I Finally Ate at Oxheart...and It Was Pretty Good
"The okra with the crème fraîche? Oh yeah, that's been on the menu forever."
Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg On the left, okra with crème fraîche; on the right, spinach leaf stuffed with potatoes
That's what my friend told me when I described my favorite plate of the evening, a crescent of thin, delicate roasted and pickled okra pods -- the thinnest and least slimy I've ever encountered -- arranged on a bed of spiced crème fraîche and dotted with little pearls of smoked black garlic purée and garnished with a smattering of aromatic Thai holy basil.
This dish, found on the most recent iteration of the seasonally fluctuating garden menu at Oxheart, was such a treat that I found myself regretting that the courses are so small and dainty. I wanted a bowl of it, but because that was not an option, I ran my fingers through the meager smear of leftover crème fraîche, then licked them like a barbarian.
Still, I was surprised to hear that the okra had been on the menu longer than a season, if indeed my friend is correct. But in checking the menu on Oxheart's Web site, I saw that the summer offering (which is still posted) contains several of the same dishes as the autumn menu.
Because Oxheart relies on the freshest seasonal ingredients, I knew that if a dish lasted more than a couple of months that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It means it's still fresh. I was just surprised. In fact, much of my meal at Oxheart surprised me. I was surprised by how fast our waitress talked when explaining the dishes. I was surprised by the amazing little pretzel rolls during the bread course. And I was surprised to find that when I left Oxheart I was still hungry.