The Order: Convivial



Pickled Rockfish photo courtesy of Convivial.

Convivial is:

“1. (adj.) relating to or fond of feasting, drinking, and good company;
2. (n.) The product of chef-proprietor Cedric Maupillier’s vision of ‘a restaurant for our time,’” according to the restaurant’s website.

Indeed, Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post said it best when he wrote, “No chef in the city plays better jokes on diners than Cedric Maupillier.” Case in point: fried chicken “coq au vin”. The house recommends a precise 2.5 plates per person, so here you go:

Start with some bites for the table:

Escargots in a Blanket: Sauteed snails, celery root and dry cured lamb is the proverbial threesome of your dreams. Gently wrapped in an egg roll and fried into a crispy-crunchy bite, they hit the spot like, whoa. A dip in melted butter and lemon zest if you’re naughty.

Veal Tartare: Poutarge (aka bottarga), creamy cancoillotte cheesiness, an oyster leaf, argan oil and a niçoise olive cracker. Don’t try to pronounce it, just put it in your mouth. This tartare takes it above and beyond.

(And if you’re really hungry) Tartiflette Fritter: The French Alps are yodeling. This fritter has potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions mixed and fried perfectly into a cheesy snack. You’re worth it.

Then do the:

Barley Pilaf: Crispy sunchokes, a burst of lemon, cashew nuts and goat cheese curds. Texture wins.

Pickled Rockfish: In the vein of southern pickled shrimp, similar to ceviche, this dish is a textural roller coaster (in a good way). Served with pickled rockfish, a green papa slaw with avocado and watermelon radish and a passion fruit and aji Amarillo dressing, it’s salt and crunchy, sweet and briny, and absolutely delicious. A party in your mouth if you will.


Fried Chicken “Coq au Vin” photo courtesy of Convivial.

Fried Chicken “Coq au Vin”: Ladies and gentlemen, here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Having been both braised and fried, this dish is insta fire. Chef breads his chicken lightly, fries it twice for extra crunch and serves up a flavor loaded coq au vin with red wine accents and a stewed onion base. He also adds bacon, because bacon.

And for dessert:

“S’mores”: You know it’s good when they throw quotation marks around it. You’re definitely going to get the feels when you see this pot of chocolate cake, salted caramel, crushed graham cracker crumble and chocolate ice cream, all topped with créme bruléed marshmallow. S’more please.

Key Lime & Speculoos Pie: If key lime is the best lime ever (which it is), then Speculoos is the best cookie ever (which it is).

Oh, and drink this:

Just like a server would, this order has been organized to pair wines with the following dishes:

The Veal Tartare pairs with the classic Seelbach Cocktail of bourbon, Cointreau, bitters, and sparkling wine. You had us at Cointreau.

The Leeks Dijonnaise pairs with the 2013 Bernard Defaix Chablis. #Chablis4LIFE

The Fried Chicken “Coq au Vin” pairs with the 2013 Hitching Post Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara.

And with dessert, the Key Lime & Speculoos Pie pairs with the Grasshopper cocktail, shaken with Créme de Menthe, Créme de Cacao, and cream.

You’re all set. Make your RESY at Convivial today.