At long last, we finally made it down to one of Joule’s Urban Barbecue days. Given how much we love Joule, it was just a matter of time.
Joule’s owner-chefs, Seif and Rachel, began this series last summer, where every Sunday they’re open from noon until 8 pm, with live music and a different food theme. Normally the food here is a fun riff on Korean cuisine with French influences, but the Urban BBQ gives them a chance to play with all sorts of different menus. Last week the theme was “New England Crab Boil,” which didn’t really appeal to us, but last night the theme was Tunisia. We made a special effort to be in town for this one.
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. Continue reading
Last Friday we were in Wallingford with no particular idea of where we would have dinner. Or rather, I had ten different ideas of where we might have dinner, but no reservations had been made and I wasn’t craving anything in particular. I’ve been seeing some intriguing reviews of a place called Joule, so when I caught sight of it tucked in beside the Teahouse Kuan Yin, we thought we’d give it a try. It features small plates with a combination of French and Korean flavors and techniques, which sounded fascinating.
Given the amount of press the place has gotten (the chefs are semifinalists for two James Beard awards!), I thought it unlikely we’d get in without a reservation, but there were just two seats left at the bar when we arrived. The hostess and the waiter were very gracious, and we settled ourselves happily. The bar looks over the spotlessly clean open kitchen, and we were able to watch much of the food prep, although it wasn’t on stage the way it was at Sel Gris. The mood felt casual, and the chefs seemed relaxed and comfortable, occasionally coming over to the bar and asking the customers’ opinions on various dishes.
The first thing to arrive Continue reading