Monday, August 17, 2009

Clay Pit

I could have sworn I had written about one of my favorite places before, but scanning the history of my own blog, it appears not. Whooops! So the Clay Pit has been around for at least 10 years, making it almost as historic as the building it occupies! It's in a beautiful old stone (limestone?) building, an old trading post & general store that dates back to the 1850s. And apparently haunted, but that's another issue.

My friend and I had a 7 pm reservation for Friday night. We were greeted promptly and immediately escorted to our table. On the walk back to the table I noticed that CP doesn't have any 2-tops. The majority of the diners that were already seated were parties of two, all sitting at tables for four. Kind of nice they don't cram us into smaller tables!

I ordered a glass of Hogue Gewertztraminer and my constant downfall, the Khuroos-e-Tursh; my friend ordered a cocktail, the Tikka Masala, and some veggie samosas and garlic naan to split. A another waiter brought the drinks, and inquired "Hogue Fume Blanc?" I said I had ordered the Gewurtz. He apologized, and disappeared. Our first waitress came back and said something to the effect of "I see you got your drinks" to which I replied he had brought the wrong one. With a touch of annoyance, she said, "Well I TOLD him the Hogue Geturz. He must of misunderstood." She didn't exactly apologize, and that set her tone for the rest of the evening. More on the service in a sec.

She had brought pappadums, a thin, crisp cracker-bread that are toasted in a skillet. There was already a dish on the table with two condiments, tamarind sauce, and a green cilantro-y one. I love the tamarind, and it went really nicely with the samosas, which were fried to perfection, not greasy, and still hot. They had a mashed potato filling with green peas and some spices. Very mild in flavor, but complimented nicely by the tangy tamarind. Our main dishes came soon after. One of my "problems" with CP is that I am totally addicted to the sauce that comes with the Khuroos. It's chicken stuffed with spinach in a luscious creamy almond & cashew sauce, with a bit of spice to it, and I could eat the sauce all day long. So my problem is since I don't eat there very often, I almost always have to get that dish, and therefore I don't know the other menu items well at all. But I have always had great luck with the dish, and have turned many other people onto it. This time, I asked for a little extra sauce to go with it, knowing that I would take it home a cook a piece of chicken up the next night for dinner. (Dinner the next night was lovely! Leftover sauce, basmati rice & naan!) The waitress mentioned that it's the korma sauce, which never occurred to me, and now maybe that will make it slightly easier to find a recipe to make it. I've searched for a khuroos recipe before to no luck, and have come "this close" to writing to Bon Appetit or Gourmet, and asking them to get the recipe. Heaven! My friend's tikka was good too, but sorry, nothing compares to my sauce!

The food was great. No issues. It was our server who was just brusque/brisk most of the evening. Maybe she felt the need to turn the table quickly to increase her personal revenue, but definitely not a real gracious host. I will of course, continue to go back, just maybe not on a Friday night. And looking at the fairly pathetic picture my cell phone takes, I am resolving to carry my camera more!

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