In 2019, we’re generally trying to be more mindful about eating healthy and cooking at home.
Once a month (okay, maybe twice), we’re leaving it all out there and having an epic cheat day in which we’ll treat ourselves to a fancy dinner at a new (to us) restaurant in town.
In January, we visited a recently opened downtown restaurant, Fl. 2 — so named because it’s on the second floor of the Fairmont Hotel.
Early birds that we are, we arrived not only ahead of our reservation time, but earlier than the restaurant actually opens. The bar was open, however, so we started with some tasty cocktails. On the left is their Twilight (like a Cosmopolitan, but with a bit of Benedictine thrown in to give it complexity), and on the right is the Moon Juice, which is prosecco with muddled Montenegro blueberries.
While we perused the menu and tried to whittle our “to-order” list down from “one of everything,” we enjoyed glasses of rosé bubbles. I appreciated that they were served in classy coupes, instead of your typical flute.
The restaurant had a good number of delicious-looking seafood options, so we focused primarly on those while ordering. First up, we had the cold water lobster appetizer. It was like a ceviche, with a crème fraîche, tarragon, and pickled fennel that gave it a little zesty kick.
Our next course was another appetizer — though a much more substantial one. We had the chickpea fricassée, which came with thick hunks of ciabatta bread spread with tomato confit and garlic aioli, almost like a bruschetta. The portion was large enough that we ended up taking half home, to ensure we’d have room for the rest of our meal!
Our third course took us back to the sea: we had this scrumptious fried oyster tartine, which came with watercress on thin toasts, with a cajun aioli. Neither of us are the biggest oyster fans in the world, but the breading was heavenly and the texture was great — firm enough that it felt cooked, but no rubberiness.
While the first three courses were all lovely, the octopus entrée we shared was our runaway favorite. The octopus itself was seared to perfection and served on a bed of lentils seasoned with coriander. As an additional side, because we couldn’t resist, we had the celeriac mashed potatoes, which had a wonderful creaminess to them.
We rounded out our meal with a rich but balanced dessert: the warm apple crumble, which came with vanilla ice cream and white chocolate shavings. Paired up with tawny port, it felt like the best possible way to end a great dining experience.
We’ve dined at restaurants that occupied this space in the past, but Fl. 2 quickly rose to the top of our rankings. If you’re looking for a swanky meal, with attentive service — especially if you’re going to a show and are on a clock — we highly recommend!