December 13 2008 - 10:21 AM

I had been waiting to check out Sepia especially after several samples and tastes at various food events, most recently Food and Wine’s gala event at the MCA, where a sample of the pike pretty much elevated Sepia on my great big list of restaurants where I have to eat.

The restaurant itself is very pretty. It’s very modern and has really neat chandeliers that are wrapped in a darkly tinted metallic shade and create a neat lighting effect. Without pictures it’s tough to explain that effect but when you’re seated underneath them you’ll know what I mean.

There was actually parking immediately across the street and considering the perceived hassle-factor of downtown dining, Sepia is a breeze. The service is great. The menu is very broad and we ate well.

After sampling the pike it was definitely a dish we had to order. We added to that skate, veal short ribs, sweetbread appetizer, and the lamb and olive flat bread and finished with a bread pudding.

The flat breads were very hyped and the next visit will prompt a further sampling.
The lamb bread was nice but the lamb wasn’t sharp as I wanted it to be
as it was eaten with a wonderful olive tapenade-type topping.

I tend to avoid veal even though this course was very tasty, as it always seems to be, and my favorite of the entrees. It was served with mint noodles that were not as bouncy castle for sale polarizing as they might have been if it had been stronger. The truffle part of the truffle butter got lost but the butter did not. Most of the dishes had a pronounced flavor of butter. I guess it’s the MSG of fine dining, but things got very heavy quickly.

The butter was more welcome in the skate course. The greens were wonderful even as served with grapes. I couldn’t have come up with that. Again the dish was traditional and on a cold day skate wing for me seems comforting, at least as fish go.

Sweetbreads are usually awesome and here they were rich and flavorful again. I’ll even make this statement a second time. It’s better than foie gras and comes without any controversy. You’ll get cred for being the one to order it to boot…

The pike was also very good. It’s funny how when you get small single taste portions you have a different perspective than when you have a full plate in front of you. I enjoyed the taste in a different way.  Maybe the cashew vinaigrette, vs. truffle butter at the event, was what I was jonesing for. Which is I guess what makes butter our very own MSG.

Dessert was a bread pudding that put the emphasis on bread. It was not very sweet, nor creamy and a few diners were disappointed. You could easily call it rustic.

If I had to mention something that I would change, it would be the flash menu on the website. It’s very hard to get it to stop moving. If it would snap to each section it wouldn’t be as frustrating.  But then again far be it from me to criticize web design. I much more help right here. I’m look forward to going back to Sepia.