Ever since our first visit to Joule, we’ve been anxiously awaiting a chance to go again. Honestly, wouldn’t you want to patronize a place that offers bacon butter on a baguette? I have to admit, though, we didn’t order that this visit. Had to leave something for next time.
This was a surprise dinner out – my parents got last-minute tickets to Aida and we all decided to go out together. Four people turned out to be a great number for Joule, since we got to try a lot of different things, but each dish split four ways quite easily. We drank a bottle of very affordable verdejo and had a great time.
We started with two salads: the “Bloody Mary” with tomatoes and pickled okra, and a mizuna salad with buttermilk dressing, roasted grapes, sliced radishes and whole mint leaves. Both salads were bright and acidic, very refreshing on a hot afternoon.
We had to try the octopus – after all, we’ve been getting it everywhere else this year. This version was good – a little chewy, but with a great charry grilled flavor, and the tips of the tentacles were nice and crispy. The celery pesto wasn’t particularly assertive, which I liked.
The pièce de résistance: wild boar spare ribs, beautifully flavored and tender, with a collard green slaw that was love at first bite for me. I think the white vegetables on top were turnips, but we had some disagreement about that. They were really good, whatever they were.
Along with the main dishes, we also had an order of rice with chile-soy sauce and a little pot of cucumber kim chee, which was amazingly delicious. Next time we should order more of that.
The desserts sounded very exciting, but Jon was the only one who ordered any: anise ice cream, with a very plain, non-sweet wafer cookie. I was too full to have much, but it was very good. The rest of us shared a French press of really excellent coffee.
My parents made it off to their opera with plenty of time to spare – did I mention the service was really first-rate? The chefs also are really nice – they truly seem to connect to their customers. I wish there was a place like Joule closer to home, but in the meantime we’ll just have to keep coming down here.