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Sunday, June 12, 2005
Michel’s just as worthy
WITH schools out, the dearth of cars on the road leaves the impression that much -- if not the whole town -- is on vacation. For 9-to-5ers it's not a good feeling to think everyone's having fun while you're staring at four walls, thinking, "What am I doing here?"
For starters, there are chilled asparagus spears with tomato vinaigrette ($7.50), black tiger shrimp cocktail ($12), and smoked salmon plate ($9.50). I opted for the creamy mushroom soup ($7) with delicate garlic croutons that melt on the tongue. It's quite a change from the typical restaurant's Caesar salad crouton that requires gnawing to ingest.
The warm summer days leave me with little appetite, so I didn't think of adding fresh fruit ($8) or ahi sashimi ($12) to my order, choosing to move on to a shared Maine lobster and Bay shrimp salad ($18) served atop Hirabara greens finished with a light touch of papaya seed dressing, which suited me just fine. Food is often best when served up fresh and as unmanipulated as possible.
The soup and salad alone were quite filling and at this time of year, many could stop right there. But how many can really resist the temptation of Eggs Benedict ($16) served here with fresh artichokes and Dungeness crab meat, or homemade Belgian waffles ($14) topped with fresh strawberries?
Seafood lovers will get their fill with a Gold Coast omelette ($16) filled with lobster, whole shrimp, scallops and crab meat with mild cheddar.
Any of the above would make a better selection than the egg-heavy homemade German apple-blueberry pancakes ($12) that weigh like stones. The reality is, most people here grow up with Bisquick, so unfortunately, that kind of homemade authenticity takes a backseat to more commercial fluffiness.
Although the crepey pancake left much to be desired, the batter can be ripped away, allowing the diner to enjoy the lovely baked apple inside. Adding to the hearty nature of this dish, the pancakes were topped with several strips of crisp bacon.
For dessert there are choices of pineapple passionfruit cheesecake ($6.50), a warm cinnamon apple tart ($7) or chef Eberhard "Hardy" Kintscher's deep chocolate cake ($7), but one effect of being on the beach is realizing you probably don't need the calories. For Michel's, it's the only drawback to opening to the light of day.
|very good, exceeds expectations;|
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