My pick this year for my annual birthday dinner with Fannypack was Juniper Restaurant in Chinatown. I was intrigued with their huge gin cocktail menu and Fannypack sure sounded excited when I suggested the place so off we went!
We were seated in a very private corner of the dining room area. The privacy was nice but it was at a weird angle so it was awkward and sometimes difficult getting in and out of my chair. Not too big of a deal though after I settled in.
I had said that I wanted to try one of their Gin cocktails but alas I was afraid they would taste too strong for me, as I’m usually a sweeter cocktail type of person, and I was still feeling festive, so I decided on the Holiday Cobbler ($13) instead. It was made of bourbon, spiced cranberry juice, butter (for added smoothness), lemon, and rosemary.
This cobbler was indeed very festive tasting…I would describe it actually as a cold mulled apple cider…and even though the first sip was quite chilly, it quickly felt warm on the way down ;). I couldn’t taste the butter which is probably a good thing.
We decided to share the Meat Board ($21) to start. From right it had duck liver parfait, elk terrine wrapped in double-smoked bacon with blueberries and pumpkin seeds, and speck (which is a type of prociutto), with house-made crackers, pickles, and crostini.
Every single thing on this board was delicious. Well, except for the very wilty pea shoots. The crackers were a bit odd but a good platform for the duck pate and elk terrine nonetheless. The board was beautiful to boot too =)
Fannypack ordered the Albacore Tuna ($23) and this was a cold dish of seed crusted albacore tuna, wild rice, heirloom squash, smoky orange aioli, and dill. It was also served with a salad.
This was a yummy dish but too cold for me on this chilly night. One sore part of the dish was that some of the wild rice in the squash was not cooked properly and was break-your-teeth hard.
I had the Beef & Broccoli ($28) and it was delicious plate of flat iron steak, smoked fingerlings, broccolini & oyster mushrooms, pickled mustard seed, and finished off with a peppercorn jus.
The steak was so tender and flavorful- you can really taste the meat. It was delicate and the normal table knife I was provided with was enough to cut the pieces apart. The peppercorn jus was also seasoned just right. Excellent.
Juniper doesn’t have a set dessert menu as they’re very seasonal. We shared the Apple Chestnut Tart ($9) served warm with cardamom whip.
It was very much an apple tart with a bit of chestnut paste at on the bottom, but overall the apples overpowered everything. The tart was not overly sweet and a satisfactory end to our dinner.
Fannypack and I were both quite impressed with Juniper and I wouldn’t mind coming back to try their other cocktails.