Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finding Simple Treasures at ATTIC

by @mrfredbriones
After a long day in the City @ the Benny Gold Fall Collection Party, (my wife @CeeEsBee was a cupcake vendor @ the event) we decided to stop by ATTIC in San Mateo for an early dinner. I have been meaning to write about ATTIC since they opened but I have been swamped with other projects. But it wasn't our first time to dinning here, actually we have been back a dozen times since it's grand opening this past Summer.

I have to say that I love what ATTIC is all about, or at least what I think the restaurant is all about. ATTIC isn't trying to be the definitive Filipino restaurant, or even the authority on the cuisine. It doesn't even say anything about being a Filipino Restaurant. I believe what it does do, is re-define what Filipino food is and what it can be. Chef Tim Luym's Filipino-inspired menu includes a wide range of dishes that may be familiar to pinoy-dining regulars, but everything here is different. It's not like your mom's cooking but then again, by no means is ATTIC isn't trying to replace your mom's chicken
adobo. I think what happens with diners who walk into a Filipino restaurant, or any other ethnic-inspired establishment, is that they expect something...something that they are used to. Understandable, but why buy a Ford Mustang if you are used to driving a Honda Accord and keep comparing them to each other. I don't think you should go into a restaurant expecting anything except good food and a great experience. Do I get both here at ATTIC? Yes. It's an intimate restaurant that doesn't make me feel cramped. I feel welcomed here...hmmm, almost like I was at home!

OK, let's get to the food. We have had everything on the menu but there are my favorites. We did
get there early so we hung out downstairs at Under ATTIC for Happy Hour. For starters we had a few oysters on a half shell that were nicely plated on sea salt with slices of fresh lemon. Our waiter also brought out vinegar and Sriracha which went well with the oysters. Then we had the Sweet Potato Fries with banana ketchup and the Grilled Edamame with smoked salt. The fries here are always a good starter especially for the kids, but I was extremely surprised by the Grilled Edamame which was different and damn good. It was already a good start to the evening, especially since the Giants were winning.
Under ATTIC appetizers
We moved upstairs and there were already a few diners who like us, decided on an early meal. Since we had a few appetizers to start, we decided to order light and get a few of our regulars. To our surprise, Adobo Hobo was a guest chef for the night offering his famous chicken adobo and pork adobaos, we ordered both along with the Adobo Wing Lollipops, Sweet Pea Leaf Stir Fry,and a side of steamed rice. We'll review the Adobo Hobo's offerings in a later article but for now, let's just say it was damn good! I knew that the wings were going to be delicious as usual. I love the crispiness and the sweet and sourness of the adobo glaze. Make sure to get a dozen of these because six doesn't cut it for me. (I'm greedy) The sweet pea leaf stir fry went well with our
Adobo Wing Lollipops
chicken dishes and can be an alternative for diners on a low-carb diet. Chef Tim also brought out a Caldereta dish that wasn't on the menu for us to try. The beef literally fell off the bone and the sauce of the Caldereta offered a slight bitterness that I appreciated. I hope it makes it on the regular menu because I'm sure it will become an ATTIC favorite especially for those who are still "expecting" something familiar.

It was a great dinner as always here at ATTIC and that's what I expected from a good restaurant. I am still very excited for ATTIC and hope the buzz that the restaurant has generated continues to grow. So my advice to the Honda Accord drivers out there test driving the Ford just might like driving something different.

Attic on Urbanspoon

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