Location/Interior: I have to be honest, I frequent Green Hills at least once a week with the silly errands of adult life (ahem, grocery shopping, returns, alterations and/or dry-cleaner pickups, meetings), and I have never seen this restaurant. I’m not sure what that says about my observation skills but I think it has more to do with the odd location of Deb Paquette’s newest concept ETC. With all the people doing the exact same thing I do on a weekly or even daily basis, the location does make sense. With the increased growth of that area, this place will continue to stay busy. The interior of the restaurant is sleek and modern without being sterile or fussy. It has a darker aesthetic than what I would prefer but I think the demographic of the patrons prefer this familiar feeling.
Company: I connected with a fellow foodie through Instagram and couldn’t be happier we finally met up. We had a blast, and I can’t tell you how fun it is to dine with someone that appreciates the culinary arts as much as I do. @typeaexploration, Adya, and her husband, Brandon, were excellent company for our dining adventure. Shameless plug!!! Check out her webpage and Instagram account. She has incredible photos and suggestions for dining out in the city and different travel guides.
Food and Drink: Paquette has brought her eclectic taste to the traditional Green Hills dining scene. Some of the flavor combinations of our dinner were truly unexpected. For instance, we started with a bread and butter duo. The most interesting choice of the spreads was a chocolate and cocoa butter. I would have preferred this combination with an afterdinner cheese course. I’m just not sure I was prepared to start my meal with chocolate; however, the roasted poblano butter paired much nicer with the rustic loaf that was served perfectly warm and toasted.
Octopus was next. If anyone knows me, they know I have to order octopus at a restaurant. I believe it is the true litmus test of a chef. This protein is not easy to master and can be quite bland. This one was perfectly cooked. It was not gummy or gooey and the small tentacles were perfectly crisp. In true Paquette form, there were several sauces to accompany this dish; both the roja and beet romesco were vibrant in color and made for a beautiful presentation. All senses were pleased upon the completion of this dish. In fact, I could have easily ordered this as my main and been content…. But let’s be real, that’s not how you explore a new eatery; especially with the company I was in!
We then ordered the beet salad which was stunning. The beets were sandwiched between a smear of goat cheese and then cut into quarters. They almost looked like macaroons. Within this salad, there were numerous flavor and textures: Bacon, cheese, veggies, emulsified sauces and dressings. I’d have to say the cherry ginger sauce on this plate was my favorite. We also ordered the market crudo. This was served with some sliced orange and radish as well as some chicharrones. Fried pork? Yes, please.
Finally it was time for our entrees. I ordered the lamb because it is one of my favorite dishes at the sister restaurant ETCH. I was not disappointed. The meat was not gamey. I was excited that the preparation and execution of this dish was different from the one I love so much at ETCH. This was served with a crispy coconut potato that had a hint of sweetness. I felt it paired nicely with the spice of the cumin and masala that were incorporated into two different sauces. This dish was honestly too heavy for my taste. In addition to the potatoes, al dente lentils were present. I felt they were unnecessary. Overall, everyone was very happy with their choice. Phil ordered a filet (no surprise there), Brandon the scallops and Adya the lamb.
Dessert was a total hit. We ordered the chocolate pretzel tart. It was rich enough for the four of us to split and leave completely fulfilled. The dark chocolate was not overly sweet but it was the addition of the salt from the pretzel that allowed this dish to sing. Each bite was a perfect combination of salty, sweet, crunchy and creamy. It’s not easy to combine those sensations successfully but I think this dessert was arranged perfectly.
This meal was a success. We had great company, delicious food, delightful wine, and I think we would likely return.