Lucky for us, we believe in second chances. Otherwise, we might not have found a new favorite sauce. But more about that later.
Our first visit to KB's in its new location, a lovely old house, all prettied up and turned into a neighborhood eatery just a stone's throw from its old spot next to Dymond's Farm Market in Shavertown, left us a bit confused.
No one actually greeted us or told us whether to take a seat or wait to be seated. After we watched other customers and took a guess, we waited and waited … and waited some more … for someone to take our order and then, finally, to bring the breakfast food. Honestly, it all made us wonder: Is this a place just for regulars? (People who came in after us were served and out the door before we saw a plate.)
Fortunately, we're a patient sort of people, and watching the seeming chaos unfold became somewhat fascinating actually. To the staff's credit, we did get at least one apology and an explanation that the numbers coming into the new place were completely unexpected and that a second server was about to come on board the following week, the better to help out the extremely stressed single server on staff that morning.
OK, then. We'd definitely have to come back. The good news from the first visit is the breakfast was quite good, so worth the wait. Cinnamon French Toast ($4.75) was a stunner, employing fresh Dymond's bakery bread for extra bragging rights. Our only complaint? No bacon available as a side. The bacon well had run dry.
A sausage and cheese omelet ($5.25), however, was one of the better I've had, the eggs fluffy and airy and the sausage and cheese plentiful. The only trouble was temperature: lukewarm. That wasn't surprising given the crowd and confusion.
At least we had a couple of good coffees while we waited, in cute mugs, and found some nice fellow diners with whom to chat.
In between, we discussed the dinner potential – it's new on the menu here – and agreed we'd have to give this place some time, a couple of weeks at least.
So that we did.
What a difference two weeks make.
The only problem the second time around? Still no bacon, which was a bummer because a bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizer ($7.95) sounded scrumptious. Almost as scrumptious as an also $7.95 Philly Portabella with ground beef, roasted red peppers and onions mixed with a blend of cheeses and served over marinara. Darned if that wasn't sold out as well.
We were quickly advised, however, presumably by KB (Kerry Beth Dymond) herself, that we would no doubt like the substitute for the bacon, which was honey ham. My guests readily agreed, and I, a fan of ham only when it's cured into prosciutto, demurred. More for my guests, who devoured the ham-and-Cooper-cheese-wrapped shrimp, commenting on how exquisite it was with each bite.
But what really stole the show on this plate was the light cream sauce, which was described as made with a bit of heavy cream and a bit of garlic and, to our eye, accented with flecks of a green herb. One of us in particular just swooned, spooning every last drop onto every available piece of shrimp and saying how much she'd like an entire bowl of this stuff, over pasta.
That could be arranged, our pleasant, attentive, now-unrushed server said. Ah, how we love a place willing to work with us.
The server herself described the sauce as "like an Alfredo" and noted the house Alfredo was wonderful as well, but my guest was unconvinced. This, she said, was just so much better than any Alfredo. (Which might say something about the kind served here.)
My sauce-loving guest next tried Ricotta Gnocchi, or homemade Ricotta-cheese dumplings saut√©ed with roasted vegetables and tossed in a Parmesan Bechamel for $11.95. The dumplings were lovely and light and certainly plentiful, soft to a fork but punchy, too. The sauce – a Bechamel, so, again, white – was quite mild but did have a nice enough snap to it. I'm just not sure it wowed as much as the first one.
I also chose a pasta dish, simply because the description hooked me. Roasted vegetable ravioli ($13.95) were filled with tiny dices of roasted zucchini, Portabella mushrooms and red peppers and arranged around a mini mound of saut√©ed spinach.
The crowning glory was – wonder of wonders – the sauce. The scent of rosemary-thyme brown-butter announced the dish, and I was in awe watching the beautifully flecked brown butter bubble ever so lightly over the light and homemade-tasting pasta.
Six ravioli never hit such a spot.
Next up was a $16.95 dish of chicken Champagne: saut√©ed chicken breasts served over pan-wilted spinach and tomatoes and covered in a Champagne cream sauce. (KB is a real sauce whiz, apparently.)
High marks here as well. The dish popped with color, and the chicken was tender, too. The sauce? Just another one to love.
A dinner salad accompanied each of our choices: spinach, cucumbers and chopped tomatoes. On these we especially enjoyed the newest dressing on the menu: Asian sesame, which had just enough flavor with a bit of crunch.
And still we weren't finished.
Not when we heard the oohs and the aahs from across the room over a certain chocolate cake that had come from New York. It was, in a word, divine. Huge and soft with lovely, dense layers of fudgy glory, all beneath a fine … sauce. This time, you got it: chocolate.
Our other choice was an equally luscious but considerably lighter lemonade cake, three shades of yellow and glorious.
Two fabulous finishes on a now fabulous night, and our memories of the first time around were so quickly erased. We'll be back for more (and asking for extra sauce).
Where: 206 North Main St., Shavertown
Credit cards? Yes
Wheelchair accessible? No
Other: Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. BYOB for dinner.
Hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays.
Times Leader food critics remain anonymous.