Thursday, July 1, 2010

Post-defense gluttony at The Black Cypress

Last Monday, at approximately 1:45 PM, I officially satisfied all academic requirements for my PhD, and after successfully defending my dissertation, Ian and I decided to go out for dinner. The original plan was to stay in and order pizza, but as soon as I finished, six long years of fire and hoops begged me to celebrate their departure.

The Black Cypress is owned and operated by someone I was in graduate school with for a time, and boy am I glad he's taken up culinary residence in Pullman. This little pocket of area in the Pacific Northwest really doesn't offer much in the way of food, and anyone who knows me well is aware of my hatred for tasteless Palouse food. Most of the restaurants people like around here make this Chicagoan cringe, but the Black Cypress is one restaurant I always enjoy.

On Monday, appetizers are half-price (except for the specials), and being the ravenous, bubbling with excitement type, we went for the specials, which were both awesome.

First up was the scallop salad, comprised of thinly sliced tart apple, perfectly cooked scallops, finely shredded cabbage, assorted (very) local herbs, and a lemon oil drizzle. I loved the combination of the crisp apple with the soft scallop, and the fresh herbs and cabbage tasted like they just came out of a garden.

We were really naughty and ordered a second appetizer of roasted asparagus on a bed of crunchy toast, topped with a creamy local egg and shaved parm. For Ian and I both this was a sublime comfort food that was just what the doctor ordered (hehehehehe, you know you laughed). Ian wants to recreate this at home since he'll plop an over easy egg on anything, and he's pretty comfortable grilling asparagus.

Ian ordered the kima pasta, which is a Greek meat sauce flavored with hints of cinnamon and topped with shaved myzithra cheese. The last time he ordered it, the pasta was spaghetti, so the orecchiette was a welcome variation, and the creamy kima sauce together with the pasta made it reminiscent of a grown-up version of mac and cheese.

I ordered the beef shish kebab, served with an almond mint Israeli couscous. Each bite of beef was perfectly medium, just the way I like it, and the veggies were the perfect balance of crunch and tenderness.

The whole meal was the perfect cap to an exciting day, and I'll be going back Saturday night. If you're anywhere near the Pullman area, I definitely recommend trying the Black Cypress at least once, if not as many times as you can to erase the memory of generic store bought potstickers and wilted greens found at most establishments around here.

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