New American cuisine ticks off all the right spots on our tastebuds. Not quite molecular gastronomy yet offering traditional flavors, the dishes have been very welcomed so far. Visited one of Maria Hines' restaurants in Wallingford- Tilth. It's also diagonally across old-time/cash-only casual Japanese restaurant Musashi's (feeding students since like before 1996).
In a charming old Craftsman-style bungalow, the dining room at Tilth can get overwhelmingly noisy. We chose to sit in its sun room which seats six, three on each side of the porch door, resulting it in being quieter and less frazzling. However, each time someone comes in or leaves, you'll get the cold splash. Bit chilly this night, but we had warm sweaters. No biggie. It's simple food cooked excellently. I wanted to order everything on the menu. The vegetarian options were fabulous.
Went overboard on the appetizers. Those alone for me always make up a meal. Smoked tuna paté with house pickles, olives and crackers, local roots bitter greens with parsnips, holmquist, hazelnut crisp and espresso vinaigrette. I almost wanted to order a second round of foraged and found mushroom custard with crispy shallot, watercress and pine nuts. There's risotto on the menu. Couldn't resist carbs. The squash risotto was fantastic with marinated radicchio, and pepita.
The man wanted some meat. Mini duck burgers were the deal, with duck fat fried fingerling chips, smoked leek and pickled mustard. Apparently they were really satisfying. He was happy. We were greedy and added a fish, but no regrets. It was a beautiful pan roasted sablefish with escarole, radish and dashi. Loved that touch of dashi! It was obvious that the kitchen is fastidious with its choice of produce and combination of flavors. Its dishes tasted like it. Awesome ingredients right at Tilth's doorstep and a kitchen that cooks with inspiration. Made for a wonderful mellow night out.