Freshtopia

Achim Reus, owner of the new east-side bistro called Freshtopia, has nothing but glowing things to say about his new restaurant. After just a single meal, it is clear that Freshtopia lives up to its reputation.

Freshtopia offers a variety of seasonal choices for vegetarians and carnivores alike, taking advantage of in-season produce, fresh meat and phenomenal presentation on crisp, white dishes by an attentive and tasteful wait staff.

The dinner menu presents an array of appetizer choices, including the Vegetable Torte, a beautiful arrangement of tender zucchini and squash, juicy Roma tomatoes and sweet caramelized onions atop a crisp square of puff pastry, all of which surround a warm, creamy center of goat cheese.

Following one of the restaurant’s appetite-whetting starters, the entrée list includes both vegetarian/vegan and omnivorous options.

From Freshtopia’s autumn menu, the grilled flank steak with sweet potato puree and garlic green beans is the absolute definition of flavor compliment. The spicy steak rub plays perfectly off the candy-like sweetness of the smooth puree and the subtle garlicky flavor and aroma of the beans.

If a heavy steak-and-potatoes meal isn’t for you, the New England fish chowder definitely will be. Also from the autumn menu, the chowder is perfect for the upcoming cold season filled with thick, warm potatoes, carrots and shredded cod.

Not too fishy and delicately creamy, this soup is a nice meal when paired with the complimentary bread and herb butter or a tasty side dish to one of the seasonal entrees.

No meal can be complete without a dessert, and the cheese tart with blackberries and orange glaze provides the perfect ending to this one. A little cheesecake covered in a warm, almost glowing tart orange glaze is topped with candied orange rinds and a fat blackberry.

This dessert acts as both a sweet ending and an effective palate cleanser, leaving the diner with a clean and fresh taste from the orange glaze and a satisfied fullness from the rich cheesecake base.

The hospitality and manners of the staff and servers were magnificent throughout the entire meal, complete with complimentary crispy anise-flavored pizzelle cookies in the place of after-dinner mints at the time of departure.

A meal at Freshtopia seems to be more than just a dining experience. It is a study in the culinary arts, exploring complex and appealing color and taste palates, clean presentation and conveying the care and love of the restaurant’s creators through their phenomenal food.