By By: Susan Ely
The original Nelson’s menu was as rich as the décor. The sumptuously appointed décor remains, but the excess has been removed from the menu. Gone: Escargot Pot Pie, Kobe Beef Carpaccio, Champagne and Caviar, Tournedos Rossini (bye-bye foie gras, truffles and demi-glace, see you someday in food heaven) and Lobster Thermidor. Even the decadent dessert menu is gone, and that was what originally excited me the most – gateau, genoise, strawberry napoleons; the real deal. Now it’s Key Lime Pie and Tiramisu. Guess it’s true what they say - you really can’t turn back the clock, even on the classics.
The menu has been cleaned up but remains true to the original fusion-free philosophy – no miniscule servings, no fruity sauces, no trendy ingredients, just solid food prepared from scratch daily, even the oyster crackers.
The thing that Nelson’s has going for it is its diversity – of environment as well as food. What are you in the mood for? Casual bar environment where you can throw back a few beers and a dozen oysters? You got it, just head for the raw bar. How about a martini (they serve sixteen) and an unusual appetizer – maybe fried green tomatoes with grilled shrimp or Kobe beef sliders? Try the main bar or Skyline Loft.
Or ask to be seated in the marble and wrought iron outfitted Loggia and order off the main menu; the Gullah She Crab Soup is still there and so are the Oysters Rockefeller. The pot pie is Angus beef instead of escargot, but I bet most of you don’t eat escargot anyway.
The Basil and Tomato Crusted Scamp Grouper is a solid bet, accompanied by Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc. If you’re in the mood to splurge, try the Snake River Kobe Beef Strip; beware – it’s Market Price. The Open Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli isn’t exactly Lobster Thermidor but the St. Andre cheese and truffle oil make it a nice indulgence.
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