You know you are in a fancy restaurant when, instead of a single amuse bouche, they give you a whole tower of them. Arranged on a 3-tiered silver stand, each was unique and delicious. They definitely lived up to the definition of an amuse bouche, and “entertained the mouth” in the truest sense.
First courses served with 2005, Domaine Boyer-Martenot Bourgogne Blanc
SHRIMP “À LA PLANCHA”
With English Pea Risotto, Hon Shemeji Mushrooms and Fava Beans
This interesting and truly “spring” dish was one of the highlights of our meal. Nestled under a pool of pea foam was a light and delicate English pea, fava bean, and mushroom risotto. The shrimp, perfectly cooked, were almost a garnish in that the dish would have been fantastic even without them.
TOMME DE L’ABBAYE DE TAMIÉ TORTELLINI
With Serrano Ham, Sautéed Broccoli Rabe, Chanterelles, Savory Emulsion
The bright colors of the pasta and vegetables and the fun foam effect made it difficult to even disturb this dish! Once past the aesthetics though, the ham and mushroom flavors melting in my mouth were incredible. The creaminess inside each tortellini was surprising and rich and really makes the dish.
Second courses served with 2000 Chateau Gruaud Larose, St. Julien
GRILLED RED KING SALMON
with Chanterelles-Fava Bean Fricassée, Wild Asparagus, Balsamic Bordelaise
The main focus of this simple and elegant dish was the flavor of the wild salmon, which was highlighted by nothing more than some simply seasoning and a quick sear. The accompanying fricassee and asparagus complimented to dish nicely, as did the rich balsamic bordelaise.
DUO OF DRY AGED BEEF
Braised Short Ribs, Red Tardivo with a Bone Marrow Crust
Seared Rib Eye with Sweet Potato-Hazelnut “Pomme Macaire”
This single dish manages to satisfy each of our favorite ways to prepare beef. The simple bold juiciness of the ribeye with caramelized onion both complemented and contrasted just enough with the lighter, tender and more flavorful short ribs with vegetables. As is usually the case with a premium meat dish on a tasting menu, the only downside is that the portion disappears quickly (especially while sharing). It was well worth the supplement, even for a taste.
Daniel’s dessert menu featured almost as many selections as the regular menu, with one page being chocolate desserts, the other fruit. Naturally, our eyes gravitated towards the chocolate page, but it was still a difficult decision to make. After practically interrogating our waiter about 3 different chocolate desserts, we reluctantly decided on only two. However, to our pleasant surprise, our waiter also brought out a smaller version of the 3rd dessert for us to try. Just as we were contemplating how we were going to finish it all, a basket of lemon-kissed madeleines arrived. Then came the petite fours – 10 amazing little bites of perfection. As you can imagine, we were barely able to move let alone think about walking back to the hotel. Luckily for us, a town car was waiting just outside the restaurant to take us home in style.
CHOCOLATE UPSIDE-DOWN SOUFFLE
Pistachio Ice Cream
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE-PRALINE CRÉMEUX
Amer Cocoa Biscuit, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
With Colombian Coffee Cream, Coffee Ganache, Hazelnut-Macadamia Ice Cream
BASKET OF CITRUS MADELINES
Served with 2003 Vinsanto Di Carnignano, Capezzana