Anthology’s new chef – engaging your taste buds from start to finish

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Anthology from above

Anthology from above

Anthology is a great place to sit back and watch people lounge in the plush white chairs that look onto a stage filled with sultry voices and talented musicians.

The setting is fabulous – with high ceilings and blue lighting, comfortable tables and a beautiful bar that greets you in the front room; making it possible to enjoy dining at any hour. Upstairs offers an outside patio area overlooking the downtown harbor and Little Italy.

Taking a seat in a cozy booth, I leaned back with a Remixed Mojito, filled with Bacardi Rum, muddled blackberry, mint, lime, sugar and a champagne float. Easing in to the lounge mood, I took in the sounds of Very Superstitious and Shake Your Body from the Tuesday night house band as I studied their menu which appeared to offer a great happy hour.

Chef Eric Bauer engaged my taste buds from the very start with a yellow curry sweet potato soup that burst through with flavor. Rich and warm, the curry added a nice spice to an already diverse dish. Continuing on with the first set, calvados and black pepper lacquered pork belly were served with locally-grown Chino Farms creamed sweet corn. The meat was so moist and tender it separated as soon as my fork touched it and melted in my mouth with each bite. As you savor this delicacy, be sure to try the Talmage Zinfandel to help accompany all the flavors. The farmers market heirloom tomatoes offer a tangy and luscious veggie combination, sided with Gioia Creamery Burrata cheese.

If you’re in the mood for something light, try the Crispy Skin Barramundi, which is served in a deep dish bowl, but gets overshadowed by the black mussels it is paired with. The curried asparagus emulsion sauce at the bottom of your dish is excellent so do not be ashamed at dipping your fish around and sopping up every last drop. Enjoy the 18-hour braised boneless beef short rib with a glass of cabernet sauvignon Renteria. Not only do the ribs showcase Chef Bauer’s background in beef, but the cabernet offers an insight into the fine selection of wine Anthology has in their bar.

Finally, I repeat, finally, you must enjoy dessert while continuing to listen to the sensational music floating through the air. Chocolate lovers beware of the gianduja and peanut mousse cake paired with Nutella ice cream and caramelized cocoa nibs. You will not want to share, and each time my guest looked away I snuck another mouthful for myself. Each bite was washed down with Graham’s Six Grapes port and only one word can describe it. Delicious.

That evening a large birthday party was enjoying Anthology and before they closed out, the house band sang a special tune for the guest of honor. Table service was outstanding all evening and looking around I noticed that the bar was also very popular during my visit. The acoustics were amazing all night long. It was wonderful to go to a lounge where I could sit back, enjoy a drink, and take it easy; all while sitting down. I didn’t have to fight for a seat. I didn’t have to pay for a cabana or table service. Anthology is nothing but class from the inside out.

1337 India Street
Little Italy

Plastic: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover
Liquor: Yes
Prices: Moderate. Most dishes range between $14 and $26.
Value: Very good
Noise level: Music
Wheelchair access: Yes
Smoking section: Patio
Tuesday Night:  Half-off Tuesday’s 5:30 to 7:30 and house band

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