Small plates delivered in the Pompadour’s cozy, tapas-only dining room always create a buzz. “We’re so small that when servers start bringing plates out of the kitchen, they walk by everybody and people are like, ‘Oh, what is that?’ And everyone talks to one another at the tables,” says Rusty James Phillips, chef-owner of the downtown Fairport Harbor restaurant.
The popular Humble Vegetable dish is not only eye-catching, but each vegetable presented goes through a different process to get to the plate. “We like to play with a lot of (temperature) differences, so you get hot and cold sensations in your mouth at the same time with this dish,” Phillips says. This healthy dish is also gluten-free and vegan.
MUSHROOMS: These meaty veggies are marinated in Pompadour seasoning and olive oil, usually overnight, Phillips says. Then, they are grilled to order and served hot.
ROASTED TOMATOES: After six hours of slow roasting in the oven, the Roma tomato is the next ingredient to star in the dish. “We slow roast it to preserve the juice in it, and then it’s served cold in contrast to the mushrooms,” Phillips says.
HARICOT VERTS: A combination of fresh, yellow wax and French green beans are cooked al dente in a bit of garlic, olive oil and butter and served warm. “We’re trying to preserve the snap in the beans so they’re not completely cooked through,” Phillips says.
PICKLED CHAYOTE: This Mexican squash is a cross between an apple and a zucchini. Phillips says they turn it into a squash noodle and pickle it. “This adds some acid and texture to the dish, as well as a cooling effect,” he says.
AVOCADO RICE WINE VINAIGRETTE: The creaminess of a pureed avocado is combined with rice wine and sushi vinegar to make this unique dressing that is drizzled over the vegetables.
TOASTED SESAME SEEDS: The dish is sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds for a finish that adds texture and a bit of smokiness.
PLUS: Sip on a seasonal Pimm's Cup that combines grapefruit and vanilla cordial, cinnamon, lemon, salt and house-made
320 High St., Fairport Harbor, 440-639-0263, thepompadourbar.com