Dining/Drinking Out : Cookshop and Highlands

Cookshop

My friend Lillian is one of my favorite restaurant partners. The other evening, went to Cookshop, on 10th ave and 20th street to enjoy fresh, simple fare. (Sidenote: The 10th ave/20s has some nice spots, looking to hit up Tipsy Parson, Trestle on Tenth and Red Cat. So many restaurants, so little cash!!!)

Anyway, the restaurant prides itself on seasonal ingredients and supporting small farms. The ambiance is airy and rustic and elegant all at once.

The bread was a huge problem. That’s creme fraiche with horseradish and caramelized onions as a spread. MMM

We got an app of baked clams with house made bacon and summer squash. DELICIOUS.

(Lillian got scallops, which did not make a pretty picture. Um, actually mine didn’t either but… oh well. Lets pretend it’s avant-garde or something…)

I got the swordfish special, over a simple salad of cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes and onions. SO SIMPLE, SO VERY GOOD. Swordfish was cooked perfectly. I didn’t even miss carbohydrates on the plate!! (oh wait..maybe it was because I had 4 rolls and 7 breadsticks) Trying to learn to enjoy vegetables/fruits in their proper seasons, and oh, those heirloom tomatoes, LIKE CANDY!

Highlands

My other favorite restaurant/bar partner is my dear friend Jason. We went through a phase where every week we tried a dirty martini at a new spot, usually along with some chicken liver toast (Best, probably Employees Only or L’Artusi, Worst, the ill-fated Bar Blanc, where the muddled olives at the bottom of the glass required you to have baleen to drink it properly). That was a pricey little habit we’ve put to rest for the time being. Lately, I’ve been heavily into the cucumber/basil family of cocktail, and even more recently, ginger.

(Photo from their site)

But back to the point – after talking about it for months, we finally went to Highlands, a “contemporary Scottish gastropub” on 10th and Waverly, arriving in the heart of the trend. Same vibe as our local favorite, Wilfie and Nell. Definitely great ambiance, but nothing terribly new.

On a rare fruity choice, I got a cocktail involving vodka, champagne, peach liqueur and basil. Really, really nice.

We shared a meat plate with sopressata, mozzerella burrata (not a favorite) and chicken liver terrine, which was the best I’ve ever had. We are both fools for chicken liver and this one was perfect. Whole grain mustard and delicious crusty bread, along with an unwelcome lemon-limey chutney. All around, a very nice bar snack.

I think I knew what I was getting into with Highlands, another great vibe with spot -on mixology and trendy bar food. I’d go back.

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