Crossroads Kitchen recently announced its new spring menu, although at this point, I dare say we’re closer to summer. But new is new, and there are a few things in store for the upscale plant-based restaurant. Menu items now include a chilled vichyssoise made of puréed potatoes and leeks, spring chopped salad full of pea tendrils and watermelon radish, kale caesar salad with garlic focaccia croutons, roasted truffled potatoes, and balsamic roasted mushrooms. They match veggies with a spring green pizza layered with truffled cream sauce, grilled spring garlic and asparagus, and crisped kale. My favorite dish of the night was the charred ricotta with apricot and thyme glaze. Although the warm Kite Hill cheese is not a new menu item for the season, it’s a fantastic starter. Second runner-up fave was the smoked “salmon” pasta made of nori-coated and smoked carrots, thinly sliced and tossed with pasta, prosecco cream sauce, capers and kelp “caviar”.
Crossroads also made a change to its midday format. Instead of lunch, they’ve moved brunch to a daily schedule. Chef Tal Ronnen’s take on the benedict includes fire-roasted flat bread rounds topped with herb chickpea panisse, sautéed kale, shitake bacon and tomato “hollandaise”. The fried “chicken” and waffles platter is a surprisingly close-to-the-real-thing item. As close as it can be of course. It’s delicious, making use of a meat substitute that has a satisfying pull and texture under the seasoned, fried batter. Peruse the cocktail menu, and line up a few drinks with your meal, whether it’s dinner or brunch.
Speaking of cocktails, Viviane at the Avalon Hotel updated their drink menu for the summer. The new cocktails are, in essence, revamped or inspired versions of classics. The Gin and Tonic is made with housemade clamansi and grapefruit tonic and remains cold thanks to grapefruit ice cubes. The Cuba Libra includes amaro. The Pimm’s Cup’s brightness comes from fresh lemon juice, fresh ginger juice and refreshing cucumber water. There are also three martinis on the menu–Traditional, Delmonico and the Dirty. Go for the martini flight, and you get a sample of all three.
Enjoy these new cocktails poolside. In addition to brunch, Viviane wants guests to hang by the pool on the weekend, soaking in the sun and nibbling on bites from its happy hour menu. Pastrami-cured salmon tartine with whipped ricotta and pickled squash, smoked chicken tea sandwich layered with radish, cucumber and butter, French fries with garlic aioli, marinated olives and nuts, and seared combo tuna are just a few of the dishes offered. This happy hour menu will be up for grabs every day from 3-6p during the summer.
Disclaimer: Both restaurants provided comp’d media previews. All opinions are my own.