Dinner in Missoula

Wow. Oh, wow. Tim finally got a meal in which every course fully lived up to it’s potential. So far this trip, I’ve had some lovely dishes, but somehow my meal was never quite all I hoped. That changed tonight, at Pearl.

For starters, Pearl has a lot of wines available by the half bottle. (By the glass, too) Half bottles are great if you want a white with your soup and salad, but a red with your main course. That’s what we did tonight: Ecole 41 Chardonnay with the crab cakes and asparagus soup, McRae Syrah from Yakima with the duck and lamb. Both Washington wines were well matched to our food.

Someone at this restaurant is thinking. Our crab cakes -we shared a pair- were served with a side of slaw that provided crispy bites to go with the smooth texture of the crab. Our asparagus soup, which was quite praise-worthy on it’s own merits, came in a hot bowl, with a hot spoon. Compare that to yesterday’s tepid effort.

Caroline was torn between the halibut (she’s been on a roll) and the duck. She chose the duck, and maybe she should have thrown the halibut dice one more time. It was good, but while she was in the mood for the confit of leg, she didn’t enjoy the seared breast as much. I had little slices of lamb loin on a bed of ravioli stuffed with ricotta and chard. Very nice indeed. For dessert, we had almond pound cake with cherries, and creme anglais. Interestingly, the cake was quite white, but very tasty, and the cherries were on the side.

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