Restaurant Week: Poppy Den

March 12, 2013
We officially kicked off Spring Restaurant Week last night at Poppy Den. It's an Asian gastro pub in Tivoli Village by Angelo Sosa. You might recognize the name from Top Chef Season 7 or All Stars. I was immediately intrigued when I heard of its opening, but we hadn't found time to check it out until now; Restaurant Week was the perfect excuse.

Our party of three had a seven o'clock reservations, we were seated in the center of the dining room. There were several tables filled but I thought it'd be busier. Service was attentive. We started with drinks: Asahi ($7), Big Dog Rebel Red ($7) and Pinot Grigio ($7). We each chose items from the Restaurant Week Menu, $30.13 for three courses.

The Crab Toast with Mango Mustard Grilled ciabatta and ripe mango got us started. This was delicious. It's a bit sweet and savory with a nice crunch from the ciabatta. We all thoroughly enjoyed it.

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We sampled both entrees the Miso Salmon with Shishito Peppers Mint vinaigrette and soy sauce was nicely prepared and a bit sweet. The Roasted Duck Breast; with Poppy Honey Italian honey and cracked almonds is what lured me in and it was actually my least favorite. I found it a bit chewy since it was cooked a bit more than I like. The flavors were nice, though. I loved the grilled bok choy. I would have been thrilled with a big ole plate of that alone.

Dessert was Chips and Ice Cream or Strawberry Sake Shortcake, but they ran out of strawberries. So, we had our choice of raspberries or blueberries. Raspberries it was! The ice cream was strawberry sake. I loved it! On the other shortcake was whipped cream and cracked black pepper, I enjoyed the unusual twist. Speaking of unusual twists the chips and ice cream was literally housemade potato chips in scoops of lemon poppy and miso toffee ice cream. Sweet and salty, it's such a lovely combination.

Overall, the seamlessness of the multitude of flavors in each dish is stellar. We thought it was a great experience, we'd like to return and sample more of the menu. This Restaurant Week special is a great deal: the crab toast, bok choy and duck breast are regularly $43 and that's not even counting dessert. It's considerable savings, plus you're helping a great cause with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Three Square Food Bank. Poppy Den also started Meaningful Mondays where they donate 20% of total sales to a different charity each week. It's a nice touch that they give back regularly.

Poppy Den by Chef Angelo Sosa on Urbanspoon


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