If you haven’t visited Ella Dining Room & Bar since new Executive Chef Michael Thiemann took over the kitchen, you need to put it on your culinary calendar. We had a dazzling lunch recently at the sophisticated downtown restaurant, in celebration of my mother’s birthday, and Thiemann’s team prepared a meal she won’t soon forget.
The butter lettuce salad – speckled with fat, ripe blueberries, bathed in a dotted lemon poppy seed dressing and garnished with paper-thin, black-rimmed radish slices, was one of the most stunning-looking dishes I have ever encountered; and Thiemann’s fried chicken (a special of the day) was extraordinarily moist and encrusted with a delicate coating. A crispy-seared Petrale sole arrived atop a pile of ravishing roasted summer vegetables; and a plateful of chilled poached lobster was accompanied by fragrant warm thyme butter. And the birthday girl’s dessert? A lovely Black Forest cake, embellished with a chocolate-dipped cherry and an intense spiced cherry jus.