Okay, so it’s a chain restaurant. And you’re right, it’s in the Domain. And to be perfectly blunt, as soon as I hear the word “concept” when applied to a restaurant, I start to squirm in my chair and forcibly fight down the urge to suggest something else. But despite all that, we decided to check out North for a weekday night out at a restaurant.
The menu didn’t immediately strike me as being overzealously Italian, but Italian influences were apparent enough. We were brought bread with sun-dried tomato butter and some olives to nibble on, all of which was pleasant. Because of the items we chose to order, our food was brought out in three courses.
Served first was the antipasti platter. It was a varied mix of tastes and textures. There were salami and prosciutto holding up the cured meat end of things, asiago and parmigiano-reggiano cheeses, tuna, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and fruit all ringed by a drizzling of balsamic reduction and a second drizzling of pesto. This was my favorite dish of the evening. The flavors were distinct and delicious, and I got to try a lot of different food items in a single dish.
Next, we each had soup. Mine was the Italian wedding soup. The soup’s flavor was robust but not overwhelming. I wouldn’t describe it as one of those soups that makes you kind of settle back and in your chair and sigh in wonder at the soul-warming bite you’ve just consumed, but it was substantial and tasty and I was happy to be eating it.
For our main course we decided to split the marinated fig, goat cheese, and prosciutto pizza. The crust was wonderful. It was cracker-thin and hit the right balance of crispy and tender. Each of the ingredients by itself was fantastic – tangy goat cheese, crisp and salty prosciutto, and sublimely sweet figs. But the bite I tried with all three flavors effectively rendered the prosciutto moot.
I ended with an espresso and a few bites of Sean’s chocolate Nutella cake. The espresso was very smooth and very strong and I enjoyed it. The not-too-sweet whipped cream on top of the cake was a nice complement to the insanely rich Nutella-y cake.
All told, I think that North is not one of those places I’m every going to just ache to go to, but my meal was decent and I don’t see myself steadfastly avoiding the place either.