A few weeks back, my wife and I were treated to the chance to get out without our daughters. A friend of ours invited them to a play date with her two daughters, and we jumped at the chance for a date night. Since we don’t go out often without the girls, there are quite a few restaurants here in town where we haven’t eaten.
I have heard good things from a few people regarding the variety and quality of the food at Pacific Rim, so we decided to give it a try. We glanced at the menu posted in the window and I saw a dish with sea scallops listed there, so I was pretty sure what I was going to order. Unfortunately, when we got inside and our waiter gave us our menus, that dish was not there. I was prepared to be disappointed by that, until I saw the Five Spice Duck. My wife opted for the Grilled Lemongrass Chicken.
For a starter, we shared the Chinese Garlic Chive Dumplings. They were flavorful with a nice crunchy exterior enveloping the tender mushroom and jicama filling. We enjoyed them, but we were even more thoroughly impressed with the salad. To be honest it was the salad dressing that was most notable element of the dish. It was well-balanced in its savory and sweet, ending with a hint of heat. Our waiter was not surprised when we asked about the dressing, and he pointed out that the recipe for it is available on the Pacific Rim website.
Then came the time for our entrees. My Five Spice Duck was a pan-seared duck breast and duck confit risotto with a Chinese five spice reduction sauce and shanghai bok choy. The unctuous duck confit and its melt in your mouth texture was the perfect addition to the creaminess of the risotto. I requested the duck breast be cooked medium rare. Its richness stood up extremely well to the balanced hit of sweet, savory, bitter, and sour of the reduction sauce. The pairing was certainly a case in which each element truly enhanced the other. I tasted my wife’s Grilled Lemongrass Chicken and it was also very good. The meat was tender and juicy and served as an excellent canvas for the floral and citrusy lemongrass in which it had been marinated.
To go along with our entrees, we selected a Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir Commuter Cuvee. It had a light, fruity aroma with a slightly tart flavor, not unlike a combination of raspberries and cranberries. I’m no wine expert, but it tasted good and seemed to go well with the richness of my entree.
For dessert, we shared a Warm Chocolate Cake. While not exactly a molten middle, this bittersweet chocolate cake had a moist exterior with a very fudgy center. Its texture was similar to a very enjoyable slightly under-baked brownie. It came with a scoop of toasted coconut-Kahlúa ice cream and was garnished with sake-macerated cherries.
Based on the positive, but somewhat limited information I had heard about Pacific Rim, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Given the outcome of our meal on this impromptu date night, I am quite certain that we will visit Pacific Rim for another meal.