While the host was friendly, our hopes of a really good meal sank upon first glance around the restaurant. Angela had an immediate negative reaction to the color scheme, a really aggressive mix of red and black - think bachelor pad for a balding, skeevy dude in his late 40s. Perhaps making matters worse was the lighting, which draped the shiny red booths in dark shadow.
Ahem... We started out by ordering six plates. The first to arrive was the Smoked Duck and Spinach Salad, with organic spinach, Medjool dates, feta cheese, and roasted shallot vinaigrette. It was topped with strands of crispy fried parsnips. If the dish had a low point, it would've been the merely average duck, but the blend of flavors and textures of the other ingredients really made up for it. The dates added a really nice sweetness while the parsnip and red onion gave it a unique touch of crunch.
Our sixth and final plate was the crispy veal sweetbreads, with butternut squash, almonds, and parsley gremolata. Maybe my palette had already been around the world and back, but I wasn't completely blown away by this one. It was certainly tasty, if maybe on the plain side. Part of the problem is that one of my favorite dishes ever is the veal sweetbreads at Zaytinya . The brilliance of that dish is that zesty orange segments are used to cut through the taste of the sweetbreads with something acidic. In this dish, the orange you see in the picture is unfortunately no citrus. It's butternut squash, and as much as I love my butternut squash, it matches the heaviness of the sweetbreads a little too closely, and the parsley gremolata didn't quite lend enough acidity to cut through all that. Since it's not really fair to compare it to Zaytinya's masterpiece, I will say that the individual elements of the veal sweetbreads at Policy were executed close to perfection.