We started with the bluefish rilletes and rye toast. The bluefish is smoked in house, which gives it a great flavor. The fish was mixed with just a hint of creme fresh, making the spread rich and thick. It was perfect on the rye toast, and the pickled vegetables added just the right amount of saltiness.
Next was the farmhouse terrine served with whole grain mustard, red onion compote, and toast. I'm not sure what the terrine was made of, but it had a great creamy texture like a fois gras.
We also tried the chicken liver pasta, which isn't something I'd normally order but I'd read several rave reviews. The dish consisted of fresh spaghetti tossed in a chicken liver cream sauce and bits of pumpkin. The sauce was rich and creamy and didn't have a strong liver flavor I would've expected.
The first of our two larger plates was the choucroute garni, a plate of pork done several ways and served with a trio of housemade mustards. This included two types of grilled pork sausages (chorizo and garlic) and thick slice of pork belly. Pork belly is one of my favorite things, but if its not done right it becomes chewy and inedible (I know from a personal failed attempt at cooking this at home). This was done perfectly, and the layer of fat had the melt in your mouth texture and consistency I love about good pork belly. The dish normally comes with Kraut, but since it's braised in a stock with mushroom and the bf is allergic the kitchen gladly substituted some grilled Brussel sprouts. These were also done well, and blackened a bit, which is just how I like them. I didn't try the mustard, but the bf loved the spicy one and even put it some of our other dishes!
We also tried the sirloin tip brochette with grilled avocado. The tips were delicious, but my favorite part of this dish was the avocado. I absolutely love avocado and eat it almost every day (sometimes multiple times) but I've never thought to grill it. It was fun to experience one of my favorite foods in a completely different way!
For dessert we tried the fresh goat cheese with marinated peaches and a side of the maple sugar ice cream (normally served with another dessert). Growing up in NH, I've loved maple sugar since I was little kid and again appreciated the opportunity to experience an old favorite done in a completely new and inventive way.
I wouldn't change one thing about my meal at Kirkland Tap and Trotter; each dish was both well thought out and executed flawlessly. The atmosphere was warm, casual and relaxed, and the staff was friendly and accommodating of both special requests and dietary restrictions. I wouldn't expect any less from Tony Maws, and I can't wait to go back!