Hit It & Quit It: Local Kitchen & Bar

Local [Kitchen & Bar], Ferndale.

Great potential.  Seriously, this place is near amazing, but just slightly off the mark.

It always pains me to dub a restaurant as “hit it and quit it” because I’m really not trying to come on to a blogging platform and be a bitch.  As much as I enjoyed bits and pieces of my meal at Local Kitchen & Bar, I really haven’t wanted to go back.

If someone were to ask me where they should look into dining in or around Ferndale, this would not make it to the top of my list.  I would probably suggest to try it once, as I did, but to not have the highest of expectations.

With that being said, my food was okay.  The ambiance was okay.  The service was okay.

They had a wood burning fire place in the middle of the restaurant.  It completely smoked out the whole place!  It smelled great, but the burn…..you could feel it in your eyes. In your lungs.  You could smell it in your hair and your clothes.

The restaurant has outdoor seating that they zip up with plastic sheets.  Does that make sense?  It probably doesn’t.  Imagine the outside being encased in a giant see through plastic tent.  That’s what it was like.  I bring this up because they sat us right by the zipper part that could not be fully zipped, allowing a super frigid breeze to sneak in all night.  I was miserably cold.  They turned the heating lamp on for me, but that wasn’t enough.  I suppose it wasn’t the worst thing in the world because it was at least allowing that damn smoke out!

 


Their menu boasts a wide variety of culinary delights.  Everything sounded amazing on the menu, but the execution was not up to par.

It started off strong, but then slowly became more and more mediocre as the meal went on.

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Sea Scallops

Fantastic.  Definitely a huge highlight for this place. The Scallops were large and luscious. They were cooked perfectly; great crisped sear, yet still juicy and succulently tender throughout. The butternut squash puree lent a mildly sweet starchniness to the dish, while the sauce surrounding it was mildly salty.  Thinking back on it, what I really appreciated about this dish was how the contrasting flavors were so light and umami that it did not overwhelm or overpower the star of the dish, the protein.  Great start.


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Gnocchi
Forgive me, I don’t remember if it was lamb or goat ragout, but whatever it was, it was spectacular.  This dish was tied for first place.  Had I stopped here, this review would have been under a different category. The meat was very tender and melted in your mouth.  The gnocchi was cooked very well; chewy without being mushy. Everything paired perfectly, and the ragout to gnocchi ratio was on point.  This was one of their nightly specials, so if you’re ever there when it is offered, ORDER IT! 

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Grilled Spanish Octopus
This is where the mediocrity begins. Sorry Local Kitchen, you completely missed the mark on this one. The octopus tentacle had a great charred taste, and great seasoning, but was severely overcooked.  The texture was mortifying, and that weird cream or puree on the side was gross.  I’m not even going to bother looking back at the menu to figure out what it actually is, because it should not have even been on that plate.  My husband and I both scraped off any of that white stuff that touched our octopus tentacle.  On the other side of the plate, the side salad had WAAAAY too many olives.  If you’re an olive fan, great!  You may have entertained that many olives in a salad, but I could have gone without. 

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Pork Belly
The pork itself was okay.  The jam underneath was outrageously sweet, and completely unnecessary. Whatever the pork was sitting on completely ruined the dish.  Not much to say other than that.

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Spiced Cauliflower
Oh my god, this was the most upsetting dish of the night.  Talk about a hodge-podge of SHIT.
Seriously, why on earth would you make a hot temperatured dish and throw salmon roe on there? Disgusting.  Now, I am a huge fan of salmon roe when it is chilled, but when it is sitting at room temp or warmer, especially on a plate where the rest of the food is warm or even hot, the oils from the fish eggs seep out and make the rest of the dish smell really fishy.  The cauliflower did not have any distinct “spice” that could have been paired well with the fish eggs, let alone the rest of the random shit on the plate.  There were sliced tart apples, as well as raisins, and some more random pureed stuff.

Just a few bites of that cauliflower dish left a disgusting taste in our mouths, so we were ready for dessert.  Unfortunately, it took nearly 40 minutes to get our dessert, by which time I was totally over it.  So, no photo of that.  It wasn’t memorable anyway.

Final thoughts: 2 of the 6 dishes we had were fabulous.  The rest were….blah. I might consider going back because their menu is so vast, but certainly not anytime soon. 

That’s all for this entry.  Sorry I’ve been missing in action lately.  More soon, I promise!

 

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