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Tru Luv's is beginning to blossom page 2
TruLuv's: A Modern American Bistro

Date published: 3/16/2006

continued

The entrees included a choice of salads, and his was Caesar. The 14-ounce piece of beef was perfectly cooked, and MDP loved the potatoes. The asparagus was disappointing--stringy and lacking good flavor, he said. But he pronounced the gravy "excellent."

The salad was good, but he was surprised that most of the dressing, plus pieces of egg and bacon, was underneath the lettuce rather than mixed throughout. He was pleased that the lettuce was cut into "manageable pieces." A Parmesan crisp that looked like a cheesy lace cookie was planted in the salad--a nice touch.

I ordered pan-seared sea scallops (eight), which came with grilled broccoli and Parmesan risotto ($23). The large scallops were perfectly cooked and bathed in the lovely, tasty, citrus and roasted tomato cream sauce. The broccoli was nicely grilled, not overcooked, and the dense risotto had both texture, like tapioca, and a nice dash of cheese flavoring.

I selected the baby spinach salad with a blue-cheese dressing. It included fresh bits of egg, bacon and red onion. The creamy dressing was plentiful, but mild.

Despite the elegance of the tables--linens, candlelight--we were surprised that the honey butter was served in small plastic cups, similar to those used at takeout places--another deduction. And there were minor problems with service--silverware was not replaced twice after courses were removed, and water glasses were refilled only once.

The plate presentation for the entrees scored high points, and the amount of food in each of the courses was greater than expected.

When we realized that with few exceptions the word "delicate" had come to mind in describing sauces and seasoning, we decided that for the most part they were bland rather than distinctive.

But then there was the dessert tray (each homemade item was $6). MDP selected the creme brulee, and I picked the raspberry cheesecake. Both were excellent, even though the raspberry flavor came from a drizzle, rather than from fresh or frozen berries. The consistency, however, was as good as a cheesecake can get.

In warm weather, outside dining on a terrace is available. A note on the restaurant's Web site suggests that as a courtesy to other patrons, there should be "no smoking, no cell phones, and no crying babies (or adults) in the dining area." Fortunately, neither cell phones nor crying was a problem while we ate.

For the most part, we were pleased with our meal and think that, with a bit more experience and training, Tru Luv's has the possibility of becoming a major medal contender.

Linda Salisbury, who has written five books, works with self-published authors. E-mail her at lg
Email: salisbury@gmail.com. Or call 540/374-5448 with comments about today's restaurant review.


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TRU LUV'S: A MODERN AMERICAN BISTRO

Address: 1101 Sophia St. (at Amelia Street), Fredericksburg

Phone: 540/373-6500

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Prices: Appetizers: $8-$12

Soups and salads: $4-$6

Sandwiches: $9-$12

Dinners: $14-$38

Children's menu: $6

Desserts: $6

Beer, wine and mixed drinks available.

Atmosphere: Expansive picture windows offer a daytime view from the dining room of a fork in the Rappahannock River. With arches and tiles, the room has a Mediterranean feel. Servers are elegantly dressed in black, and the room has a formal atmosphere. Accents of color are provided by paintings, which are for sale.

Payment: Major credit cards accepted.