Karma and Camus

The cure for existential munchies

Beef Wellington may sound like a cliché of the Kennedy era, but it's generally a lost art these days. Donohoe resurrects it for one of his entrees, but gives it a twist, using duxelles (a finely chopped mushroom mix) instead of foie gras inside the tender filet of beef, with tall triangles of puff pastry off to the side, all situated in a puddle of Prigueux sauce. Exquisite and memorable.

Less memorable is the poussin (or baby chicken) over prosciutto couscous. Too much like ordinary clucker; I'd have preferred duck or squab instead. Kudos for the soft meat of the beef short ribs in a veal sauce left over from the braising, and the fresh, cedar-planked salmon. The brined pork chop was nothing special, though edible.

Wellington wiz Matt Donohoe shows off his riff on the classic dish.
Jackie Mercandetti
Wellington wiz Matt Donohoe shows off his riff on the classic dish.

Details

Herb-encrusted lamb chops: $15
Prime Filet "Wellington": $31
Cedar-planked salmon: $28
Chef's Choice crème brûlée: $8

602-212-2687 (www.theclarendon.net).
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m. (Bar open until 2 a.m.)

401 West Clarendon Avenue (inside the Clarendon Hotel and Suites)

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For dessert, you must try either the passion fruit crème brûlée (topnotch), or the "tiga chocolate," a small tray with chocolate torte, chocolate panna cotta, and a cute lil' chocolate martini from the bar. Superbly original. Here's another argument against karma: Camus' chocolate trifecta was bestowed upon yours truly to inhale, and, as most of you know, I'm a very, very bad man.

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