Today I had the courage to try another item I was unsure of- The Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin. This dish is served as an eight ounce portion of tenderloin, with a Maytag blue cheese and pancetta risotto cake, roasted asparagus, and crispy cotton onions.
When we say peppered- we mean peppered. The tenderloin is completely topped with cracked peppercorns. For me, I thought it added a lot of flavor to the dish..even though I'm not a huge fan of pepper.
I argued with Scott (the head line cook) a little because I ordered my tenderloin medium-well. He said that I wouldn't get the full flavor of the meat by ordering it cooked so well, and suggested I order it a little less done. I said okay, and I ended up with a little red in the middle of my tenderloin- which is probably the first time I have eaten it like that in my whole life. I was always taught by my parents that for safety's sake all meat should be cooked until fully brown. I thought this was how everyone did it when I was younger, and later learned that they were probably just being over-cautious. Anyway, having the tenderloin cooked so that it was a little red really made a difference in both the texture and the flavor of the meat. I thought it to be far more flavorful and much more enjoyable than the tenderloin that I had had in the past.
However, my favorite part of this meal was, by far, the risotto cake. I wasn't sure I would like it because of the blue cheese, but really there was just a hint of blue cheese that was complimented well with other flavors- and it wasn't overwhelming at all. Little bits of pancetta were also a nice touch to this side. I thought it to be very creative and unique.
I'm glad I tried this, especially because now I know what I will say to a guest if they ask if I recommend it or not. My previous answer probably would have been...I hear it's really good but I don't like red meat. Now I can say, the whole dish is awesome and even I enjoyed it!