Last night we had the pleasure of dining at Richard Blais’ new restaurant called “The Spence”.
We have already dined at Flip Burger Boutique and HD1 and liked both of them. We went to The Spence on its 5th day of operation. I expected chaos. In my experience, going to a high profile “nicer” place within the first 3 months of opening is a real gamble. Usually the kitchen hasn’t gotten its groove, the servers are still trying to find their groove also which is perfectly understandable. I worked as a server for 7 years and it’s a pain. The Spence wasn’t that way at all, everything ran so smoothly you would have thought that they’d been open 5 years instead of 5 days, I was VERY impressed by that alone. We were seated right next to the kitchen, which is wide open for all to see. I got to see the back of Richard Blais the whole time.
The space is gorgeous, very neat and clean and open. It can tend to get a little loud, but it’s probably that way on purpose and I’m also old and cranky!
Besides the smoothness in which The Spence ran last night, I was also blown away by the attention to detail in which not only Richard Blais but the rest of the staff did their part to make sure everything was perfect for every guest. We had servers that weren’t ours ask us if we enjoyed everything and if they could get anything for us. Our server Peter was awesome, he did everything under the sun to make sure our dining experience was amazing, and he succeeded. Hat’s off to Peter, you rocked it!
The menu is a bit unusual, but for those of us who are into trying new things, it is a real treat. The menu changes daily they will keep some things full time, but often times change the sides. I stayed on the safe side last night as work is getting much more stressful, I needed comfort food. I’ll be back to The Spence though and I can get more adventurous.
Chad and I started out with
Asparagus with black garlic and broken hollandaise – y’all this was delicious. I honestly considered licking the plate.
Bone marrow with tuna tartare and fried quail eggs – I had never had bone marrow, I had heard that it was great but I was always a bit hesitant. Peter (the awesome server) called it Meat Butter. He was 100% correct on that. It was rich, and the tuna tartare was such a perfect mix of flavors and textures with the bread and the quail eggs I am SO glad that I went out on a limb and tried it. I will most certainly eat it again. It was just delicious. Nothing else I can say.
They also bake their own bread, which was so yummy! I could have dined on just the bread and been okay!
My main dish was
Triple Triple cheeseburger & fries – yeah I know, cheese burger and fries, big whoop. But it really was a big whoop. It was 3 patties, yes 3 patties and each pattie had cheese on it. It also had carmelized onions and homemade pickles. I didn’t need any other condiments what so ever, it was perfect just the way it came. Juicy, cheesey and perfect! The fries were nice and thick cut and flavorful, no dipping sauce needed.
Chad was much more adventurous, he had:
Pressed chicken with black bread salad and lemon curd – This is what he had to say about it. “It was chicken two ways, I think they said one was boiled in a bag… it tasted better than it sounds though. The other was the grown-up McNugget, which was small bits of chicken breaded and fried into one piece. It is hard to describe but it was good. The black bread salad with the tomatoes was awesome, and I don’t even like tomatoes.” I asked him to describe it since I only had a taste of the black bread salad and the chicken in a bag. I was impressed with him eating his tomatoes.
Who am I kidding? I always have room for dessert, no matter how much I eat before hand and this occasion proved to be no different. Peter said that we just HAD to have the Malted barley panna cotta with popped sorghum, and we trusted him completely so that’s what we ordered. I still have no idea what panna cotta is, but I LOVED it, and I will order it again. The Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin paid us a visit and gave us the ricotta cheesecake, strawberries with graham crust. Both desserts were fantastic and Andrea was so nice to us. We told her about an upcoming trip to NYC and she took the time to write out a list of great restaurants for us to visit, now that really made the evening extra special it was very kind of her to take time out and do that for us, Thank you Andrea.
The Advanced Sommelier Justin Amick visited our table as well, we had met him before when he was with another restaurant and were happy to see him again.
The big deal was when Richard himself came to the table, signed the menu and got his picture taken with us.
If you want a memorable fun experience, visit The Spence. It was a great experience with amazing food. Thank you!