Cindys Backstreet Kitchen is a wonderful restaurant in St. Helena. Chef and owner Cindy Pawlcyn also owns Mustards Grill, has been involved in many restaurants and has written a number of cookbooks.
I had a chance to go visit her Backstreet Kitchen several months ago and while I don't feel qualified to do a real review I do have a few things to say about the meal.
We started off with Backstreet Fry. I had no idea what this was until it hit the table. I expected potatoes. I got Calamari, Onion, Pepper and Beans with an Aioli. Tasty. The batter was light and since it was such a hot day outside this really worked. Mr. L had the Wood Oven Duck with Crispy Potato Croquettes. I'd let you know how it tasted but I didn't get any (there was a family member sitting between us so I couldn't exactly reach over and grab a taste like I usually do), but Mr. L raved about how good it was and I trust his opinion when it comes to duck.
I had the Wild Mushroom Tamale which was very good. It's been described as "mushrooms encased in creamy grits, tightly wrapped in chard, set up on a bed of Yucatan Salsa with mild, chile-seasoned chunks of stewed tomatoes". The description came off the web somewhere. All I know was that it tasted pretty good.
But enough about the appetizers and main dishes. Lets get to the star of the show. The dessert. It's called "Campfire Pie". The description is listed as "Toasted Marshmallow fluff, fudgy chocolate, almond ding and and Oreo cookie crust". Oh hey now, this sounded interesting.
Everyone at the table but Mr. L, who claimed he was too full to even split a dessert, ordered something sweet. Unlike most folks it seems, I had never heard of the "famous" Campfire Pie but it sounded good and I was the only one at the table to order it. OH. MY. LORD. Seriously, I took one bite and then pretty much inhaled the rest. I tried to keep my head down and my spoon working furiously so that no one would notice this amazing piece of work sitting in front of me less they try to sneak a taste. Being the newly wed wife that I was, I decided to save a couple of bites for Mr. L...he who said he was to full to eat anything else. I slid the plate down to him while he was busy in conversation. Then he took his first bite. He stopped and turned to me with that OH. MY. LORD look I knew I had on my face just a few minutes earlier. Reviews I've read since compare it to your standard S'mores, but it is so much more than that. S'mores on crack. S'mores from Heaven. Seriously, it was that good.
I was thinking of writing into Gourmet magazine and asking for the recipe but it turns out that the recipe is already online. Several weeks after finding it on the Food Network site, I found it in my current issue of Gourmet (June I believe). Someone had written in and asked in the reader section if they could get the recipe. A little intimidating for me at this juncture in my cooking adventures, I've put the recipe for Campfire Pie in my file for future use. Of course should you decide to make this dessert, please feel free to give me a call. I'll be over before you hang up the phone.
And if you do have a chance to get to Cindys Backstreet Kitchen, be sure to check out the banana sculpture. Trust me, just ask.