They’ve dubbed this project (or the kitchen): The Coal Mine.
The Coal Mine opened last Friday, and has a short menu of tapas, small plates of food meant to me shared and ordered in bunches. They’ll be open for dinners Monday-Saturday, and will also offer family-style dishes (like paella) on Fridays and Saturdays. Much of the menu will change weekly.
Last night, I sat on one of the best decks in town on the third floor of Club David and tried three of this weeks small plates, and came away very impressed.
The three dishes I ordered were the Melon Gazpacho, Meatballs with Spicy Marinara and the Cheese-filled Celery wrapped w/ Prosciutto. Since each is it’s own dish, I’ll break them down individually.
Melon Gazpacho (top right): I almost didn’t order this. I’ve had a few melon gazpachos in my day, and not really cared for them. I am really glad I gave this a try. Where cold soups past have been bowls of puréed melon with the requisite basil that ended up too sweet, this was a refreshing, slightly spicy and oddly perfect bowl of soup. Cantaloupe, cucumber, tomato, peppers and onions with some lightly-toasted croutons. I was honestly shocked at how much I liked this. Get past the “cold fruit and vegetable soup” mental block (if you have it!) and order this. You’ll be pleased.
Meatballs w/ Spicy Marinara (left): Three large meatballs with scallions, Parmesan cheese with just a hint of a spicy kick in the sauce and some tasty, salted bread. The meatballs were great, and the sauce didn’t last long enough for normal bread-sopping.
Cheese-filled Celery wrapped w/ Prosciutto: Of the three, this was my least favorite. Not because the cream and chevre cheeses weren’t good, and not because the Prosciutto wasn’t good (it always is. Meat of the Gods!), but because I couldn’t get past the celery. Celery has one of the more unique textures out there, and while I like it with some blue cheese when eating wings, and I appreciate the childhood memories of Ants on a Log anytime I see celery “stuffed” with something, I just would have preferred a different vessel for my meat and cheese boat! I mean, I still ate it of course. And it wasn’t bad by any means.
Since The Coal Mine is served up inside Club David (a bar), you’ll also have your full array of drink options open to you. I went with an Odell IPA.
Worth a stop for sure, and since they are small plates, you can swing by for an app or two to share before going out, or make it a meal. It’s my favorite thing about tapas.