After attempting to get a weekend night reservation at Legume (1113 S Braddock Ave) for fo-ev, I finally made it there (I suggest calling at least 2-3 nights in advance for a Friday or Saturday reservation, if not earlier). Legume has been on my to-try list for quite some time. It boasts a local, seasonal menu and is BYO with a $4 corkage fee. Right up my alley.
We arrived on time for our 8:15PM reservation and were quickly seated. This place is tiny but I really enjoyed décor and overall vibe of the space. (There is also outdoor, first come, first serve seating available – which was still open as of last week). There was a relaxed feeling in the whole restaurant, sort of like you were sitting in someone’s (nicely decorated but comfortable) kitchen or dining room. There was a server’s station behind our table piled with cookbooks and other cooking utensils. Our wine was opened and my date and I settled into the evening, chatting about the week gone by, watching fellow diners take photos of their food (blogger?), and perusing the menu.
The menu is fairly small – I believe there were five entrée choices, two of which we were informed had already run out that evening. To be fair, these entrees were marked as having limited availability. Our server commented about our “late” reservation. I guess I forgot how early ‘burghers like to eat.
Our server took great care with explaining each dish on the menu and elaborating on the preparation and ingredients used. This was appreciated and piqued our interest in a few dishes we may not have otherwise considered. We ended up splitting a pork and hominy based soup as an appetizer and going with a braised lamb shank and red snapper as our entrees.
The soup was good. It contained tender pork and came with lots of cilantro and avocado to add in to your liking. Both entrees were well prepared and certainly enjoyable – the lamb was tender, the broth and accompaniments to the snapper light yet full of flavor. I would almost describe the entrees as “rustic” – clearly Legume takes pride in the quality ingredients they use and want these components of their meals to shine within simply prepared dishes.
However, I just felt like something was missing, food wise. It appeared the price point at Legume was slightly higher than some of the other BYO spots I have been to recently (Avenue B and Stagioni) and although the meals were certainly good, they just were not outstanding or particularly memorable. Hmmm. I would return here but would first head back to Salt or Avenue B if I were in the mood for some seasonal, well prepared eats. Maybe I just ordered poorly? I really did enjoy the atmosphere and the relaxed nature of the evening. Should I give Legume another chance?