Restaurant review: Ripple

April 4, 2011

A few days ago, three friends and I dined at Ripple in Cleveland Park.  It was our first experience there.  I think I speak for all of us when I say we were all pleased with both the food and service.

The four of us shared a selection of charcuterie (prosciutto, speck, salami) and cheese (red hawk, humboldt fog, chappelle).  No complaints there other than: more cheese, please!  If you’re a cheese lover like me, you’ll want to order three cheeses just for yourself.  With four people, we had to politely and painfully ration our cheeses.

For the main course, my friend and I split the gnocchi and sirloin.  The gnocchi were served with spinach and shelling beans in fondata –i.e. a fancy way of saying cheese sauce.  The gnocchi were lovely and the fondata was well . . . come on, there’s never anything wrong with cheese sauce.  In my opinion, the beans were superfluous.  An aside here: the term shelling beans refers generally to fresh (as opposed to dry) beans that have been removed their pods.  I don’t think they worked in this dish.  First, I didn’t like their crunchy texture.  They appeared to have been cooked “al dente”.   Maybe they were added to the dish to contrast the soft texture of the gnocchi, but the contrast was too sharp  — to the point of distraction.

Next came the sirloin, cooked to a perfect medium rare, which came with one rather large beef cheek ravioli.  I think I could eat a whole plate of that ravioli.  Too bad I had to split it with my friend.  Sadness.

At this point, my dining companions and I were still not full.  I’ll pause here to say that overall I think the portion sizes are on the small side.  My friends agreed.  The portions are designed to force you to have a multi-course meal.  Depending on how hungry you are, this may or may not be a good thing.  So we opted for dessert, splitting the baked-to-order chocolate chip cookies (that were served with your choice of regular or chocolate milk!) and a dessert du jour — a spin on creme brulee.  To be honest, I had tunnel vision when it came to the chocolate chip cookies.  I know, what kind of reviewer am I?? My friends liked the other dessert and I have a faint recollection of tasting the dessert du jour and liking it, but that’s all I can remember.  I just couldn’t tear myself away from those darn cookies.  Ooey, gooey, warm loveliness.

We all loved our waiter, Bryan, who provided us with great service.  The atmosphere was nice — a welcoming neighborhood restaurant where you can meet up with friends for some good food, wine and conversation.

Next time, I wonder if they’d let me have a big plate of beef cheek ravioli followed, of course, by warm chocolate chip cookies and milk.  Hmm.

Ripple on Urbanspoon

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