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First Look: Kurrent Restaurant + Bar

Kurrent had barely been open a week when R and I stopped by to check it out.  I had been anxious to see the place since receiving an invitation to an opening party that had to be delayed – until after the opening!  These things happen in the restaurant world so it was really no surprise.  
The space is L shaped with a long bar and lounge area on one side and the dining area on the other.  The walls sport all the color in this place with their mix of deep purple, chartreuse and rose-red – a combination that works by the way – and the furniture is a very cool white and stainless. 
The bar is pretty long, with a little bend that breaks it up a bit and has an icy, chill strip running the length of it to keep your cocktail chilled while you sip.  The drink menu is creative yet appears to stick to classic balance even when adding interesting (and seasonal) ingredients to drinks. 
R and I both started with the day’s special, a blueberry Mojito.  I always worry a bit when sweet fruit is added to certain cocktails but we both thought the blueberries added just a nice note without overpowering the basic Mojito taste. 
My second cocktail was a Basil-Strawberry Mojito – a drink I first had in San Francisco last year.  I know the combination sounds odd but I really like it.  I liked this one better than that first one, although as the drink warmed it did get a bit sweet but that’s a big challenge when strawberries are a major ingredient – you can only expect so much. 
R ordered a True Cucumber Martini made with Hendricks, cucumber water and sporting a slice of cucumber.  It was really refreshing. 
The Mojitos were served in traditional pint glasses but drinks that require a cocktail glass get the stainless steel glasses.  The idea is that stainless steel will stay chilled longer than glass.  I can’t say if that’s true for sure but they make for a pretty cool looking drink and when kept on the chill strip do tend to keep the drinks chilled. 
The one problem that I see with the chill strip is that it tends to create condensation on the glass so when/if you set it on the bar itself you end up with a lot of liquid, which may not be that great for your arms and sleeves.
While waiting for our appetizer we were served a big dish of Wasabi Peas – I love those things and had to move them away to keep from eating the whole dish of them. 
We only ordered one appetizer that night and I have to give it mixed reviews at this point.  It was a spicy shrimp dish, Pepper Cocktail Shrimp.  The idea was good and the spice was a nice flavor.  I thought the shrimp was just a tad mushy – maybe steamed too long or had been frozen and then thawed and not quite cooked right to compensate but I think it was the steaming in the banana leaf, which is a cool idea.  R didn’t notice that but didn’t like that the spice seemed to have been sort of sprinkled on at the end instead of more incorporated with the shrimp, but that didn’t bother me. 
So I guess the jury is still out on the food – you can’t really judge from one dish on any night, let alone a night when they’ve barely been open.  I have high hopes for the kitchen though – if they come even close to the creativity I saw in the bar (I haven’t even mentioned the house infusions and bitters) then they will be just fine.  I hope to have another chance to check that out in the next week. 
600 East Pine (at Belmont)
  1. 04-Sep-2007 8:17 pm

     Blueberry mojito…I could see that working for me.  Of course just about any kind of mojito works for me.

  2. Culinary permalink
    05-Sep-2007 7:24 am

    BH:  You\’re so easy to please….  what am I talking about??  :-)  ~ B 

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