After an amazing dining experience at Cucina Urbana, I felt a renewed vigor to check out some other places on my to-do list.  Searsucker is the creation of Brian Malarkey, former Top Chef contestant, and former executive chef of one of my favorite restaurants, Oceanaire.  So it was only a matter of time before BF and I paid it a visit.

Searsucker took over the space of the former Z Gallerie. While I never visited Z Gallerie, the restaurant does have more of a gallery/warehouse feel than it does a restaurant. The restaurant is hard to spot from the outside. We almost missed it when driving by, except for the little sign saying “valet parking for Searsucker”

Inside, the restaurant is quite spacious. I was surprised at how much space has been set aside for the waiting area and the bar. The actual dining space seems much more limited.

The interior was dimly lit. Mixed with the marble top tables and black paintings, I personally didn’t think the decor fit the mood Searsucker is trying to convey (fun, unbeat, innovative.) Instead I felt a little like I was dining in an open warehouse and I didn’t enjoy the low visibility.

Shortly after we were seated, we were served complimentary cheese puffs. I thought they were pretty tasty as a starter, but I wished they were a little warmer. BF loves these kinds of breads, so he enjoyed these more than me.

As we glanced over the menu, there were several small dishes we wanted to try as well as several entrees. After getting some recommendations from our waiter, we chose a few dishes to sample.

I read rave reviews about the duck fat fries on yelp, so I ordered them. Duck fat fries sounds so wrong, but they taste so amazing. They were by far, some of the best fries I’ve ever tasted. The fries were very crispy on the outside and topped with some crunchy, crumbly mix of cheese and something else.  I couldn’t stop eating these and would definitely order them again.

Mushrooms, truffles and burrata.  I’ve been on a serious truffle oil craving lately, so when I saw mushrooms and truffles, I had to get it. I love the taste of mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil. However, these may be the first truffle oiled mushrooms that I didn’t enjoy. I felt like the truffle flavor was too weak. And the cheese made the dish too salty.

When we spied the crab cake on the menu, we had to order it to compare it with the legendary crab cakes of Oceanaire. The crab cake is served “carb free,” meaning no bread crumbs.

I liked the presentation of the crab cake. The taste was similar to the crabcakes served at Oceanaire, but not as spectacular.  The fact that BF and I were letting each other have the last bite rather than fighting for it, was a sign that these simply didn’t dazzle us as much. The crab cake here was served lukewarm rather than steaming hot like they are at Oceanaire. Also, I believe the Oceanaire uses something else to loosely hold it’s crabcakes together and I missed that taste in this crabcake. Finally, it was missing the buttermilk sauce at Oceanaire that I think compliments their crabcakes so well.

For my main entree I chose scallops with figs and foie gras. I normally don’t like to order scallops when I go out because I always feel like three or four scallops really isn’t an entree sized portion. However, I was enchanted by the idea of foie gras and I love figs.

My entree consisted of three scallops. The scallops were served rare, so that they had a firm rather than chewy texture. Served this way, they also had a sweetness to them.

I was really disappointed by the foie gras, which was grilled, dry and very flavorless.

BF ordered the tuna albacore. Little medallions of tuna were seared and served with some balsamic vinegar and basil.

We left our dinner pretty disappointed. We loved Brian Malarkey at Oceanaire, but his new menu and restaurant failed to impress us.
Searsucker on Urbanspoon

   

6 Responses to “Searsucker”

  1. Rosa — November 30, 2010 at 8:57 am

    This makes me sad. I was a fan of Brian while he was on the show but I never got to try Oceanaire and have been wanting to check out Searsucker to see if his food really was as yummy as it looked and sounded on the show. Maybe the kitchen was just having a bad night… =/

    • Kirbie replied: — November 30th, 2010 @ 9:51 am

      I think the dishes were too inconsistent. Some stuff was good, some stuff was bad. Overall, it ended up not being a great experience. I’ve actually heard pretty mixed reviews about Searsucker, so I’m not sure if this was an off night. Oh well.

  2. Faye — November 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

    We JUST went there the other night but for drinks. It was SOOO packed on a Fri night which made it almost unbearable to be there. The place did look cool and ‘happening’. But yeah, i heard the food was so-so. Your pics of the food look so impressive thou! Do they have happy hour – maybe it’s worth another shot if the food is more affordable and the place was less crowded. The fries look yummy!

    • Kirbie replied: — November 30th, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

      I don’t think they have a happy hour. If you do go back, you should get the fries. I was pretty frustrated taking pictures because it was so dark so my pictures aren’t as clear as I’d like. Oh well. i thought the food in general was overpriced though.

  3. The Cilantropist — December 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Awe, I am sad to hear you were disappointed by this restaurant bc it has been on my ‘to visit’ list for awhile too! I would definitely love to try those fries you had, but everything else sounded not worth the effort (and $). Boo.

    • Kirbie replied: — December 1st, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

      I was sad too. I had high hopes for the place.

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