Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Refuge From the Rain {Tilikum Place Cafe}

As has been known to happen, B and I went out to dinner on Monday night. This Monday dinner out was a bit unlike the others in that it was actually in place of our Thursday night dinner this week. Life is a little hectic this week between our individual work Christmas parties, jam packed work schedules and trying to get all our holiday chores done, so Monday was the night.

About three months ago, on our last visit to Zeek's Pizza, I noticed a restaurant I'd never seen before across the street. Right next door to The Five Point Cafe is a little restaurant called The Tilikum Place Cafe. Since it's less than a five minute walk from home for us, I made a mental note to look it up when we got home. The reviews were decent. It sounded like a place we would enjoy, so I added it to our list. I wasn't super excited about visiting, though, so I kept pushing it further and further down the list. As I may have mentioned two or ten times before, it's been pouring rain here for days now. That combined with the fact that we needed to be home in time for our grocery delivery made it the perfect day to finally give Tilikum Place a shot.
We all have strange quirks. If you think you don't, you probably have more than most. One of my quirks (if that's what you want to call it) is my sensitivity to scent. It drives B nuts. It can make or break a whole experience for me. What I noticed first about The Tilikum Place Cafe was the smell. It wasn't bad. It just sort of smelled like an old building. Strangely, it reminded me of the way my first dorm my Freshman year in college smelled. I got past it quickly enough.

We ducked in out of the torrential downpour, were invited to hang up our coats and hats, were seated promptly and greeted soon after by our very friendly server. Their website toutes a European style, but the environment was distinctly more French than anything. From the small bistro tables to the ornate light fixtures and the blackboard displaying the night's specials, it had a bit of Parisian flair. After ordering our drinks and the special baked mussels to start, we settled in with the small menu.

I settled on the pan seared chicken while B had the pork tenderloin. The food certainly wasn't revolutionary or particularly inventive, but it was very solid, very good comfort food. The mussels were particularly delicious.

There were a couple of solid dessert choices as well, but we chose the chocolate tart without much trouble. It was, afterall, chocolate. It was very rich, but very delicious.
I definitely see return visits in our future. The environment is warm and inviting, the staff is friendly (dare I say excited about the menu) and it's close to home. What a winning combination! There was a table of eight sitting on the other side of the small restaurant enjoying a cozy meal of their own. Despite the small size of the restaurant, they handled the group well. I would love to bring a group on a return trip to indulge in good wine and more of those mussels and chocolate tart.

Tilikum Place Cafe on Urbanspoon

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