Regular readers of the blog will recall that we recently traveled to Connecticut to visit Mohegan Sun and attend the Brew Fest 2012. We mentioned during that previous post that we dined at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain and would post about it at a later date. Well, here is that post.
Other than the Seasons Buffet, in our estimation, Bar Americain was the most popular restaurant at Mohegan. Despite the massive volume, however, the quality does not suffer at all. I was quite anxious to see if the name of Bobby Flay, synonymous with quality comfort food would hold up in light of the huge quantities served. I was pleasantly surprised.
The restaurant has a comfortable, modern design with soaring ceilings but plenty of quiet nooks although it is quite large. We sat in the main dining room, off to the side, where we were able to enjoy our dinner quietly but chose to chat with visitors sitting nearby on the food and events going on. We started with this griddled, spicy cornbread, perfectly crispy and buttery on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.
We split a bowl of this Gulf Shrimp & Grits, Bacon, Green Onions, and Garlic for our first plate. Of course, we've had shrimp and grits before but this was far superior to other versions we have had. The flavor of the shrimp was not lost, the grits creamy and what is not better without bacon and green onion?
Perhaps, like me, you have seen Bobby Flay prepare fried chicken on television. Therefore, I had clearly made up my mind well beforehand that I would be ordering this Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Pink Peppercorns, Honey, Lime, and Black Pepper Biscuits. The chicken could not have been more perfectly fried with a rich, thick buttermilk batter that crunched on the tooth. The sauce was spicy but not overly hot and the biscuits were as good as it gets. I will definitely be using more pink peppercorns in my cooking. They lend a slight heat with a very distinct peppery taste unlike black pepper.
Dean went with the Duck, Dirty Wild Rice, Pecans, and Bourbon Sauce. I tried a taste (of course) and for those who are fans of duck it was very good, although I would not say excellent. The sauce and rice were great but I like my duck just a bit more rare. Just my preference.
The long bar runs down the right side of the restaurant as one enters and was quite popular, with plenty of people enjoying an appetizer along with their cocktails. There are also a number of round tables with nickel tops perfect for couples enjoying a drink.
Overall, we'd have to rate Bar Americain as very good and nothing less than one would expect even given our high hopes.