Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Handke's Cuisine is The Best In Town!

Of all the restaurants that I've tried in Columbus, Handke's Cuisine was the best one hands down. So when my parents were visiting me this weekend, it was only fitting to take them over there and experience the best taste explosion in town.

The chef, Hartmut Handke, had won numerous awards, including a Bocuse d'Or title! The restaurant is located in an underground wine cellar on S. Front Street, and the waiting staff are extremely professional and great at their jobs. We went in there and saw all the awards and food pictures displayed inside the restaurant, and I seriously couldn't wait till I could sit down and order and eat.

After reading the menu, we decided to start with the sauteed foie gras and the country pate. The sauteed foie gras was seasoned perfectly and was not fishy at all. The beets and granny smith apple provided a little sweetness that balanced out the fattiness of the foie gras very well. The country pate came with dried fruits and nuts and some citrus-berry jam. The pate was absolutely delicious, and combined with the sweetness of the fruits, warm flavor of nuts, and the citrus aroma from the jam on top of buttery brioche, it was just heavenly. Then the porcini mushroom soup came after the appetizer. The mushroom soup was creamy and earthy, and the mushroom flavor was well preserved in the soup; it was just excellent!

We each ordered different main courses. I had the veal scallopine, which came with a chanterelle mushroom sauce. The veal was tender and delicious, and the chanterelle mushroom sauce was just creamy enough that it did not intercept the flavor of the veal. My dad had the veal chop, and the meat was prepared so well that I only had one bite and it was completely gone. My mom had the lobster neuberg. It's rare to find a chef that really knows how to cook lobster because it easily becomes tough and chewy. But the lobster was tender and sweet, and the sauce had the fragrance of white wine and fresh herbs. My sister had the buffalo tenderloin, and the tenderloin steak was prepared perfectly medium and, it too was gone in a flash. My boyfriend had the "duck three way", which was one of the dish that got the Bocuse d'Or award. It consisted of sauteed duck breast, duck confit of leg, and duck sausage. I was never a fan of duck meat, but the duck confit was so well prepared that the meat was practically falling off the bone without a hint gaminess.

After our main course, we had the grand marnier souffle and the creme brulee. The grand marnier souffle was baked perfectly. The citrus flavor from the grand marnier really popped against the vanilla sauce. The creme brulee was soft and creamy, and I think it definitely deserved the title of "best creme brulee in Columbus". The only creme brulee that can compete with Handke's was at The Palms restaurant in Las Vegas, and trust me I've had my share of creme brulee. At the end, the waiter gave us a 'special' piece of dark chocolate terrine. The dark chocolate terrine was so smooth and creamy, it practically melted right after putting it in the mouth. The entire meal was absolutely superb, and the extra chocolate terrine was a great touch as well.

Handke's Cuisine was definitely my favorite restaurant in Columbus, and the food ranked 4.99 out of 5. The reason why I can't give 5 was because by definition, a 5 means the food's so good that my inside would explode after eating because the food was so good that I could just die. Handke's Cuisine came very very close to that. If you would like to experience taste explosion in Columbus, please go to 520 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, or online at http://www.chefhandke.com . Trust me, you would not be disappointed!

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