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After debating whether to order one of the Bristol's two cuts of mesquite-grilled steak, I decided I'd rather find out what wonders Uche might perform with the lowly chicken breast. Turns out he elevates the ubiquitous bird to the sublime, pan-roasting the juicy breast in a thick sauce of Marsala wine and sage until it's lightly caramelized and mahogany-colored, rising up from a heap of free-form squares of rustic chive gnocchi.
On each of my three visits, the appearance of the dessert tray -- typically a happy moment -- was met with groans. Wasn't it overkill? But Martha has a sweet tooth, so we indulged her. She eyed each dessert on the platter with as much intensity as if it were a diamond on a jeweler's tray, finally selecting a hefty wedge of cheesecake.
"I gotta warn you guys," said the waiter -- who came off as a cross between Tony Soprano and the late John Candy -- "it's an eggnog cheesecake, so if you don't like eggnog, you're not gonna like it."
We liked it just fine, thank you. Like everything else on the Bristol's menu, the cheesecake is oversized and slightly theatrical. In a world where fresh seafood is no longer a novelty, dishes have to be big and splashy. Anything else might be considered ... shrimpy. And that's so last millennium.