A good friend of mine and I decided to visit Four Square, a really nice restaurant in Durham, to celebrate the fact that we’re saved from the bad economy for the next five to seven years! :D I’ve heard about Four Square for a long time now, but there’s never been an occasion.
Unfortunately, I was at work all day and went straight to dinner, so there was no time to grab my camera. I know y’all, I have not had any photos for a long time, so I’m really sorry… but! They have lots of pretty photos on their website and blog, so please check out those links – and if you get the chance, of course, visit the restaurant, too!
Anyway, Four Square is really cool in that they actually keep a garden in one of the chefs’ backyards for certain ingredients! Their philosophy relies pretty heavily on fresh, local, high-quality ingredients – and a lot of unique dishes are thus created.
The service staff was really friendly, and when we asked for a Chef’s Tasting Menu, they came over and worked out a menu with us that consisted of splitting up 2 appetizers & 2 entrees and a dessert to create a tasting menu. Our courses consisted of:
– Amuse bouche: Fig with Satsuma Orange Peel
– First course: Tuna and Red Sweet Crab Ceviche (chile “snow”, fingerlimes, plantains, chilled avocado soup)
– Second course: Roasted Rabbit Loin “Porchetta” (smoked farmer’s cheese, Carolina Gold rice, walnut & fennel seed granola, red wine sauce)
– Third course: Red Watercress and Lolla Rossa Salad (hearts of palm, satsuma orange, sesame sable, red onion-buttermilk dressing)
– Fourth course: Grilled Kobe Flat Iron Steak (sweet potato churros, Brussels sprout hash, chipotle chimichurri)
– Dessert course: Colombian Chocolate Trio (fresh raspberries, chocolate mousse, mint cookies)
Of course, everything was delicious, but I think I really enjoyed a couple of things:
1- the watercress salad was put together exceptionally. All the components – the watercress, lolla rossa, and hearts of palm had just the right amount of crunchiness and worked really well with the dressing. The sesame sable was really delicious, and together with the satsuma orange was phenomenal. To tell you the truth, I have never had an orange as delicious as the satsuma orange from that night.
2- the sweet potato churros from the grilled kobe steak was delicious, as was the chipotle chimichurri. The sauce worked really well with the steak (which was of course really good, being kobe and all – and you know I love steak/ beef…). Everything on this dish, again, just complemented each other really well.
3- I was surprised and delighted by the dessert. Normally, I do not order chocolate desserts because I’m not in the mood for so much chocolate, but Four Square’s chocolate trio really impressed me. The mousse was light, the mint cookies were refreshing, and everything about the chocolate was really.. refined. Just like how chocolate should be. Just like how dessert should be. A perfect way to end the dinner.
Those were my impressions on my meal. Overall, I had a really nice time. The dishes came out a little too slow for my liking but I’m not sure if that’s just the way it works with tasting menus. Of course, in terms of price, this is a “$$$” (the tasting menu cost $55), hence… “the occasional splurge.” But the atmosphere is nice, relaxing, really enjoyable, and the restaurant itself in a gorgeous Victorian-style house – definitely a place for special occasions – speaking of which, Valentine’s day is just around the corner… haha. No, seriously, it would be a great choice to have your date there.