From the moment that I heard of the "We season our garlic with food" restaurant, The Stinking Rose, I knew it was somewhere that I had to go with my father.
My father is one of those people who could sit in baths of garlic and still not get enough of it. I commonly find myself pinching one of his crisps, only to find (to my horror) that it was covered with garlic granules!
Due to my sensitive palate, I frequently suffer from garlic "hangovers". I believe them to be worse than those caused by alcohol. Sometimes, my mouth suffers for over twenty four hours, polluting everything that I eat in that time with garlic.
My father had flown over from England to visit me. Although I have this huge potential for garlic hangovers, I felt that I couldn't not visit The Stinking Rose during my Study Abroad Year (here in California), especially when my father (AKA Garlic Lover) was here.
The restaurant had rich red walls smothered with photos and candlesticks, a ceiling with hundreds upon hundreds of empty wine bottles and a warm and lively atmosphere.
With family and close friends, it goes without saying that we share everything we order. We started with the "garlic soaking in a hot tub": garlic cloves, oven roasted with extra virgin olive oil and butter with a hint of anchovy, served on an iron skillet. This had a surprisingly low pungency, that I enjoyed. It was the perfect accompaniment for the freshly baked fococcia bread that arrived on our table within seconds of sitting down.
For mains, my father ordered the Double Mussels and Crab Sizzling Iron Skillet and I ordered the The Silence of the Lamb Shank with Chianti Glaze, Fava Beans and Garlic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes.
The seafood was covered in this suspicious-looking but rather delicious grey sauce. Even with the bulk of the dish being shells rather than edible food, we still didn't manage to finish it!
The lamb fell off of the bone and melted in the mouth. The Chianti glaze was divine with the succulent meat, and the garlic was not overpowering. I struggled to save enough of it to share with my father.
Silence of the Lamb ShankWe were very keen to try the garlic ice cream, however, to our dismay, there was no room left for a dessert (I'm sure that the two bottles of delectable Chianti contributed to making us both replete).
Our evening at The Stinking Rose was a fabulous experience and I would recommend that everyone go and enjoy it for themselves. I had feared a horrific garlic hangover (wouldn't even a non-sensitive palate predict a garlic hangover after dining at a restaurant where they "season their garlic with food"?!) I was, however, pleasantly surprised, the next morning, to experience only a very subtle garlic hangover.