Monday, February 4, 2008

The Battle Began

Friday evening for a special event, The Pedant and I reveled in our food network nerdiness and went out to a lovely restaurant run by a loser of an Iron Chef and cast member of the Next Iron Chef. (He didn't make it to the final 4 because he "plated everything the same." It's true.) Well, we wanted to go anyway and got all gussied up and had a late reservation (which was nice since we got to loiter) and got a tasting menu - 7 courses. They even had a 7 course vegetarian menu! Yay! (Although, I will say, 7 courses is A LOT of food. All tasty, but I had trouble finishing them and woke up the next morning very full.)

I will describe my dishes and let TP tell you his world of meats later.


Porcini mushroom flan with pesto and a micro green (yes, one single micro green). It was a great start to the meal - very small and creative.


Slices of French bread, and French bread with cranberries, with an assortment of spreads: a pesto, a orange butter, a sun-dried tomato, and a cheese curd with horseradish (didn't try the last one, looked too much like cottage cheese).

WINE: I got a glass of merlot and it was perfect. All warm, and berry-ey and smooth.

COURSE 1: Mixed Green Salad with Crispy Shallots and Vinaigrette

A simple salad with a few pieces of fried shallots and in a fried filo dough "bowl" (think Taco Bell's taco salad but classier to the factor of 10). The only problem I had with it was the salad was too difficult to eat gracefully and the dressing all pooled in the bottom of the shell. But still amazing.

COURSE 2: Painted Soup - Gingered Squash and Beet Cider

They say presentation is everything and here it was. The soup was well cooked - gingered squash done to perfection - with a small swirl of the beets. Sadly, the beet didn't add much, but it looked very elegant.

COURSE 3: Crispy Grits

I wanted to take a bath in this dish. The grits were well fried and the sauce was decedent.

(NOTE: By this time I was full)

COURSE 4: Black Eyed Pea Risotto

Again, amazing. The black eyed peas gave it a warm flavor and it was all creamy and great. There was a giant tomato in the center (and I don't like tomatoes) but it didn't hurt the dish at all.

COURSE 5: Porcini Gnudi

The Gnudi were similar to gnocchi but with a bit more bite. There were porcini mushrooms in the sauce, and a truffle foam on top. My first experience with foam, and it wasn't worth it. It tasted like air and was just fair. The dish was super good though.

COURSE 6: Mushroom Pot-Pie

Although it was amazing and delicious (a pot pie of porcini mushrooms [ED NOTE: I'm sensing a sale on porcini...] and root vegetables with the pie being a layer of puff pastry over the top (and it looked like a mushroom! clever!). I was only able to take 2 bites of this cause I was about to burst, but it was very good. It wasn't like a chicken pot pie of my youth, or the variants TP and I have been trying lately, but it was very good. What's even better is the waiter packed it up for me! Hooray! I had it for lunch on Saturday and it was still good.

COURSE 7: Dessert: Apple Crisp

Although sadly I was stuffed like a goose on a foie grais farm, I had a few bites of the apple crisp. The filo dough was excellent and I so badly wanted it all.

POST COURSE: Mini Desserts

As a "thank you for blowing a sizable portion of your paycheck on our trendy, tasty food" with the check comes several little desserts: a fantastic chocolate truffle with cocoa powder (I was only able to enjoy half, but it was perfect), a little mango fruit gel (to put Sunkits' Fruit Gems to shame), and a tiny cookie.

A worthy experience. I enjoyed it tremendously.

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