Detente launches Simple Suppers

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On Wednesday night, Nov. 10, Détente began Simple Suppers, a special prix-fixe dinner menu offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the winter, for $29.

“We’re doing these Simple Suppers for the locals, the main supporters of Détente, to provide a more casual and affordable option in the off-season months,” chef and owner Kevin Crowell says. Affordable indeed, but Chef Crowell certainly doesn’t skimp on quality and his signature inventiveness is just as apparent in the special suppers as in one of Détente’s regular-menu offerings.

Each week Détente will showcase a different ethnic cuisine inspired by the travels of Kevin and his wife, co-owner Suzanna Crowell. Last week’s theme was Italian. For starters there were roasted local clams in a plush fennel broth with oven-roasted tomato and black olive bruschetta served with Détente’s homemade potato bread.

For the main course, savory slow-braised pulled pork Bolognese was folded into a fluffy crespelle, an Italian crepe, draped with creamy Parmesan béchamel. On the side, proving a perfect companion to the rich Bolognese was a heaping serving of garlicky rainbow chard with a touch of anchovy and preserved lemon.

Dessert was an espresso-soaked sponge cake topped with mascarpone and a velvety chocolate mousse with a sweet and tart raspberry puree, Détente’s delectable spin on the classic Tiramisu. With tip and a bottle of Albariñ;o (Northern Spain’s shining star in wine), dinner for two came to $125.

Détente will continue the Simple Suppers throughout the winter and Chef Crowell is looking forward to experimenting in the kitchen. He and sous chef Hal Ryerson are currently working on Asian, Southwestern, and Moroccan-themed dinners. This week, check out the French-Bistro inspired menu.

Chef Crowell is looking for input from the community as well. “What do you want for dinner on a cold winter night?” he asks.

Détente has a Facebook page where the menu will be updated regularly and you can leave suggestions. Or for more information, give the restaurant a call at 508-627-8810. Ideas and input are welcome.

The menu changes frequently as winter produce becomes available and warmer weather favorites fade away. You might have noticed that your palate and cravings are changing too, something that Chef Crowell takes into consideration with a menu that reflects heartier seasonal dishes.

One thing that hasn’t left the menu in a long time is the famed tuna tartare. Fresh Ahi tuna is diced and tossed with a Japanese spice mix, soy sauce, candied ginger, topped with Upland cress and on the side, a vanilla-lychee puree, creating a tantalizing and unique combination that might lead to curious queries: Would it be socially acceptable to order another for dessert since it has precious vanilla?

Some other dishes that shouldn’t be missed (and will be on the menu for at least another week I have been assured) are the local bay scallops with pork belly and pineapple, and the braised lamb with tarragon puree, butternut squash, fava beans, fried chicken mushrooms, and ricotta Agnolotti, which is similar to ravioli.

Détente is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday until mid-February, when they will take a one-month break.