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21 Sep 2011

New GastroPub Chic Menu at ENVY Ultra Lounge

Author: mmclaughlin | Filed under: the Full Foodie

a column for food news, specials & “foodies” in Fullerton

Morgan McLaughlin
Editor in Chief

This week (September 23, 2011):

ENVY Ultra Lounge

The GastroPub is all the rage right now and it’s time downtown Fullerton got one of its own! But this one is GastroChic!

ENVY is a popular night time scene with DJs playing anything but Top 40, but this new menu aims to bring in the foodies of North Orange County who are looking for more than just the standard dish. The premiere of The Kitchen at ENVY yesterday evening was a collaboration with CULINARYsound in an effort to fuse the aesthetic of music with the aesthetic of food. Every other Thursday for the next 5 weeks you’ll find this incredible 5-course Pre-Fix menu available at ENVY for $35. The items below will also be on the new menu that is available starting today!

Your meal starts with a hearty and thick roasted cauliflower soup. This creamy dish served with slivered garlic reminds you of a potato chowder, with fresh familiar flavor you’d never know this comes from the oft overlooked vegetable at your local grocer.

Salad is a choice between a Seared Ahi or a Grilled Romaine. The Ahi is fresh and exciting when paired with the olive tapenade and the fresh salad greens at the end of the dish work nicely with a perfectly cooked red potato, hard-boiled egg, cherry tomato and a light sherry vinaigrette. The Grilled Romaine straddles between warm and crisp cool leaves with a great kick of flavor from the corn relish, pumpkin seeds and  the creamy roasted garlic cilantro dressing.

CULINARYsound partnered with FUZE beverages and SmartWater for this new menu launch and the popular fruity drinks mixed well with cocktails while the vapor distilled water with electrolytes was intelligently paired with meals to cleanse the palate in between dishes.

Appetizer choices are the Grilled Prawns, of which you get two hefty ones paired with a grilled citrus micro basil greens, or try the Ratatouille Crostini that you’ll want to eat with a fork and knife, towering with Burrata Italian cheese and pomodoro finely diced and served warm and crisp.

The speed of delivery from the kitchen is both impressive and perfectly timed with the pace of eating each dish. It’s hard to imagine being able to eat the incredible looking main course that comes to you next but somehow you find a way.

The Wild Mediterranean Seabass comes swimming in a pool of bouillabaisse that is flavorful but doesn’t interfere with the taste of the bass, just enough acidity is in the sauce to balance with the fish and the bed of shaved zucchini.
The Braised Brisket Tacos are more than you might be used to in a town of weekly Taco Tuesday deals. The flavor of the meat is melded with the Cotija creme, citrus greens and pickled red onions that make your tongue sing with delight.
The Rib Eye steak is large and flavorful augmented only by the sage brown butter. As always ENVY provides pomme frites (french fries) cooked to perfection – thin, crisp on the outside and steaming and soft on the inside.

The cheesecake dessert with raspberry and white chocolate accents is a nice finish to a satisfying and filling meal that is made fresh with the local produce from the Downtown Fullerton Thursday Market. The atmosphere of ENVY, the music and the food are all about the communicative design of restaurant elements, from how the bottles look together on the table with the art of the food and negative space on the plate to the low lighting and eclectic mix of music.

This new beginning for ENVY Ultra Lounge is big for the community as they plan this season to add the Feel Good Kitchen program to their menu; donating proceeds from certain menu items to local food kitchens in the community. Food Architects Luis Guerrero, Marcus Hagan and Nick Balderas understand the GastroPub fad and take it to another level with a simpler, more intelligent menu that is better suited for the hip and classy ENVY Ultra Lounge.

“We changed the menu to break the monotony of the food direction and add a little more flair,” says John-Michael Sanchez, Owner/Partner at ENVY. “There’s more of a Southern European influence in terms of ingredients and presentation… I hope for the clientele that this menu entices [with] new flavors, and new influences regarding food.”

ENVY Ultra Lounge: New Menu, New Energy, New Restaurant Identity!

$$
daily 5pm-2am
120 W. Wilshire Ave.
(714) 525-8051
www.EnvyUltraLounge.com

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