Since it’s opening, Baku has been this untouchable desire in my fantasy world of frequenting nice restaurants. For starters, it doesn’t put prices on the website menu. Like really? Either a) you are pretentious pricks or b) you are pretentious pricks. Between that and hearing that it had “trendy cocktails”, Michael made it clear that he didn’t want to try it. So, naturally, I name dropped it every weekend during the inevitable “where should we go to dinner?” game of hell. Just when I thought I had annoyed him enough to take me, we heard it was expensive from one person. And just like that, all my productive nagging was made useless. I had again spun the “we aren’t going, so shut the f up” tab on the Wheel of Baku.
Alas, I had one more spin in my pocket. You see, due to Michael’s work, I saw the yard man at my house more often than I saw Michael in the month of December—which did not make the girl who wanted to watch christmas movies, wrap presents, and sing carols by the fire together all day every day very happy. But it did make for some good guilt. Add that to our two-year wedding anniversary on December 29th, and suddenly, when I spun the Wheel of Baku, I spun a “surprise anniversary/remember what your husband looks like dinner!!!”. Good thing. Because I was about to spin the Wheel of Potential New Husbands.
Now that is was actually time to try the restaurant though, i began to wonder if it could live up to my ridiculously-overhyped expectations. Spoiler: it did, overwhelmingly so. and here is why:
1) Atmosphere: the moment I walk into a restaurant, I can tell if I am going to like it. (Similarly, the second I meet someone, I can tell if I am going to like them. I am gifted in discernment, not judgment, as a 250 question multiple choice test recently told me.) Baku atmosphere=on point, especially the bar upstairs.
2) Specialty Cocktails: gotta have a unique variety. again, it passed the test.
- My choice: Cucumber Cooler- Junmai Sake, cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup, and club soda ($10)
- Michael’s choice (and my second cocktail): Orange Ginger Pimm’s Cup- Pimm’s liquor, Domaine de Canton, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, and Orange juice
3) bold flavors. and bold they were. We had:
- Kurobuta Pork Belly with gochujang-miso glaze and kimchi ($14).
- Pork dumplings with green onion, ginger, and sesame oil ($9).
- King Crab hot pot ($17)
- Duck breast with umeboshi honey, and five spice with sancho salt ($24)
- Asparagus with sweet soy and sesame seeds ($8)
while everything was to die for, i would probably only choose to die a slow death for the pork belly and the asparagus. pork belly, obvi. but the dreaded pee sticks as they are called in our house? that was a surprise. every dish was cooked perfectly and was overwhelmingly savory, and the fact that there wasn’t one bite of food left on our plates proved it.
i could stop right here. but i feel like I should admit that I was wrong about a few things. i was wrong about the pretentious pricks part. the staff couldn’t have been nicer, and based on comparable charlotte restaurants, the prices weren’t bad either. but more importantly, i was wrong about the Wheel of Potential New Husbands. These two years have been the best two years of my life, and it is without a doubt because of the man I married. i wouldn’t be half the woman (and bitching wife on her blog) that I am without his unconditional love. another date night at baku?