Tilia

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The first time I went to Tilia was one of those weekends this summer when my husband was out of town. My friend Kim recommended that we go because she’s been there a number of times. She said that she always gets the Spinach Salad. I read numerous raves about this infamous salad including one that read, “The best spinach salad I’ve ever had.”

Spinach Saladwith mushrooms, soft-boiled egg, toasted almonds, Parmesan and warm bacon dressing

We each ordered one that beautiful early evening while sipping on Prosecco. I was a little leary about the bacon dressing. I don’t really like bacon in dishes. It tends to overpower. I know. I know. I’m alone on that one.

It was a lovely girlfriend time out, so no photos were taken. The salad was good, but it was a bit too bacon-y for me. It wasn’t that overpowering; however, so it’s not like I hated it or couldn’t eat it. I just wouldn’t order it again. I would, however, recommend it to anyone who loves bacon!

~

So I took my husband back. We sat at the bar. Surprise, surprise!

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Rob never really wanted to go to Tilia before. Nothing about their online menu interested him. However, when I went with Kim, I noticed that there were two items on the menu that Rob would have loved! They were not listed online. Rob did not know this. He just tagged along because it was my pick and I was buying dinner.

That burger is not listed online!

That burger was not listed online!

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Nor was the Carbonara!

Rob was happy to see those offerings and was pleased by the tap selection, too!

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We arrived early {4:30ish} and ordered an appetizer off of their In-Between Menu.

French Fries w/Fry Sauce - $6

French Fries w/Fry Sauce – $6

These fries were hot, salty and the perfect marriage of potato-y on the inside and crispy on the outside. Rob said he probably liked them more than McDonald’s fries.

I liked the Fry Sauce; Rob did not. I thought it was mixture of ketchup, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and some sort of spice. Rob swore that there was something sweet like raisins in it. I didn’t get that at all! Our bartender {who may have perhaps been an owner} was too busy; so we never did get to ask.

I was in a wine mood and was trying to select a wine by the glass.

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In the end, I chose the Casa Brina Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato. I like trying wines I’ve never had before! I had to look on my phone though to discover the grape varietal of this wine. Here is what I learned:

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A new varietal to try, yippee!!! I like the fact that Ruché is one of the lowest production varietal wines in Italy. It made me feel like I was drinking something rare. Because this was served by the glass, I’d call it a poor man’s Nebbiolo. That may not do it justice, though, because it was an excellent wine. I will always and forever order that wine by the glass at Tilia as long as they offer it.

So did Rob choose the pasta or the burger?

Okay, no suspense here…

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Paparadelle Pasta Carbonara – leeks, zucchini, black pepper, egg & Parmesan – $18 (large)

It looks fantastic, no?! Only… It wasn’t. Rob was highly disappointed. The pasta was mushy, not al dente. The sauce didn’t have that creaminess Rob is used to in his favorite carbonaras. It was pretty much just bland. I tried a bite and concurred. To be fair, Rob said that sure this might be Tilia’s rendition of a carbonara dish, but it wasn’t carbonara.

I, however, had the opposite experience:

Grilled Norwegian Salmon - Sweet Corn Bread Budding, Swiss Chard & Tomato Jam - $24

Grilled Norwegian Salmon – sweet corn bread pudding, Swiss chard & tomato jam – $24

This was the perfect dish. It’s also not listed on their online menu; so I’m not sure how long it will be offered. I loved the char on the salmon. I don’t believe I’ve ever had salmon that way before. The sweet corn bread pudding was just divine. It tasted so fresh! I loved the colors and textures on this plate. Naturally, I cleaned it. It was one of the best dishes I’ve had in a really long time!

Then, for dessert…

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I had the Petite Guiraud Sauternes. It’s been so long since I’d had a that dessert wine! It was sweet without being cloying and reminded me of mandarin oranges. It was a perfect end to my meal. I also love that they have an espresso machine. I always love when a restaurant offers coffee drinks!

The menu does change here with the seasons, which I always love. That’s why the online menu is not always up-to-date. I just hope that Rob is willing to go back.

What’s the best {or worst!} meal you’ve had lately?

Cheers~
Carrie

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