Lime Tree: Valentine’s Small Plates

As true foodies and self proclaimed experts on local eateries, we feel we must encounter all types of gatherings surrounded by food in our travelogue. For our personal Valentine’s Day celebration we turned our sights towards a familiar friend. The Lime Tree hosted a small plate’s event that we cordially attended. For all of our friends out there that may be unfamiliar with this type of setting, let me break it down for you. It’s rather simple actually. The term small plates literally mean smaller portions with a multi-course fashion that are intended to be shared. The concept is that you choose a few dishes (from appetizers, entrees, and desserts) that all the parties at the table will enjoy. This is a great way to try new things that you might not generally encounter on an ordinary trip to your local spot. Some restaurants only serve small plates, however, this is not the case at the Lime Tree. On this encounter they had a unique menu for the evening that transcended cultural and regional boundaries. We enjoy endeavors like these because it allows us to push the thresholds of our palate. Beside the food, another appealing aspect of attending events such as this is the environment. It was a bustling cacophony of stimuli. The event began at 6pm and by 630pm the place was packed with standing room only. The wait for a table may seem like a downfall, but I would argue that it actually heightened our enjoyment. It added a certain element of exclusivity to the affair. Our initial intrigue was hyper sensitized as we anticipated the awaited meal. Our internal fascination was met by a warm welcome from co-owner Kristen through the forest of fellow foodies. This time also allowed us to engage in arousing conversation with old and new friends alike on topics of local politics, vocational endeavors and all sorts of other ideas. Something that also added an enjoyable element was live music. This evening we were melodically enchanted by a local group, Globes, which played memorable covers in the background. For this event the Lime Tree displayed a distinctive drink menu with specialty cocktails for the evening. Spade imbibed an aromatic selection from the list as we awaited the final destination. She picked the strawberry basil mule that was delightful, refreshing, and creative.We finally arrived at our table and after much deliberation we made our choices. For our first course we enjoyed a pistachio-crusted baked goat cheese starter served with beet chips and toasted rye bread. The crunchy exterior created a great textural composition with the soft cheese. Additionally, the cheese was placed atop a bed of caramelized fennel which created an interesting, buttery foil to the briny flavor of the cheese. Goat cheese is an absolute favorite of Spade’s so I would say from her vantage point this was the highlight of the evening.Our entrée course consisted of two amazing all-star players. First I’d like to highlight the Bucatini All’Amatriciana. Bucatini is quite an amusing pasta. It is spaghetti-like with a hollow center which adds a certain playful display to the dish. The tomato sauce accompaniment was fresh and exhilarating with a slight spice from the chili flakes. Secondly, we chose something much more adventurous. We decided upon the Bone Marrow Brûlée. As we looked over the menu we felt this was something we had to try. It was roasted marrow with a caramelized 5-spice sugar crust topped with a micro green salad with a side of pickled vegetables and an Asian pancake. It was literally like eating a piece of art. We broke through the sugary crust to scoop out the bone marrow delicacy. The overall flavor sent our taste buds into overload with a soft gelatin like texture. The small salad crown added a refreshing element while the pancake offered a solid base. This might not be something for everyone, but I feel it is something a true foodie should try at least once.Lastly our sights were set on dessert. We decided upon the coffee and doughnuts. This was a personal play on beignets coupled with a truffle trio. The pastries had a creamy center and were a little denser than the New Orleans staple that I’m used to. The truffles really stole the show though. The lavender truffle was the work of a true artisan. The flavors of rich chocolate friended with aromatic qualities of lavender were to die for. Overall the food was phenomenal and we have to give it up to Chef Travis (and co-owner) and guest Chef Nate Barker for taking us on this journey of flavors. For someone new to the food scene an event like this can be a great way to break into the culture. Not only that but it is a great way to become deeper rooted in your community and enjoy a new social venue. We thoroughly encourage our followers to check out the Lime Tree Sandwich Gallery in Downtown Warren and look for all of their upcoming events. 


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