer, pasta course, main, and dessert.
For the appetizer I went with the Warm Lobster Strudel, Braised Leek, Tarragon, Herb Salad…
while Brian ordered the Arugula Salad, Asian Pear, Candied Walnuts, Berkshire Blue Cheese, Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette
The salad was crisp and refreshing with a bite to the mustard vinaigrette, but WOW, the lobster strudel!! Warm, flaky, filled with warm lobster filling…melt in your mouth delicious. Don’t worry, we went “halvsies” on the appetizers.
I was looking forward to the pasta course as I remember the pasta as being my favorite from the blogger dinner…they were all stand out dishes.
There were 2 options and we got 1 of each.
I got the Mushroom Ravioli, Roasted Oyster Mushrooms, Parmesan.
I had this at the blogger dinner, but it was good enough to order again!
Brian had the Goat Cheese Tortellini, Braised Brisket, Smoked Paprika-Almond Crumble
We shared. Both were outstanding…this place does some amazing pasta dishes!
For my entree I ordered the Roasted Blue Cod, Bacon, Olive Oil Crushed Potato, Chowder Nage
I had to ask what “Chowder Nage” was and I was told it was a lighter version of a clam chowder which the Cod is served in. Our waitress said it was delicious and one of their best dishes…sold
I could have just eaten a big bowl of that chowder you see surrounding the Cod…it really was light, delicate, but so so flavorful and I loved the big whole clams. The Cod was tender and cooked beautifully. I did everything but lick my bowl clean.
Since I had finished my cocktail, I decided to order the wine that my entree paired with.
I also loved the wine and finished it!! (hey this is unheard of for me…a cocktail AND wine)
Brian chose the Braised Kurobuta Pork Shank, Caramelized Apples, Herb Spaetzle
I had a few bites. Incredibly flavorful with some great textures from the meat and the spaetzle.
Lastly it was dessert time. The Butterscotch and Passion Fruit Pudding with Warm Pound Cake Croutons was on the menu and I decided one of us HAD to order it as it was my favorite dessert from the blogger dinner!!
Brian took care of it…
Those pound cake croutons? Yeah, deep fried. So good.
I opted for the Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Toasted Marshmallow, Peanut Brittle.
I mean you can’t go wrong with salted caramel anything right!?
As good as they were, we couldn’t finish either dessert…so full!!
I’m SO happy that we ended up at Catalyst! I couldn't stop raving about how good my meal was while we were eating it. We had a fantastic date night out!
Aside from the delicious food, flowers, and candy…my other favorite part of Valentine’s day is wearing PINK! And lots of it!
So glad “color blocking” makes it okay for me to rock hot pink AND bright red!
- pink dress – Old Navy
- gold belt – was my grandmothers
- red cardigan – Banana Republic
- purple/pink paisley scarf – Banana Republic
- grey tights – DKNY @ Nordstrom
- grey/yellow/gold t-strap heels – Seychelles
And to think we almost said “screw it” to going out on V-day. I realized we hadn’t had a nice dinner out like this since our trip to CA in November! Reminds me that we need more date nights out!
Prix Fix Menu’s…love or hate? How often to you get out for nice dinners with your significant other or good friends??