Saturday, October 2, 2010

The tastiest MOB you'll ever meet

Two nights ago, DB~ and I took her mom out to dinner, as DB~'s dad was out of town. For some reason, DB~'s sister did not join us (it was a "school night", I guess), so it was just the three of us.

With fall in the air, there is no better place than the Mighty Oak Barrel (MOB) in Oakmont. As I mentioned in my post about Embury, there are some times of the year that are better than others to go to certain places. Fall at the MOB is that time of the year.

The Mighty Oak Barrel is a hidden gem of a restaurant. It's a very small (10 tables at most) place owned by two women. The block building at the end of 3rd Street is utterly non-descript, but once inside you are greeted by a dim yet warmly lit restaurant.

We lucked out as Thursday was the debut of the fall menu at MOB. DB~ went with a blue crab ravioli in lemon butter sauce (eschewing the butternut squash ravioli, strangely enough, as she is in full pumpkin/squash lust mode right now). I went with a thyme-brined pork chop served over creamed cabbage with bacon and apples. It had a side of butternut squash and, in a slight misstep in my opinion, a mix of yellow zucchini and snap peas. The zucchini and snap peas, as summer vegetables, detracted from the fall atmosphere of my meal, in my opinion.

But the star of the show was the dish ordered by DB~'s mom. She ordered by the braised short ribs stew with root vegetables. I was debating between ordering this and my pork chop dish, so when the server set it down in front of DB~'s mom, I instantly had buyer's remorse. The aroma and mix of flavors in this dish were mouth-watering. The owner was kind enough to come over and tell us about the preparation of the dish, as she was getting feedback on the new dishes. The root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, turnip) were roasted in the oven and then carmelized. They were added to the short rib stew, which had as a base a reduced red-wine sauce. Some peas, I believe, were also mingling in the dish. The entire dish was topped with a sprinkle of blue cheese chunks.

I ate all of my dish, but DB~'s mom couldn't finish all of hers. After trying to convince her she should take it for lunch on Friday (secretly hoping she would say no), I finished the remaining half that was left. This dish instantly occupied a spot in my Top 5 Favorite Meals of All Time.

If you have never been to the Mighty Oak Barrel, you must check it out. It is worth the trip to Oakmont, where you can also sample the delights of the Oakmont Bakery if you time it right.

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