Saturday, May 23, 2015


I love living in an area with a very active culinary scene, there's always something new to try.  I was happy to find out that a new restaurant, Sink/Swim, had opened in my neighborhood, within easy walking distance, while I was vacationing in Peru, so I made a point to check them out when I was unpacked and resettled in the routine of regular life.  The exterior of the restaurant is white painted cinder block with a large front window.  The sign Sink|Swim is painted simply on the upper right corner of the restaurant in black lettering.  The dining room is narrow and deep with a long bar along one wall.  The walls are white painted brick with paintings of men that look like old sea captains and there is a composite floor.  There are blue padded leather booths along the wall opposite the bar (which has blue seats) and a lot of design elements that wave back to their seafood shack origins.  The menu was divided into Snacks, Cold Appetizers, Warm Appetizers, Entrees, and Dessert.  I didn't sample from the Snacks, but I did try something from every other section.  I started with the Beef and Oyster Tartare with Malt Chips, Caramelized Shallots, and Horseradish.  I like beef tartare, but I had never had it with oysters.  The combination was ground more coarsely, and had a nice crunch with the malt chips mixed in.  The horseradish and the shallots went well with the combination with the horseradish providing a nasal clearing burn and the shallots adding a sweet finish.
My warm appetizer really reminded me of Peru.  Not because it was something I had, but because it seemed to have been something I could have very easily had in Peru.  It was called Seaweed and Potatoes and consisted of Boiled Potatoes with Dried Seaweed, Pecorino Cheese, and Seaweed Butter.  Potatoes are a major product in Peru and I had potatoes many times.  Seafood is also a large staple in Peruvian cuisine.  I never saw anything like this when I was in Peru, but it does seem to be something that could easily be done and sold in Peru.  The potatoes were tender with a nice buttery and cheesy flavor and the seaweed added a light crunch with a salty vegetal flavor.  The flavors were simple and it looked like something that could be done easily, but this was done exceptionally well.
While I had never had my entree elsewhere, it also had some familiarity to me.  It reminded me of something that could easily fit on the menu of Nico Osteria.  It actually seemed to be a variation on something I had had at Nico Osteria.  I had Spaghettone, which was Spaghetti with Clams, Dashi, Pepper, Pecorino Cheese, and Onion Brulee.  There was spaghetti on the menu at Nico, but it didn't have clams.  The pasta that had clams, Paccheri, also had sausage though, so it was a different dish despite the similarities.  The spaghetti was al dente, there were plenty of clams and cheese, and the onion brulee added a nice onion flavor with a crisp sweetness.  The dashi provided a savory finish.  Despite the fact that I liked this dish and thought that it had a lot of good flavor, I would have preferred, if possible (it really wasn't), not to have to eat around the clam shells.
For dessert, I had more Pecorino, this time in cake form.  With the Pecorino Cake was Whipped Honey, Red Grapefruit, Pistachios, and Cappelletti (an Italian Amaro).  The Pecorino cake was a little more dry than a standard cheesecake is, and a little more savory, but the sweetness was provided by the honey and, to a lesser extent, the red grapefruit.  The grapefruit also provided a little bitterness, which paired well with the cappellitti which was mixed into a sauce with the honey.  The cake was then well covered with the pistachios which provided a savory nuttiness.  While I like dessert, and this dessert was good, for this meal, it was probably the least part of it.

I like Sink|Swim and think that it's a good addition to the neighborhood.  My meal was good and the service was friendly and helpful and I can easily see myself returning.  


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