December 11, 2008
Happy Birthday Christina and Marcus
Chef's Tasting Menu
The meal begins with two amuse-bouches: a crisp brioche ball filled with melted gruyère that disappears in one bite, and a miniaturized play on the ice cream cone with a scoop of minced smoked salmon and crème fraîche filling the cone.
1. "Oysters and Pearls" for Marcus
"Sabayon" of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar
White truffle custard topped with black truffle ragu served with a chive potato crisp for Christina
2. "Carnaroli Risotto Biologico"
White Truffles from Alba and "Castelmagno" Cheese
3. An extra course of a Floridian crab claw simply served on a hunk of ice with an aioli dipping sauce
4. Grilled "pavé" of Covia with Tokyo turnips, broccolini florettes and pickled mustard seed vinaigrette
5. Scottish Langoustines "à la plancha" with "boudin blanc", heirloom beets, and "mousseline au raifort"
6. "Aiguillette" of Liberty Farm's Pekin duck breast with sunchokes, Piedmont hazelnutes, and garden mâche with duck jus
7. Rib-eye of Elysian Fields Farm's lamb "en persillade" with "mousse au Pimenton", "socca" crêpe, Holland eggplant, and sweet peppers with lamb sauce for Christina
Pan roasted sirloin of Blackmore Ranch's Wagyu with crispy bone marrow, forest mushroom-potato "mille-feuille", and braised rainbow swiss chard with "sauce bordelaise" for Marcus
8. "Le Sarlet" with globe Artichokes, haricots verts, and young lettuces with black winter truffle "aigre-doux" (a dish that neither of us remembers eating)
9. Red verjus sorbet with per se raisins, grape tuile, and gingerbread crumble
10. "Banoffee" with devil's food cake, chocolate "marquise", and malt "crémeux" with banana-crème fraîche sherbert for Marcus
"Pomme-beurre noisette" with a "confiture" of granny smith apple, "financier", and Tahitian vanilla "bavarois" with "glace au beurre noisette" for Christina
11. "Mignardises" of chocolates and other confections that went on for at least four more courses.
To drink we had René Geoffroy's "Empreinte" champagne from Cumières, a 1er Cru to start. We moved on to the Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir "Laurène" from Dundee Hills, Oregon. Our third (half bottle, that is) was an Australian with a cool story called Lost Highway "Torbreck-Shiraz/Roussanne" from Barossa Valley. We finished with the 2005 Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.
We wet our whistles with sparkling wine and finished with espressos and mint tea.
The portions were definitely too big this time around. Ideally each course should be finished in two to three bites, leaving you wanting more.