Neighborhood Eats: Animal, pt 2

This is a continuation of brunch with Magneto and my parents last weekend. Read part 1 here.

I last visited Animal years and years ago, when they’d only been open for about 18 months. It was dinner, the place was crowded, and the lights were too dim for photos. We ordered quail, something with vegetables, and the chocolate bacon bar for dessert. There were bottles of wine, cups of espresso, and laughs aplenty that night.

This past weekend, we had the laughs, but none of the quail. Alas. In its place, we opted for a slightly healthier approach – or, at least, a more balanced approach – in our ordering.

Magneto is a huge fan of rice, more than either of my parents or I. So when he suggested the “tamago” scramble over bone marrow rice (above photo), I wasn’t surprised. Topped with Japanese pickles and crunchy bits of arare (Japanese rice crackers), this thoroughly Asian dish hit all the right points: umami, sweet, salty, and tart. Magneto was a bit wary of the rice after seeing it was seasoned with seaweed flecks, but the taste was too delicious for him to stop eating.

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Mom’s smoked whitefish salad. We let the grownups have that.

We also ordered the smoked whitefish salad with pickled green beans (soooooo pickled), tomato, and sprouted rye bread. My parents exclaimed over the bread, packed with grains and far less doughy than any other sliced bread. This dish seemed to be my mom’s favorite, and I let her have my portion because I wanted to save space.

Save space? Me? Well, my dad and I decided to share the foie gras terrine with strawberry, rhubarb, and feuilles de brick (that’s phyllo dough baked in single or double sheets). Sprinkled with vanilla sugar, the phyllo dough was the perfect vehicle for the foie gras, especially when layered with the strawberry-rhubarb puree and bites of cooked rhubarb. It was like the best PB&J ever, because the PB was actually foie gras. FG&J?

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I cannot have enough foie gras, in any form. This was incredible!

As much as I love a light little brunch at home, or a drunken mimosa-filled waffle fest with friends, this brunch at Animal with my three favorite humans was hands down my favorite brunch ever.

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