If you think pumpkin spice is autumn’s only seasonal flavor, Chip Roman would be happy to show you the fall menu for his new restaurant, The Treemont. Located a stone’s throw from bustling Avenue of the Arts, the latest addition to the Roman Restaurant Group (Blackfish, Ela, Mica) boasts a full bar and a menu of small and large plates that change not just with the weather, but nearly every day.
As we perused the menu, our waitress brought out two complimentary seasonal dishes to jumpstart our palettes. First, The Treemont’s spin on table bread: warm rye muffins with a whole grain mustard dip. Next, a bowl of delicious candied almonds, cooked in simple syrup and spiced with coriander and fennel.
For our small plates, we sampled the deviled hen egg with duck confit and pickled mustard seeds ($5). The crunchy texture of the duck confit rid the hard-boiled egg of its slick and rubbery tendencies, while the mustard seeds gave the filling a tangy kick. Up next were the chickpea fritters ($8), an American take on a Mediterranean staple ingredient. Topped with pepperonata and served with a side of spiced yogurt dip, the fritters were crispy on the outside but warm and tender on the inside. We also couldn’t ignore the ricotta gnudi ($13), soft dumplings filled with ricotta and topped with sweet golden raisins, all swimming in a delicious brown butter sauce. Finally, we tried the cobia ($14), cured for six hours in French curry and orange zest. We enjoyed the fish’s light, refreshing kick, but its slippery texture needed the black rice crisps, which unfortunately tasted more or less like Fritos.
With every option sounding equally delicious, we had a hard time deciding on the Amish chicken ($22) and the lamb saddle ($28) for our entrees. Served on a bed of delicious fingerling potatoes and topped with crispy asparagus, the chicken breast was extremely moist and tender, wrapped in a thin, flavorful skin. The lamb dish, prepared as a duo of different cuts, was soft and juicy, but the real standout on the plate was the fermented barley. Packing a rich, punchy flavor, it was the perfect seasonal addition to a classic entrée.
Somehow, we managed to make room for dessert. Our waitress suggested the latest addition to the dessert menu: a deconstructed apple crumble of roasted apples, coconut mousse, oatmeal streusel and cider foam ($9). We found the foam too sour for our taste, but the rest of the dish left a sweet tingle in our mouths well after we left the restaurant.
Though a full meal can get pricey, The Treemont’s large, made-for-sharing selection of small plates (not to mention its Happy Hour every Sunday through Friday) can squeeze into any stingy student’s budget. And if its still too expensive on the college wallet, it is the perfect place to take parents to during Parents Weekend. So as the leaves start changing and the wind picks up, head downtown and experience the flavors of fall at The Treemont.