Happy Birthday, Acme. Or maybe it should be Happy Anniversary? In any event, Acme has been open for just about a year; it was last January when I wrote about how much we'd enjoyed our first 3 or 4 meals during those early days.
Then, over the next 12 months, Significant Eater and I enjoyed any number of delicious meals, both as walk-ins sitting at the bar, or with ressies and sitting in the bustling dining room. Other friends who joined me/us enjoyed it mightily, and people I implored to try it usually qvelled. So I jumped at the opportunity when a friend asked if I'd like to hit Acme for dinner again last night.
While in its infancy there might have been a dish that needed a more careful hand with the seasoning, or a snafu in the timing of the dishes coming out of the kitchen, I'm happy to report that there is none of that now. Every dish we ate last night was properly seasoned (i.e. salted), and the service was great...as a matter of fact, I think that the service (which, imo, was never off) has become a bit more formal, while still retaining that casual vibe.
While a good part of the menu remains from the "early days," a couple of new dishes made themselves known. One of these was the duck ebelskivers. I actually know what ebelskivers are (a long story involving the California city of Solvang); here, Chef Mads Refslund has taken a sweet and turned into a savory, the puffs filled with duck confit; served alongside - pear chutney for dipping. And what looks like the traditional powdered sugar on top is now dried and powdered vinegar...what you see isn't always what you get.
Probably the most talked about dish when Acme opened was the Pearl Barley with Clams, a big bowl of barley swimming in roasted sunflower broth, with scallops and artichokes along for the ride. Who used grains like this? Well, fast forward a year, and now we're getting a dish called simply Whole Grains. But are we sad? No - because the grains still include pearl barley (along with wheat berries). Oh, it also has a nice assortment of mushrooms and comes topped with 3 puffs of parmesan froth, making it one of the earthiest, most delicious things I've tasted since, well, Pearl Barley with Clams...
Roasted beets are garnished with pickled huckleberries, adding a nice kick to that winter standby. Everyone's favorite Chicken and Eggs dish is as good as the first time you tasted it...nicely moist chicken (I'd love to see them use thighs and wings, though that might be a bit much for this crowd) and fingerling potatoes just waiting to be drenched by those fried eggs and their creamy yolks. And the Beer and Bread Porridge with salted caramel ice cream? Yes, please.
The wines by the glass list has grown to no less than 15 selections. I was busy quaffing a Grüner (which I learned to love at Cafe Katja), after a nice glass of complimentary champagne from the house.
Acme continues to be one of my favorite spots for a nice meal. Sit at the bar and have a couple of snacks, or one of those decadent desserts. Sit at a table and have a big meal. You won't go wrong with either. And if you haven't been to Acme, what are you waiting for? Before you know it, they'll be 2 years old - and you know how 2 year-olds can be, don't you?