It was my birthday last week and we went to see South Pacific at the Guthrie with friends… and looked for a restaurant to start off the evening. It had been a number of years since we ate at Sanctuary on Washington Avenue, just a few blocks from the Guthrie and we decided it was time for another visit. We all agreed we shouldn't have waited so long!
I love the feel of the restaurant itself… to me it feels like a hidden grotto, a romantic kind of tucked away setting in spite of the fact it is on busy Washington Avenue. It has low ceilings (unusual these days) and a low street presence, one you could drive by many times without noticing. But it is worth putting on your list of fine dining destinations.
We were impressed from the start with the unexpected taste combinations in our appetizer… we were instructed to take a bite of a provencal olive with a cornichon (small, slightly sweet gherkin), followed by a bite of garlic, spinach and parmesan artichoke tartlet, then finish with a shot of white verjus (pressed juice of unripened grapes). It was fabulous!!
Everyone had a different entree, each one amazing. Mine was the chef's special… sea bass. It had the same attention to detail as the appetizer with a wonderful mix of flavors including some wildflowers and tiny cucumbers.
We got a bowl of frites for sharing… uncomplicated, just simply delicious.
I understand they have a different 5-course tasting menu each night during the week, and about 1/3 of the menu changes every other months… reasons to keep coming back!