Taste’s good

Don’t let the neon signs outside or the Onion Rings on the menu fool you, Taste is a fashionable and upscale restaurant with a twist.Located directly on the lakefront, this hippy-vogue restaurant has walls covered in chef/owner Rick Benson’s wild and abstract artwork.Between the brightly colored swirling paintings that cover the walls, and the creative dishes coming out of the kitchen, diners experience Benson’s art all around them while enjoying his culinary skills on their plates.The mood created by the artwork, the soft lighting and light music are perfect for an intimate date followed by a romantic walk by the water. With prices ranging from $7-$13 for appetizers and $19-$30 for entrées, this is definitely a place for special occasions for students, but also a top choice when the parents are in town visiting.The menu is diverse, whimsical and fun with dishes ranging from Chicken Carbonara with bacon and creamy white wine sauce ($21) to Benson’s take on surf and turf with local lamb and Maine scallops served with cheddar mashed potatoes ($30).The incredibly light artichoke and asparagus soup ($7) was a great way to start off the meal. Although slightly peppery, the soup was surprisingly light and would be perfect on a crisp spring day (or any day, for that matter).As an entrée, I was enticed by the quirky idea behind Ben?son’s mock “Duck” served with cherry tomato risotto ($19). Using seitan, a product made from wheat gluten, instead of duck, the dish was incredibly interesting but may have been too out there for me.The almost gelatin-like texture of the seitan was slightly unappetizing on the plate, however the flavor was very good. While it was nowhere near the duck flavor I expected, if you are up to being adventurous, this is your dish.The risotto had a full and fresh flavor with cherry tomatoes and peas that popped in my mouth. The rice itself was more like a pilaf instead of risotto, but was still very enjoyable. The crab cakes ($10), Magic Hat steak tips ($25) and chicken breast ($23) come highly recommended and represent just a few of the variety served up at Taste off of their relatively small but unique and creative menu.Sporting a varied list of wines and an extensive cocktail menu, Taste attracts lots of costumers who come in for appetizers and drinks, which is when their delicious Magic Hat Beer Battered Onion Rings ($7) are a real hit.After starting off with warm bread and herb butter, the meal was enjoyable and creative. The intersection between upscale dining and a truly down-home feel created a great atmosphere to enjoy a good meal.The food overall is creative and inventive yet not too dainty or delicate and with the use of mainly local ingredients, Taste is the perfect example of Burlington-chic.