Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop




What I Ate: February 26, 2010 (Paggi House)

Posted 27 February, 2010 at 12:04am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Dinner: We managed to make our reservation for Paggi House (200 Lee Barton Dr, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 473-3700‎) this time. All in all, it was a so-so experience with none of the dishes completely satisfying.

Roasted Beet Carpaccio Baby Arugula, Goat Cheese Fondue, $8. The beets were sweet and clean tasting, but the arugula was dressed with something a little too acidic that pulled attention away from the smooth taste of the beets and mild pepperiness of the arugula. The white goat cheese liquid was pretty flavorless and didn't play well with the rest. It just didn't blend together.
Paggi House - Roasted Beet Carpaccio

Potato Leek Soup Crisp Potato, Creme Fraiche, $7. The first spoonful was decent, but as we had more and more, the soup seemed to become more and more bland. The sour creme fraiche helped a bit as long as we got a tiny amount (otherwise it was almost overwhelming). The potato garnish was the only truly flavorful part of this course.
Paggi House - Potato Leek Soup

Braised Pork Belly Cauliflower Puree, Cider Vinegar Gastric, $12. The pork belly was overcooked on one side (tough, chewy, and stringy) but tender and juicy on the other side. It was nicely browned though which was good since it was barely seasoned. A little more salt would have gone a long way. The cider vinegar gastric wouldn't have been overly sweet if the pork was a bit saltier.
Paggi House - Braised Pork Belly

Black Grouper Pan Roasted, Wild Mushrooms, Fines Herbs, Petite Green Beans, $29. The grouper was overcooked - fairly chewy and dry. It was also quite bland, like eating chicken breast.
Paggi House - Black Grouper

Seared Scallops Butternut Squash, Marcona Almonds, Brown Butter, $27. The scallops were properly cooked and nicely salted. Unfortunately, the rest of the stuff on the plate was quite sweet and didn't blend well with the scallops. There was also too muych butter on the plate - by the time I got to the last few bites, the butternut squash had almost completely mixed with the butter.
Paggi House - Seared Scallops

Callebaut Hot Chocolate & Truffles Nutmeg Whip Cream, $5. The truffles were fine - nothing special. The hot chocolate was pretty good.
Paggi House - Callebaut Hot Chocolate & Truffles

Chocolate Fondant Tangerine Curd, Ginger-Almond Biscotti, Malted Ice Cream, $7. The fondant had good texture - slightly grainy and not overly sweet. The tangerine curd worked well with the fondant and the ice cream, but was a little too sweet for Tina.
Paggi House - Chocolate Fondant

Overall, I don't have any real issues with our desserts.

The restaurant was nicely appointed - black tablecloths, clean simple wall paneling, and a rustic wood floor. The inside of the restaurant feels like your going out to somewhere special. (Only down side is the really small tables they give to the parties of two - not much space to place the food.) Unfortunately, the fine dining ends there: the patrons of the restaurant are loud and rowdy - more like a bar crowd than fine dining. Wait staff was friendly, but slow. After ordering, I scanned the wine list and decided to try an Italian white to go with our meal. We waited so long for our server to return that our salad arrived and I had to relinquish the wine menu to make space for the plate (and decided not to order the wine). We feel like the building isn't put to the best use - take Zoot's wait staff and kitchen and move them over to this location and you'll have a truly great location to go for special occasions.

Lunch: Tina made me a pastrami and corned beef sandwich.
Pastrami and Corned Beef Sandwich

5 comments to What I Ate: February 26, 2010 (Paggi House)

Michael Chu, February 27th, 2010 at 12:13 am:

  • Oh, I should mention that it was absurdly dark. We couldn't even tell what the little black things on our butter was (I think it was black salt) or the extend of the butter on the scallop plate (except through referring to the long exposure photograph. Both Tina and I stared at the pork belly and couldn't tell if it was all meat or marbled or what. It was just a dark brown blob. The only restaurant darker was Eddie V.

simba, February 27th, 2010 at 10:33 am:

  • Truluck's at Arboretum is the darkest restaurant I ever been to. The waiter gave us a flashlight to look at the menu.
    I have enjoyed reading your blog. What's your plan for Austin Restaurant Week?

Michael Chu, February 27th, 2010 at 11:44 am:

  • We're pretty busy during the two weeks of Austin Restaurant Week Spring 2010, so we're not going to hit as many as we did last Fall. I'm planning on Green Pastures on Tuesday, Fogo de Chao on Monday, and a return to the Driskill Grill on Wednesday.

Optimista, February 27th, 2010 at 9:02 pm:

  • Do you carry a tripod with you to dinner? I'm amazed that it seems like all of your photos look well-lit and never appear blurry or grainy.

    BTW, great to see you guys tonight!

Michael Chu, February 27th, 2010 at 9:45 pm:

  • Yep, I carry a table top tripod (a small Markins ball-head mounted on Manfrotto tabletop tripod legs). Photos at Paggi House were exposed about 8 sec. and additional brightness and contrast adjustments were made on computer.