Nope. It was not my birthday. It was Mijo's! I took him to RN74. RN74 is an urban wine bar and restaurant located in downtown inside the Millenium Tower. If you have heard of RN74 before, it is because RN74 is short for Route Nationale 74 which is the main highway that runs through the Burgundy wine region of France. I have heard and read a lot of good things about this restaurant and we both haven't been there for dinner so I thought Mijo's birthday is a good excuse to go check it out. In a nutshell, Mijo was genuinely impressed with the place, the atmosphere, the service, the wine and the food. And I totally agree.
Mijo's birthday fell on a Tuesday and RN74 was packed even on a Tuesday evening. We got there 30 mins earlier than our reservation but they seated us right away. The interior is what I call French transit meets urban chic. It reminded me of the Gare Du Nord in Paris and its ever changing train schedule. Our hosts and servers were super friendly and very knowledgeable with the wine and food. We started and finished our dinner with glasses of Domaine Charleux Maranges which was crisp and delicious. (first photo above).
Here are the items we sampled.
Burgundian Escargot. Aren't we so predictable? We were in a French-American place and we ordered escargot to start with? According to the menu, this came with herbs, mustard and tomato butter. They probably thought we weren't sharing because they only gave us a pair of tongs and a pick to eat the snails. Were thinking it is romantic this way? I couldn't really tell if the escargot came from a can, if it came dried in a package or if it came fresh from a farm. We both liked it very much so it must have been fresh.
Herb-roasted Marrow Bones. Before we go to a restaurant, I usually peek at the online menu ahead of time so I won't be put on the spot. So this item got me curious the first time I looked at their appetizer selection. The pieces of bones were huge but the bone marrow was tiny but ultra rich. They were grilled on the outside and soft and gelatinous on the inside. Think of beef soups and imagine the taste being concentrated sans the salt. Eventhough they are small, it is amazingly enough to satisfy your tastebuds.
Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass. This is the one I ordered. Perfectly charred outside and juicy and flaky on the inside with a hint of orange or lemon. The charred skin brought out the fish meat's flavor even more. This one came with steamed mussels, prawns, chickpea panisse, lobster-blood orange bouillabaisse.
Cascade Mountain Arctic Char. This is what Mijo ordered. Midway through our main meal, Mijo and I switched plates so I was able to try this one. I liked it because the fish was cooked perfectly though I thought the sauce with mushrooms was a bit overwhelming. I couldn't taste the fish well enough because of the strong sauce. This one came with spatzle, black trumpet mushrooms, brussels spouts, and whole grain mustard.
Black Walnut Cake. Mijo and I shared this dessert. At first, it was hard to break the wavy melted sugar decor on top because it was just too pretty. The cake had chunky walnuts with the right amount of caramel flavor. Eventhough the cake was very moist, the sherbet was a good addition which added more flavor to this dessert. It came with caramelized apple, Pedro Ximenez wine, and creme cheese sherbet.
This one is the freebie and it came with the bill. It is some sort of a beignet.
Other than the pricey glasses of Domaine Charleux Maranges that were served as if we were in a tasting room, (I wish they poured more wine into the glass!) our overall experience at RN74 was wonderful.