There are things about living in large cities and eating internationally that I miss. Cobble Hill brings these elements to the corridor and pairs them with Midwestern approachability.
Owners Carrie and Andy Schumachers’ uncompromising commitment to their vision for their dream restaurant was worth the wait. If you’re not taking in the design and detail of the space, you are finding it on your plate. The occasion of their soft opening on Feb. 8 was a beautiful evening from the moment we walked through Baroque-fabric draped doorway and entered the softly lit restaurant.
Greeted by a hostess, we were directed to a vintage furniture-filled seating area, where we were welcomed by a hand-drawn message by the owners’ children. If you can take your eyes away from the sweet note on the coffee table or the ever-changing chalk board on the wall, sift through the prohibition inspired cocktail menu. Start light with one of my favorites — pretty much anything involving St. Germaine — or in this case, the Whispering Garden. We also sipped on the Moon Walk while we meandered through the menu.
As you are seated, notice, as I did, that your table has been handcrafted and stained by friends and family. It is nuances like this that I tried to soak in as individual elements, but more than a I week later, have come together as a symphony.
- Cobble Hill
- 219 Second St. SE, Cedar Rapids
- Seating 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- (319) 366-3177; Cobblehillrestaurant.com
The preview of our meal was the amuse-bouche of goat cheese, olive, and mint leaf — a combination of ingredients to prep the palate and a tasty “welcome” from the Chef de Cuisine.
Our first two selections — the Paris Style Gnocchi and Potato Croquettes — arrived and my date and I picked up our forks, selected a dish and dug in. I knew going in that my date was not a food enthusiast, so when he dropped his fork, leaned back and, using a few expletives, deemed the gnocchi amazing, I couldn’t wait to try it for myself. The soft little pillows of potato pasta with bits of shredded lamb in a light tomato broth melted in my mouth and was as comforting as a hug from your grandma sitting by a fireplace on a cold winter’s day. The potato croquettes can be best described as pockets of mashed potatoes. Garnished with a slew of complementary flavors in artichokes and tarragon oil, you could create a different experience with each bite.
For entrees, we selected the Wagyu Grass-Fed Flank Steak and Braised Pork Shoulder. Each was tender and cooked perfectly with a seared “crust” on the steak and tender pork that easily pulled apart. The accompanying elements were chosen specifically for their complementary qualities of acidity, sweetness, savoriness and texture. Each dish was composed with such thoughtfulness; each ingredient clearly included for a specific reason.
The Warm Basque Cake, with pecan candied popcorn, ice cream, cake and apples, was a whimsical way to end the meal.
As I took the last few sips of my Rosemary’s Pearls concoction of egg white foam and sweet rosewater, I realized I had a serious crush on Cobble Hill. Beautiful, smart, unique, with the adventure and culture of distant cities, but the comfort of home, it has everything I’ve been looking for.