My friend SMO just moved into a cute little loft apartment in Shockoe Bottom. We went to see her new digs and wound up at Café Gutenberg for dinner. The last time I had eaten here was the day before the flood. It was about time we tried it again.
We sat at a marble-topped round table looking out onto Main Street. The dinner menu featured a wine list, menu items (no real distinction between appetizers and entrees), and a beer list. We ordered a 2005 Domaine Paul Autard Cotes du Rhone for $26. Light and fruity with an ever-so-slight spice thrown into the mix.
For dinner I ordered Crab Cakes ($10). Two petite cakes with a curry, mustard, and caper sauce accompanied by crostini. The cakes contained a fair amount of crabmeat, but it was the sauce that put these little babies over the top. SMO decided upon the Mixed Grill ($11) – Lamb and Curry Chicken over Greens and Cucumber Salad, served with pita wedges and a buttermilk parsley dressing. “Yum, scrum, delilumscious!” was her enthusiastic reaction. Her lamb was medium rare – a perfect complement to the char grilled edge. My husband had a hankering for the Bratwurst plate ($10) – 2 grilled brats with sauerkraut and German potato salad. The sauerkraut was the surprise of the night – mild with a slightly smoky flavor. “Finally, someone who realizes that sauerkraut does not come out of a jar,” exclaimed my spouse. He enjoyed the rest of his meal as well.
I really liked the fact that the appetizers, salads, and entrees were listed without headings. In this way I truly selected what I wanted to eat instead of struggling with categories. The portions were smaller, but in the end were just right.
The reason why the portions were just right was because we had room for dessert! These Café Gutenberg folks thought this through and did a wonderful job of manipulating us! We all ordered the Affogato ($6.50) – chocolate gelati with whipped cream served with a shot of espresso to pour. Very rich, very decadent, very delicious.