With the holiday shopping season behind us, Classen Curve should be a trifle less crowded than it was last month … but even if you’re on a gift-giving hiatus, don’t overlook the presents for your palate served in its restaurants, especially Café 501, 5825 NW Grand.
If you’re looking to begin 2019 by selecting something on the lighter side, try a longtime favorite in the pan-seared salmon, served on a bed of garlic fried rice and topped with a pair of grilled shrimp (which, as garnishes go, is top-tier), all tied together with an excellent teriyaki glaze. There’s probably such a thing as too much of a good thing, but we scooped up every drop. And as befits the dish’s nutritionally conscious status, it even comes with a helping of kale.
On the other hand, if January’s chill is making you crave something hearty and hot, as well as delicious, the Short Rib Stroganoff is a stellar addition to their seasonal menu. Pappardelle pasta and fork-tender morsels of beef tied together with a savory mushroom cream sauce that’s made even richer by stirring in the dollop of sour cream on top – it’s a huge portion of steaming, stick-to-your-ribs goodness. And as a bonus, you’ll probably have leftovers.
By the way, if you’re trying to abstain from sweets, a word of advice: Avert your eyes from the lighted display counter near the door. You will be tempted, and effectively. Presuming you’re not too invested in eschewing extra calories, Café 501’s dessert selection is worth perusing; the chocolate pecan pie and strawberry cake, especially, are great ways to wish your sweet tooth a happy new year.