Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Calm Before the Storming: Day Two, Part II

[If detailed stories of food don’t interest you, you may want to skip this installment]

I love a good meal. I love hearing about good meals. Whether it’s prepared in a simple fashion or extravagantly, in a fine establishment or in the wilderness over a fire, a meal that manages to rise above the mundane reminds me that there is still some good left in the world. Perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic, but I can’t help it. I love great food, and Mrs. Head and I were off to Elements in the Aladdin seeking another great dining experience.

It did not disappoint.


The theme of the restaurant is evident in the name, and they almost got it right. Almost. The décor was nice, but it was missing something, and we pondered what the reasons for this might be as we enjoyed some drinks and a nice selection of various crusty breads. As I looked around in search of the “missing thing”, it finally hit me. The restaurant had a nice layout, with adequate representation of all of the four elements, buuut, there were framed prints on the wall in various spots. In my humble opinion, this served to cheapen the look a little bit, because they honestly looked like some of the framed “fancy” art that one might pick up at Target. I’m not disparaging Target or any of its ilk, it just didn’t fit in here. I think that if they brought in some larger raw canvas paintings that were a bit chunkier in feel it would suit the place much better. Since I fear I may be creating too negative an impression, let me reiterate that this should absolutely not stop you from going. The décor was still very nice; it was just a bit “off”.

Other than that, everything was fantastic from the start. For those that care about such things here is a breakdown:


The quality of the first cocktail is of utmost importance as it will set the tone for the rest of the meal. If it ends up being substandard, it will put a dampener on all things following it and casts a blow to the spirit where there need not be one. Mrs. Head ordered a Cosmopolitan and I went with a solid standby, Grey Goose Martini with a twist, very fucking dry.

Mrs. Head’s Cosmo was proper, which is more unusual than you might think. Countless are the times that a Cosmo in a supposedly “nice” restaurant comes out red instead of pink and with a cherry instead of a lime. Egad. As I took the first sip of my martini, I was immediately satisfied; they got it right, as well. Some servers and/or bartenders look at me like I’m a rude and pompous dickhead when I utter the phrase “very fucking dry” while ordering a martini, but I refuse to order them any differently. It’s truly shocking how badly someone can mess up a martini, pouring what I swear are equal parts vermouth and vodka/gin, hence the “very fucking dry” portion of the order; the expletive makes them sit up an take notice. Besides, at $10-12 a pop I refuse to drink something made in a substandard fashion.


We went for the shrimp cocktail. All of the reviews of this restaurant said that the three giant prawns were fist size therefore justifying the slightly shocking $15 price. Not quite fist size, but damn, they were pretty big and delicious with a couple of different cocktail sauces. Given the choice again, I’d probably pass, not because it was bad, but because of what was on the way…

Main Course

It’s hard to really say enough about the main courses, they were heaven on a plate. Mrs. Head went for the seafood mixed grill which included giant scallops, more giant prawns, and a crab-stuffed lobster tail. If you dig on seafood, it doesn’t get too much better than this..

As always, I was a sucker for the steak. There are few things on this planet better than a fine piece of dry-aged beef cooked to perfection, and when it’s done well I don’t have a bit of a problem paying nearly any price for the privilege. I went with the Applewood-grilled Porterhouse with ancho chili béarnaise. I’m sitting here trying to think up a way to do this entrée justice and words are failing me. I guess I’ll simply say that I was one of the better meat experiences that I’ve had in some time.

We coupled the entrees with a nice Qupe ’97 Syrah. Not too heavy, but still retaining a nice bold flavor. The sad thing was that the food was so unbelievably rich, we didn’t even finish the bottle and ended up leaving about ¼ of it. I was sad about that, but there was just no way that I was going to be able to fit a single thing in my stomach for the next couple of hours.

Human Head Verdict for Elements— (Out of 10) Service-9.5 Food-9.5 Décor-8.5 Highly Recommended.

[stay tuned for the Storming of the Castle]