Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Go to Scratch for Quality, Not Price Point

I have seen the beautifully-crafted plates presented by the talented team of chefs at Scratch
Tapas & Craft on Facebook and Instagram since the eatery opened. Those delicious-looking dinners with high-end plate presentation drew us to the small local food-focused restaurant in Winter Park. We loved the eclectic, Bohemian decor, and the buzz of the regulars sitting at the bar or enjoying a date night at one of the few tables. We also loved the high quality of the food: mostly local, seasonal ingredients are featured on the menu that changes daily. 

What we were not as pleased with was the price. With the type of food quality and plate presentation offered - as well as Scratch's location near Park Avenue - I certainly expected a higher price point. However, when you hear, "tapas", I expect to order two or three different plates for $8-$12 each. Unfortunately, most of the tapas available were $14 to $16 each and one was as high as $25. That doesn't give diners a lot of opportunity to try different plates. The portion size was medium, so I felt like I needed to order two dishes to feel satisfied.
Grilled Poussin Legs    Photo by Christine Blank

That being said, the flavor of our food was outstanding. We started with the Chamberry Breeze cocktail ($10), which was sweet and light - very refreshing. The Frog Song Farm Greens with Local Blackberries, Radish, Palm Hearts and Mustard Vinaigrette was also tasty. One of our favorite dishes was the Buttermilk Risotto ($16) with Florida Rock Shrimp, Local Corn and Riso Carnaroli. The risotto and shrimp were cooked perfectly and the dish oozed cheesy goodness. 

The Grilled Pouissin Legs ($18) with Jerusalem Artichoke gnocchi, bacon powder and black garlic was also delicious. The young chicken was flavorful and tender; we just found the black garlic paste to be too bitter, even thought we ate it as part of a composed bite. All the components of the Roasted Wahoo ($14) with plum wine puree, yam puree, ramp tempura and Sprite Basil puree were tasty separately, but a bit too sweet as a composed bite. The sweet, watermelon puree somewhat overpowered this tasty fish.

Let us know your favorite dishes at Scratch, and whether or not you agree with our price-versus-quality argument.

Where: 223 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, Fla.

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