Monday, August 26, 2013

Local Foodie Moment: The Boat House at Confluence Park

Well like I said before our new restaurant trials go in waves and we are currently riding one now!  With such a great food scene in Columbus it seems like restaurant weeks and other such promotions are always going on (ok maybe not ALWAYS but you get what I mean).  One of my favorites is Columbus Crave Farm to Plate where participating restaurants commit to creating prix fixe menus of all local ingredients of two to three courses.  This year after looking at the Farm to Plate restaurant list we landed on The Boat House Restaurant at Confluence Park.  It had been on my wishlist recently and their menu sounded yummmmmy!

We made reservations with our friends Rob and Emily as we wanted to see them before Emily jetted off to India for two weeks for work.  The place is pretty huge and offers plenty of riverfront views.  We were seated near the window inside as it was a little chilly out.  Upon a few minutes at our seats we wished we would have sat outside on the patio as there was a smell that was particularly pungent and not at all appetizing.  Not sure if it was the carpets or what but it was unpleasant to say the least.

Barring the smell, the rest of the evening was great.  We saw the sunset over the city skyline and even a few little animals on the river.  Our server was very nice and very accommodating.  We all decided to give the Farm to Plate menu items a try as it was a good deal ($25 for three courses) and sounded too good to pass up.

Great view!

Before we jump to the main meal we can't forget cocktails!  Bottles of wine were half off so we ordered a red and a white.  Since I wasn't totally feeling the wine vibe right away I wanted to try their Gin Gin Mule cocktail.  Moscow Mules (vodka, lime juice and ginger beer served in a cooper mug) seem to be the newly revived cocktail of the summer for Columbus so I wanted to see what The Boat House's gin version was like.  It was good but rather sweet for my taste.

Gin Gin Mule

Ok now we can talk three course dinners.  To start the waiter brought us housemade potato chips with french onion dip.  The chips were excellent and the dip was equally as good!  Typically I wouldn't be impressed with chips and dip as a restaurant app but the presentation was fun and the flavors were elevated above your typical bag of chips.

Potato Chips and French Onion Dip

So for the first course most of us opted for the Strawberry Gorgonzola Salad.  Em switched it up and went for Zucchini Fries which were yummy but a little mushy.  The salad was good, I always love a salad with candied nuts, cheese and fruit.  I would have liked to see more of the Vanilla Bean Balsamic Vinaigrette but other than that it was very good.

Strawberry Gorgonzola Salad

Second course Em and Chris got the Lake Erie Walleye with Roasted Root Vegetables, Sweet Corn and Potato Cake.  Rob got the Grilled 12oz Ribeye with Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes and a Fresh Veggie Medley.  I decided on the Braised Lamb Shank with Goat Cheese Polenta, Caramelized Shallots and Spinach.  Everyone really liked their meals and the sides were very tasty!  My lamb shank was kind of massive and I ended up taking half of it home.  The goat cheese polenta was very creamy and I even liked the sauteed spinach (typically I'm not a fan).  Together all the flavors were very good and went well together.

Lake Erie Walleye

Braised Lamb Shank

For dessert our table was spilt in half, two went with Sweet Apple & Bacon Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaze and the other two went with Roasted Peach Creme Brulee.  As a recipient of the Creme Brulee I'd say the CB half of the table made the right choice!  I tried a bite of Chris' Bread Pudding but wasn't entirely impressed.  I'm also not a big bread pudding fan so that could have contributed.  The Creme Brulee could have had a bit more caramelized sanding sugar on top but the custard had great peach flavor and was good consistency.

Sweet Apple & Bacon Bread Pudding
Roasted Peach Creme Brulee

It seems given the amount of space The Boat House probably excels more on the large event front rather than regular dinning but maybe we'll go back and try the patio.  I bet the view of the river with all the fall colors with the warmth of the patio heaters and a bottle of wine would be fabulous!
The Boat House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

This week is a sprint to the finish while we prepare to go back to Smith Mountain Lake for an extended Labor Day Weekend!  I want to squeeze in one last summer veggie recipe Chris and I have been loving and at least one more LFM!


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