Sitka & Spruce: gourmet mezze on an industrial community table
Sitka and Spruce is located at the very end of Melrose Market, a small urban market.
The design reminds more of the industrial touch of some NYC neighborhoods with its red and white bricks and the wooden furniture.
The dining experience follows the path of what I call 'modern American cuisine', a cuisine influenced by the middle-eastern idea of sharing small and medium sized plates combining few refined ingredients (often including proteins) and often resulting in very pleasant and playful tastes.
I strongly recommend you to book in advance as the number of seats is limited and you should try to get your spot on the long community table next to the open kitchen o fully enjoy the experience.
The not too long wine menu is eye catching for its interesting selection of vineyards - especially the ones from France and Italy - that will make you consider the option of an improvised wine pairing.
As I said earlier, there is always something to discover in this kind of restaurants, either in the combination of flavors or in the 'shape' of products: and so it was the case for some Brussels sprouts cooked on their stalk with chantrelle condiment, the lamb tartare, served with an egg and slices of marinated black walnuts (highlight of the dinner with their punchy and wooden taste), or the slow roasted sunchokes (ingredient that I love) served with tahini, dates and shaved lardo - the last one unfortunately not perfectly cured.
The level of the main dishes (one option for fish, one for meat and one for veggie) is probably not at the level of the mid sized plates even though the research in combining ingredients deserves appreciation.
The salmon, for example, was served with shaved matsutake, radish, shiso and and abundant watercress broth that made the entire dish tasting 'too liquid'. Similarly, the strong taste of the lamb chops and belly was nicely counterbalanced by the salsa verde and the pickled tomatillos but it was served with a questionable celeriac porridge that compromises a bit the overall texture and taste.