Friday, May 18, 2012

Sun in My Belly: Dinner Edition

Sun in My Belly is one of the hidden gems in Decatur. It's known for its brunch service, and I can attest to how good it is. Beginning in January, they started offering dinner as well. Cashew and I had a deal that allowed us to share an appetizer, two salads, two entrees and two desserts, so we finally made it there. Unfortunately, the live carnations at each table were gone since my last visit. There was no aroma of freshly baked goodies either. But despite the loss of some of the charm, the food was as good as expected.

The hardest decision of the night was probably deciding on an appetizer because all of the small plates looked so good. We finally went for the braised pork belly. The reason? It was something we couldn't easily make at home. I am still amazed at how some people can transform something as unappealing as fat into a delicious dish that makes you forget what you're eating. The balsamic drizzle cut the fat perfectly, making the pork belly taste light. The parsnip puree on the side was infused with rosemary, which also contributed to the overall light sensation of the dish.

For salads, Cashew chose the Hermes salad (arugula, pears, walnuts, blue cheese, champagne vinaigrette) and I had the Geisha salad (baby spinach, blueberries, almonds, ginger vinaigrette). I loved the fact that both dressings came on the side without us having to ask about it. All the other ingredients were good quality, so they made for good salads.

Our entrees were the wild mushroom ravioli for Cashew and shrimp tagliatelle (a special that day) for me. The ravioli were both stuffed with mushrooms, and had extra mushrooms on top. They came in a buttery cream sauce and a side of broccoli. However, the mushroom flavor was pretty subtle and even hard to notice, unlike the mushroom tagliatelle I had at Sotto Sotto. I liked the mushroom pasta at Sotto Sotto more... In addition to the shrimp, my tagliatelle here were served in a sage butter sauce. Thankfully, the sage taste was very pronounced, and I loved the dish. The shrimp was cooked just the right amount and wasn't rubbery at all. Also, despite the heavy sauces for both pasta dishes, they tasted light. Still, both Cashew and I packed half the dishes to take home. We had dessert to eat, after all!

The desserts we chose were the rice pudding and the creme brulee. Unfortunately, I don't remember the specific flavors that they were. I think the rice pudding was infused with star anise or another Asian flavor. The creme brulee definitely had blackberries, but I think the custard was supposed to be flavored too. I'm being very helpful, aren't I? In any case, I can assure you that both desserts were absolutely delicious and we finished them in no time! Maybe that's why the flavors didn't have time to imprint on my head...