One of the coziest restaurants in Rockland to sit and watch the snow fall has to be In Good Company, a small, inviting restaurant housed in a renovated bank on Main Street that feels more like a good friend’s living room than an elegant late-night spot. While we haven’t sat down for a full meal yet (and as soon as we do, you can count on a full review), we have spent plenty of evenings there either sitting at the bar or sharing a table, sipping cocktails and snacking from round after round of small plates from the restaurant’s “Nibbles” menu. This can include simple snacks, like roasted Marcona almonds, black olive tapenade, or a “tasting” menu of assorted olive oils. One of my absolute favorite dishes, though, is the restaurant’s whole roast garlic.
It’s dead-simple eating that pairs perfectly with a dry martini: a whole roast garlic bulb, served with your choice of bleu, brie, or goat cheese, served molten and bubbly. Roasted in a hot oven, the garlic turns golden brown and loses a lot of its characteristic sharp pungency. Extracted from the clove and spread on a piece of crostini or fresh bread, then topped with the strong cheese, it’s an explosion of flavor that’s instantly addictive.
While the dish is certainly affordable, our baby daughter keeps us home sometimes more often than we’d like. On those nights, Jillian whips up a batch of her no-knead bread, tosses a quick salad while I shake up a martini, and we recreate the “In Good Company” experience at home. Now you can, too.
Whole Baked Garlic with Bleu Cheese
- 1 large garlic bulb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 ounces (or more) of cheese (bleu, goat, and brie are all good choices)
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove a few layers of the skin around the garlic bulb, leaving enough that the individual cloves still hold together. Cut in half, crosswise. Place each half of the garlic in the openings in a muffin tin, and drizzle cut surfaces with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake until garlic begins to brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove foil from pan and return to oven. Add cheese to an oven safe dish, and cook alongside garlic until cheese is almost melted and garlic is brown, about 10 minutes more. Scoop garlic from cloves and serve with bread and warm cheese.