[Naples, Florida] Cafe Lurcat


(John Hartley) #1

This was the final dinner of our trip and we hoped to go out on a high. Cafe Lurcat is quite an elegant place with an innovative menu. It’s divided into three sections – market, traditional and voyage. The first obviously changes seasonally and the latter also changes about every three months with the chef offering a selection from different parts of the world (currently central Europe). Within each section, there are starters, main courses and desserts, but you can mix and match across the sections as you wish.

So, there was pork terrine to start, from the market menu. It was enclosed in a crisp crumb, effectively turning it into a sort of little pie. Alongside, thinly sliced apple and celery. And, in the tradition of many American kitchens, there was that extra unnecessary ingredient that adds nothing – in this instance, little pickled shrimp. Still, the bread was very good – we scoffed it quickly and more was brought (you might almost think you were in France).

A salad came from the Voyage section – lettuce, radish rye croutons and a “German Ranch Dressing “. Difficult to be sure what makes for a German Ranch Dressing – something you’re not very likely to come across in the country’s traditional food. Perhaps it was the addition of a little dill to what seemed otherwise to be a bog standard American Ranch.

Sticking with the Market menu for a main course, I enjoyed the “bulgogi salmon”, although it was a tad overcooked. There was a nice background sweetness to it, which worked well with the dressing of ginger, spring onion and chilli. Black rice was an attractive looking carb but was a bit claggy – perhaps it was intended to be a “sticky rice”. From the Traditional menu, came pan-fried yellowtail snapper fillets, with a parsley, lemon butter sauce. A generous portion, perfectly cooked to the “just flaking” stage. We shared a side order of broccoli rabe, with lemon & chilli. It’s not a veg we see in the UK. A bit surprisingly, it worked with both dishes. You could feel the iron doing you good (much more so than normal broccoli or the tenderstem and purple sprouting varieties we do get at home).

We were definitely too full for desserts.