Maybe the problem for me is that neither of Dear Inga’s chef’s grandmothers, after one of whom the restaurant is named, were Hungarian. Mine was and, damn, I know what a Rigó Jancsi is and that “chocolate cake with fig jam, fig leaf cream, fall fruit” is no Rigó Jancsi (see photos). That desecration of one of the high points of one of the world’s greatest confectionary cuisines was the low point of an otherwise pleasant experience at Dear Inga last night.
The restaurant is proud of their house made sausages which are excellent, but, frankly, not better than Rosamunde’s which are available near by in less charming and chic environments. We had the blood sausage, which to me was a first class bratwurst, black instead of white; not anything like the French/Italian/Argentinian wonders of this classic.
The Manila clam and pork in a wonderful dill flavored soup was nice. The high point was a marvelous smoked Cornish game hen grilled over wood along with a big portion of Treviso and highlighted by an interesting pomegranate/walnut sauce (I would have like more).
Smoking and wood grilling seems to be the strong point here and that’s what will bring us back for a second look. Maybe the small portion of Hungarian liptauer cheese spread with pesto and eggplant (why?) for $14 plus more for a langos (fried bread) will be worth it.
Ravi Kapur, one of the partners, was visible at the kitchen counter watching every order. I was wishing that more of the depth and originality of Liholiho was also present.
This is a Rigó Janci:
This is not a Rigó Janci, what Dear Inga served: