The Village is in for a treat when Bobby’s Deerfield opens downtown next month.
Co-owner Bobby Arifi—he shares entrepreneurship with brother Augie Arifi—prepared a tasting of six dishes which will be on the menu for Deerfield’s newest eatery Thursday for Patch’s tasting at the brothers’ Glenview establishment, Café Lucci.
“We’ll be an American bistro with an Italian influence,” Arifi said when he brought his signage to the Village for approval last month. The demonstration we got Thursday was exactly that. We were more than pleased. Expectations were high but they raised the level to a new height.
Arifi and his staff brought six dishes. One was an appetizer, another a dish which could come as either a prelude or main course, three more geared as entrees and one dessert.
The first dish we tried was a pastrami smoked salmon with herb cream cheese on a potato pancake designed as an appetizer. It came with an Italian Ruffino Pinot Grigio served to offset the richness of the salmon and cream cheese, according to Arifi.
For those who enjoy smoked salmon, pastrami and potato pancake as part of holiday traditions, we can heartily recommend the combination. It could be the start of a new custom.
Next to arrive was gnocchi with braiego and braised beef brisket ragu. It came with a Hanna Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Sonoma Valley. It can be ordered as either an appetizer or main course. It could easily be a meal in itself.
Swordfish Served With Cognac Cream Reduction
Swordfish with cognac cream reduction came next along with shitake mushrooms and currents. It was served with a ratatouille of mixed sautéed vegetables. We were given an Italian Zonchera Barolo wine to sip with it.
Neither of us had eaten swordfish before but would order it again from the sample we had. The texture and sauce was very good.
After the fish course, a skirt steak made fuoco style with garlic and olive oil came topped with red and green jalapeno peppers. It was served with a roasted potato. All Bobby’s beef is USDA certified prime. The wine was a Hahn Pinot Noir from California’s Monterey area.
“It’s like eating filet mignon,” one person in our party said. The rare portion which arrived was perfect for some but not all. Order the steak to your personal taste and you will not be disappointed.
The final main course sampled was veal in white wine with diced pancetta, fresh sage and parmesan reggiano. The mix of tastes was joyous. The veal melted in our mouths. We continued to sip the pinot noir which we can recommend with either dish.
Though one would expect the service to be outstanding at a scheduled event like this, it is something to rave about nevertheless. Beside Arifi and his son, Benny Arifi, server Jessica Griffiths attended to all our wants and needs at the table.
For Griffiths, the Arifi restaurant business is a family affair. She has worked there 10 years and her mother, Lynn Dudziak, a bartender, has been with the brothers since they opened 17 years ago.
“Our newest server has been here seven years,” Griffiths said. The same is true with the people who bus the tables.
No, we did not forget desert. It too was outstanding and we will highlight it Friday as part of Patch’s new North Shore Foodie Finds feature.
The overall conclusion is Bobby’s Deerfield will be an outstanding complement to a number of good restaurants already in the Village.