Aug 13, 2011 0
With dark circles owning his eyes, executive chef Soren Pedersen maintains Euro swagger… like Mick Jagger. While striking a pub crawl pose, his chef coat smelled of almost 8 freshly smoked cigarettes.
Ponderment possessed all brain cells as an AVH full investigation commenced. Has he just returned from summer tour? Did his bus break down… while out of town? Ultimate anticipation occurred while waiting for some sauced up sassy accent to slip from his lips.
As chef Pedersen began the always exciting process of enlightenment, surprisingly, his accent status is zero. Nothing. Nada. Yada. Though not in the field of accent expertise, it seems likely something would trill, slur, or at least purr after growing up in… Denmark.
P.S. This chef’s voice is still snazzy without all the fluff.
Chef Pedersen explained his deal is detail, which includes a passion for cooking that brought him to the states many years ago. His concept in cooking begins with a “farm-to-table” experience, which changes daily. Deciding the menu for lunch or dinner service depends on the ingredients, which are obtained locally. He and Ray Salti are partners at Sorrel, as well as Ray’s Grill, located in Fulshear, Texas.
Ziggy’s Healthy Grill formerly called this West Alabama location home. Um, to say Ziggy’s had a monumentally life altering atmosphere would be… false. What was once a dark back room with a kinda curtain is now an explosion of refreshingly light décor. Salti passionately described gutting this place to the core, even the… toilets. Yikes.
Atmosphere excitement is heightened several levels after realizing mini monitors are placed throughout the restaurant, giving all dining at Sorrel a chance to sneak a peek in the kitchen. This gift takes open kitchen to the next level. Like!
After being seated, a man arrived referring to himself as the… Manager. This guy claims to be an opener, and I believe him. His joy occurs during the stresses of opening different restaurants. His passion for mixology will blow most commoners away. Being unfazed by such glamour, we sat quite calmly, as a table filled with dazzling drinks soon became our reality.
Please & Thanks.
Sorrel’s extensive wine list includes around 200 different bottles, in which 25% are organic. They also have wine on tap… eleven, to be exact. For the always in the crowd diner not wanting wine or fancy shmancy drinks, Sorrel offers artisanal beer.
Ahh bread. Five letters fantastically forcing the odds of skinny jeans to disappear. While desperately ignoring this gift, four glasses of wine, on tap, were delivered. As tasting began, so did our mini tour of the restaurant.
On the opposite end of the restaurant you will find a… charcuterie bar. Besides lots of cheese to smashingly accent any glass of wine, um, there are specialty meats such as Serrano or prosciutto ham.
AVH has never experienced the pleasure of a… grilled pear. Indeed, it was quite exciting to receive this app consisting of local greens with grilled pear, shaved Manchego, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. For those living on the edge, another suitable appetizer is house cured wild salmon with pickled Jerusalem cucumber & light mustard drizzle. Want.
Sorrel’s ancho chili spiked whole shrimp in natural broth & wilted spinach is actually fabulous. Only rookies let the sight of a measly ole’ shrimp head ruffle even one feather.
Maybe it’s luck, but every dish with crème fraiche, thus far, has been delicious, and the potato-leek soup with crème fraiche at Sorrel is no exception. Chef Pedersen also offers roasted tomato with crème fraiche as well.
Just the name squash blossom is enough to turn tap into jazz. It did not disappoint in the least. Squash blossoms of glorious delight are joined by seafood Mussolini & chili oil. We were tempted to try the pan seared seafood cake with fresh sorrel & spicy remoulade, but the word “cake” causes an excruciating skin crawl, being reminiscent to that of a… crab cake.
Snore. Snore. Snore.
Gulf snapper served with quick fried okra & tomato slaw was a no brainer entrée order. Side excitement at its very best! The only speed bump was observing shiny, silver, scaly fish skin peacefully resting against the snapper in which I wished.
AVH isn’t much into head-fish-tail-attachment either, which would be comparable to the one-two punch in a boxing match at Caesars Palace. Um, after skin removal, I quickly moved on with my life.
Sigh. Having had 4,836 ahi dishes in life thus far, it’s relatively trying to get excited anymore. Luckily, eggplant stew & saffron drizzle spiced up this incredibly fresh peppercorn crusted ahi tuna. Pleasantly surprising to the hopelessly ahi bored palate… A mini miracle indeed.
Sorrel’s pastry chef delivered a sampler plate with a few desserts. The blueberry bread pudding with crème fraiche is delicious! Two other dessert options are chocolate pecan tart with Makers Mark caramel or the lemon grass parfait with pea patch cantaloupe. Double Fluff!
Another dessert that did not disappoint is the grilled local Texas peach with lemon sorbet & peach syrup. Sorrel’s pastry chef also offers Texas watermelon granite with crisp cookie, as well as plum cake with mint crème fraiche.
Together, Salti & Pedersen’s history as successful business partners is an indication these two are in it to win it. Chef Pedersen has the power to produce a goose bump slash arm hair stand as he declares… “It’s all about wild. It’s all about organic. It’s all about… natural.” Sorrel’s vibe is one to catch customers & the jazzed up ever changing menu just might keep them.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch