Posted on: 05.29.2017
Dragonfly has made a reputable name for itself in the Gainesville food scene. Boasting carefully sourced ingredients and unwavering quality with a modern, rustic atmosphere, Dragonfly has become a go-to spot for a refined dining experience. With the one-of-a-kind Spring Omakase menu that launched in early April, GainesvilleScene decided to take the creative culinary journey that Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Allen has beautifully orchestrated for his guests.
Omakase literally translates to “trust the chef” – a Japanese tradition that gives the chef creative freedom while providing the customer with a memorable and unique dining experience. With vegetables sourced from Swallowtail Farm, Chef Jeff explains that Dragonfly’s commitment to thoughtful ingredient selection and the artful incorporation of Kaiseki (a seasonal way of eating) is echoed in all that they do.
With a tart and refreshing Lemon Sour cocktail in hand, I was ready to embark on this culinary journey, free from decision, and surrendering to the chefs’ will.
The Kinmedai Golden Eye Snapper topped with micro-greens and rested on black noodle rice with tomato dashi vinegar and compressed cabbage. Neither too hard nor too soft, the Kinmedai offered a subtly sweet flavor and a soft sesame crunch. The result—a melt-in-your-mouth effect with each bite. The black noodle rice and tomato dashi vinegar was refreshingly cold, slightly smoky, and left me slurping the broth to the very last drop.
The mouth watering, vegetarian-friendly tapas filled the table between entrees. The spread included sweet crispy tofu served with bok choy and carrots, sauteed shishito peppers, and balsamic Brussels Sprouts sprinkled with parmesan and bonito flakes. The lightly blistered shishito peppers were exceptionally flavorful, crunchy, and light enough to leave room for what was yet to come.
The Haru Sushi Roll was next on the journey. With a slight tuna resemblance, the smoked albacore had a full-bodied smoky taste. It’s nicely complemented by the multi-layered savory-sweet relish on top. That relish is comprised of pickled shimeji (mushrooms), pickled spring onion, cilantro, citrus cured hamachi tartar and micro-greens.
As I washed down the last bite of sushi with the Emperor’s Concubine cocktail (beautifully garnished with a twisted plum), my attention was quickly captured by the decadent Jumbo U10 Shrimp. They glistened with lemon shiso aioli as it was brought to the table—mouth watering! Fortunately, the taste was just as impressive as the presentation. They were bouncy in texture, slightly firm and satisfyingly crunchy with a yielding, soft and silky finish with each bite. Paired with pickled celery and red chili cocktail sauce, The Jumbo U10 Shrimp was a hands-down table favorite.
Last but definitely not least, the decadent Okinawa Sesame Doughnuts based with apricot mousse, seasonal blackberries and topped with blackberry salt was the decadent dessert worthy of the food coma. Though I was past the point of full at this time, it was no surprise that I finished every last sinfully sweet bite to round out the delightfully tasty adventure.
The Dragonfly chefs have truly outdone themselves in curating such a dynamic dining experience for those adventurous enough to try the Spring Omakase menu, which will run until mid-July. With the help of Chef Jeff (Jumbo U10 Shrimp & Kinmedai Golden Eye Snapper), Michael Tise (Okinawa Sesame Doughnuts), Jeff Butler (Okinawa Sesame Doughnuts), Noah Bowen (Haru Roll), Dragonfly has created a premium dining experience and a truly unique Omakase menu that shouldn’t be missed.