I was thrilled to be invited to attend the spring menu tasting at Evoke, one of uptown’s most gorgeous and intimate restaurants.

Tucked away on the edge of uptown in the modern and high-end Le Méridien hotel, Evoke is so much more than a hotel restaurant. This was my second visit, and both experiences I had the pleasure of sitting in the private dining room with it’s expansive stone table and sleek yet warm environment. Both times I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful space it would be to host a special meal, a rehearsal dinner, big birthday, or something similar. Dining at Evoke really feels special, yet can be enjoyed any night of the week.

During the spring menu tasting, new Chef de Cuisine Rodrigo Velazco visited with us several times, sharing the inspiration and background of the menu. He spoke of the collaborative nature of the entire kitchen, allowing everyone to share their own unique cultural influence. For example, Chef Velazco is originally from Venezuela and spent much of his early career working in Miami. We learned of the blend of old and new styles of cooking, another aspect that speaks to the collaborative nature of the Evoke kitchen staff.

Evoke provides a beautiful variety of food with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. We enjoyed amazing morel mushrooms that simply might not be available in a few weeks. Thus, the spring menu will likely continue to evolve. The uptown restaurant also prides themselves on special and unique ingredients; for our fifth course we tasted sturgeon, a fish that is difficult to find on most menus. In another course we ate braised local rabbit with house-made pimenton rigatoni and mint gremolata that added amazing flavor.

Every single dish at the spring tasting was somehow simple yet complex. The burrata salad we had for the second course was familiar, almost like a caprese salad, yet elevated with fresh cream-filled burrata, a crisp circle of brioche that was cracker-like, and a black olive vinaigrette. We had fun eating special yet familiar lobster with less familiar sweet breads, which in fact, are most definitely not bread.Our evening ended with plenty of wine and refreshing house-made cocktails, and a corn cheesecake with bourbon mouse and blueberry that you just have to try to understand how good it is. We didn’t get a chance to meet relatively new pastry chef Chelsea Ecdao but her dessert was the amazing ending to fine spring meal.

Evoke is place to expand your palate and indulge your senses. The service is warm and hospitable, and the environment makes you want to relax and stay a while. Hurry to taste their spring menu, summer will be here before we know it!

While I was provided with the tasting, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that support The Mexitalian. 

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