Jon’s really good at gifting. He always knows exactly what I will love, usually before I even see it. He finds experiences – wine dinners, weekend trips, concerts. Despite my best intentions, and the fact that I really really love him, I am a terrible gifter. I always go way too overboard (the flying-themed birthday?), or completely space out and don’t do anything (every valentines day / anniversary). Sometimes I just grumble and moan about how much I hate the holiday (christmas) instead of using it as an opportunity to spout my undying love in the form of presents. Whatever. Jon’s a good gifter.
I really wish there were a good, unobtrusive way to take restaurant photos. There’s usually terrible lighting, and you don’t want to be that asshole with the flash before every plate. So you point, shoot, and hope that you can colour correct enough later to be able to make out the image. Why bother? Because this goldfish can’t remember anything otherwise.
1. Lobster Salad with Avocado, Ikura and Fresh Tarragon, Served with Yuzu Vinaigrette w/ sparkling wine. This was cool. They took a half avocado and stuffed the middle of it with lobster. It started my main complaint for the evening though: portion control. Avocados are filling and you want me to get through 8 course?! Also, what the heck is that creamy yellow stuff? Last time I checked, a vinaigrette was supposed to be light.
2. Vichyssoise soup w/ crab meat
3. Puff Pastry Filled with a Fillet of Dover Sole and Layered with Fresh Spinach and Sea Scallops, Baked to a Golden Brown and Served with Sea Urchin Butter Sauce & sauv blanc. I didn’t know how much I loved uni until we got out here. Uni is sea urchin gonads, and every time I’ve had them stateside, they’ve always been fishy and quite unpleasant. Here, they’re melt-in-your mouth buttery lovely happiness.
4. Fresh Pasta Filled with a Savory Mixture of Duck, Shitake Mushrooms and Foie Gras, Served with Pancetta Champagne Sauce and a Borolo Demi Glace & Sangiovese Grosso. oh. my. goodness. This was the show stopper, folks. both sauces were excellent. the fresh pasta was excellent. the duck breast (though it could have been more rare) was excellent. My only wish is that you could taste the elements in the duck filling more. Foie gras is spectacular by itself. why hide it?
5. sakura sorbet The entire purpose of the sorbet course is to clean your palate. So why on earth would you make the sorbet taste like cotton candy?! Just because you can? Daft.
Midway through dinner, the live jazz band takes a break and they bring out the line of chefs. It’s really neat to consider all that goes into banquet serving, and a little part of me was longing for the days when I got to carry a crumber of my own. I mean, being a grownup is good too, but I do miss waitressing somtimes.
6. The entree. We’ve already had duck and sole and now we’re just getting to the entree. I think my stomach has adapted to the lighter japanese foods and the throwback to french-french was a system shock! And again, the portions were out of control. Scaloppini of Veal Served with Twin Sauces of Creole Mustard Butter and a Marsala Demi Glace, Garnished with Smoked Salmon Risotto Cake, Sautéed spinach and Rissole Potatoes w/ a hefty Merlot. I think this was my least favourite course. Despite how beautiful it was, the veal was just a bit too much. There were too many different flavours going on and… well, I just don’t love veal.
7. Japanese Musk Melon Accompanied with a Sun Dried Mascarpone Cheese Torte, Served with Garlic Bread Sticks. Can you call a slice of cantaloupe, a wedge of cheese and a strawberry a salad? I think not, people. The melon was downright delicious though, I tell you what.
8. Mille-Feuille Filled with Sweet Spring Berries and Topped with a Chocolate Cherry Wafer, Paired with Homemade Cherry Ice Cream & Gewurztraminer Ending strong here. Cherry ice cream was spectacular. The mille-feuille isn’t usually my favourite dessert because they’re nearly impossible to eat gracefully, but it was still really tasty! My belly was yelling “I’m full! no more!” but my head was about to steal more ice cream from the table next to us.
Boy, I love eating. And tell you about what I eat. I hope you don’t mind.