The earthiness of fresh tarragon hit my palate first. Then came the crunch of iceberg, the creaminess of green goddess dressing, the tang of pickled red onions, the soft sharpness of blue cheese, the salty smokiness of bacon, the final herbal boost of basil oil. This plate takes wedge salad – and 7th Avenue Social, in a whole new direction.
Each of Executive Chef Everett Fromm’s dishes manifested a similar journey for me at a recent tasting. Something of a taste-bud magic carpet ride.
He has been gradually, for the past year or so, evolving the menu at 7th Avenue Social, intent on keeping the “social” part while developing a seasonal menu that showcases his flair for bringing out the best of quality ingredients by layering flavors and juxtaposing textures.
Fans of Island Gypsy on Isles of Capri will recognize Chef Fromm’s robust, flavor-forward style. His 20 years in kitchens also have included local stints at Tommy Bahama, Turtle Club, Aqua, Annabelle’s, Bin 58 and Lurcat. Travel and dining in name restaurants have developed and deepened his commitment to quality and emboldened experimentation.
A spiced rum reduction, for instance, lends pleasantly unexpected dimension to his roasted pumpkin bisque, rounded by a dollop of ginger crème fraiche, pumpkin seeds and pancetta. It is quite simply autumn in a bowl.
To the restaurant’s already popular Berkshire pork belly appetizer, he adds caramelized onion puree, cream soda glaze and charred scallion. Fish sauce-based nuoc chan inserts the umami of the Spanish grilled octopus and flash-fried Brussel sprouts small plate.
In the entrée department, the filet mignon sits upon a throne of potato cake infused with goat cheese and black truffles, ringed with pink peppercorn demi-glace. The seared seabass melts into its pool of carrot-ginger puree, snapped with texture by a topping of daikon-cucumber salad.
I could go on and on. On to the dark chocolate Grand Marnier crème brulée. On to the craft cocktails – the Basil Smash with citrus and gin in one, and the play of coffee liqueur and Templeton rye in another – that keep the best of 7th Avenue’s original concept for fun and socializing.
The restaurant’s more put-together look, too, complements its recently revealed more serious side. Now there’s a new reason to venture into the bar-centric dining room and inviting patio before the 9 p.m. entertainment starts: a menu that will have your taste buds dancing.