This may be a little late, but I figure, better late than never right? So a couple months back I went to the bay area for training, yeah remember this post? Anyway, I decided to extent my stay a little over the weekends so I could catch up with some friends, and we decided to try Incanto. I have been meaning to go to this place for years, basically ever since I saw it on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on Food Network. What held me back? You need 6-8 people in order to order this meal, not to mention you must order it in advance. So yes, there is definitely some planning involved (thanks Grace). Now I know what you’re wondering, what is the “Leg of Beast?” It’s a braised beef shank that is cooked over several hours until it is, well basically, as tender as meat can get. For $55 a person you get a 3 course meal, served family style.
Our first course included a salad, an antipasto platter and a variety of breads and bread sticks, served with what I think was an olive spread. Now I’m not the biggest fan of olives, so the spread was just meh to me. However, I am a sucker for foccaccia, and to be honest, I probably could’ve eaten half the loaf myself.
What I love about this salad is that it feels light, perfectly dressed and complimented wonderfully with the apples and walnuts. I don’t know about you, but I love fruits in my salad. The perfect amount adds a nice sweet touch to balance out any salad. Plus, I love the extra crispiness.
I don’t know what to say about this antipasto platter other than, roasted garlic! That’s right, two whole bulbs of soft roasted garlic that spread almost like butter on your bread. The meat was okay, but I think it’s because I’m not the biggest fan of antipasto platters. I think out of all of them the salami or prosciutto was my favorite.
Now let’s get to what you’ve been waiting for, the meat. You see that picture below, believe it or not, but the waiter picked it up by the bone and all the meat just fell off. Maybe I missed him using the tongs because I was so amazed by the large piece of meat and side of bone marrow, but I swear that’s what I saw. The meat itself is tender, but I’ll be honest it could use a little more flavor. They serve it with a side of sauce/gravy, and I definitely recommend using it.
These beans, what can I say about these beans? Honestly, I usually don’t really like beans, but these beans were sooooo creamy. Who knew cannellini beans could taste so good? I didn’t.
As I ate these turnips my mouth just felt confused. I kept looking at them, thinking they were brussel sprouts and then I would start chewing and I’d be like turnips! The turnips themselves were nicely cooked and still had some bite to them. The flavor of the turnip itself is generally stronger than many vegetables, so I think the turnip flavor couple with the mustard grains almost overpowered the pesto. But I still really enjoyed the dish.
The meal comes to a close with a choice between two desserts. Since there were eight of us, we all paired up and ordered one of each so we got to try both. Between the two, the almond cake was my favorite. It was nice and moist and had wonderful flavor. I also thought that the sorbet complimented it well. The mousse was very chocolate-y. I don’t think I could’ve eaten the whole thing myself, but it was nice for a taste. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the orange marmellata that was inside of the mouse, I almost felt like I was eating small bits of candied orange skin. However, the chocolate balls that it was topped with were delicious.
Final verdict you ask? Overall I enjoyed the experience. I don’t think it’s something that I would do a lot going forward because I felt like it was more about the experience and the atmosphere than the food. Am I saying the food was junk? By all means no. The food was good, innovative and unique. I just wouldn’t say it was the best thing I ever ate. The experience, however, and watching the biggest piece of meat I’ve ever seen just fall a part in front of my eyes was pretty awesome.