I've heard about Againn again, and again, and again. Yesterday, however, I finally got a chance to try out this Contemporary Gastropub for myself after hearing many of my friends rave about the food (and the drinks). I joined Lindley (disclaimer: she does PR for Againn and invited me) for lunch yesterday and we had a great time catching up and trying out several things on the menu.
If you know me, you know that I like pretty things with a modern twist. You'll find it not surprising then that I loved the decor in Againn. From the stainless-steel clean looking sign, to the blackboard with specials, to the black and white minimalistic decor and surprising fox heads in the lobby, Againn is a treat for your eyes.
But let's be honest: we go out to eat for the food, not the decor. So let's get to the food!
I was happy to find out that Againn bakes its own bread, which was served warm and with soft salted butter. This is definitely a plus! I hate it when the bread comes out cold, especially when it's accompanied by butter that could break glass.
I intended on ordering an entree and calling it a day, but Lindley encouraged me to try an appetizer and agreed to share with me. Fine! :) I wasn't going to complain. We ordered a dozen of East Coast Oysters with shallot mignonette and lemon. Check out the mini yellow "dresses" the lemons are sporting!
The oysters were fresh, cold, perfectly shucked and disappeared within minutes.
We also ordered a side of Crispy Brussels Sprouts. If you are not a fan of these gorgeous vegetables, you must try this dish because you'll be converted. Guaranteed! These Brussels sprouts are cooked with Indian spices and are served with a curry mayonnaise. Since I love Brussels sprouts, Indian cuisine and mayonnaise, this dish definitely hit the spot.
(Just a quick photography note: I had to grab a napkin from a table nearby to put under the board that came out with the Brussels sprouts, because wood on wood photos are just sad.)
To continue the seafood theme, I ordered Pan-Seared Scottish Salmon with roasted mushrooms, confit potatoes and mushroom jus. The only thing about this dish that I did not like was the skin on the salmon. But no worries: I turned the piece of fish upside down and happily ate it. The fish was cooked all the way through just like I like it, but was moist and tender. The mushroom jus could have been served as a bowl of soup: it was that good!
And then there was dessert! Lindley and I decided to order two and share. First up, Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with summery berry compote. The cheesecake definitely had a great lemon taste and was amazingly light. And I really liked the black and white plate that held this dessert. It's the little details that make a big impression!
The second dessert we chose was a Seasonal Fruit Cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Check out the individual dish that it came in! I must confess I was tempted to take the dish home with me...but don't you worry! It stayed in the restaurant. Together with coffee, the cobbler was a sweet and warm way to end a great lunch.
I learned something interesting about Againn: if you love Scotch, you can rent personalized scotch lockers. Not being a fan of Scotch, this isn't something that is of interest to me, but the idea of a locker in a restaurant is definitely clever!
What I was interested in, however, was the private dining room that has a large window that opens up into the restaurant's kitchen! I thought it was a really cool detail.
The private room also had a TV and a very impressive leather ceiling.