Blog of an aspiring foodie

A little more detail on tenacity

Posted by beer_chris on 22-October-2008

Some detail on the 20-October tenacity menu and my beer pairings. Courses listed in order, by sin 😉

WRATH – Atlantic razor clams marinated in togarashi oil, young lemongrass & frozen jalapeno water.

I really liked this. It was the fave dish of many at the table. Randy warned us that the jalapeno granita was quite assertive, and it didn’t disappoint – although I think the togarashi oil (there was at least a teaspoon of it at the bottom of the wide mouthed clear juice glass-like serving dish) was the real culprit. I had a Rogue Chipotle Ale – which I also had been enjoying before dinner. The smoky and slightly hot character really balanced nicely, and the nutty quality of the base American Brown ale was quite nice.

PRIDE – wild guinea hen, japanese long onion, sprouting peas and pinenut-miso tapenade

This was probably my second favorite dish, although the long onion wasn’t especially unique. It tasted like any type of green onion to me. The guinea hen, which Randy said was the ‘proudest’ animal he could think of, was prepared as a sort of terrine. Barbara McKnight, my neighbor at the table for half of the night and the owner of Culinaire, the host establishment, commented that pea shoots are simply not used enought and are exceptionally tasty. I couldn’t agree more. The tapenade was magical. I paired this with a Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA, and it balanced well – the hops didn’t overwhelm the other flavors too much, and I thought if any beer was ‘proud’, it was one that was continuously hopped for an hour and still could be enjoyed with dinner.

GREED – Black truffle, malabar spinach and king oyster mushrooms

A little disappointing. Truffle had been slightly ‘cured’ by heating very slightly with a small batch EVOO, such that the earthiness of the two ingredients would work together. I found the heating and the oil diminished the richness of aroma usually experienced with black truffle, especially shavings as large as what was served. I didn’t even try to pair a beer with truffle. I was too scared 😉

LUST – Tennessee hackleback caviar, carbonated gulf oysters, shaved radish & foamed rice

This was the strangest dish of the evening, and although I liked the components, they simply didn’t come together coherently. The carbonated oysters were a play on champagne – going for champagne and caviar with the roe – but because it still summer the oysters really lacked the sweetness that come when they are in season. The ‘carbonating’ (which I described yesterday) had the effect of creating a smooth mouthfeel for the oysters, almost like pate.  Ultimately this removed the ‘chew’ from the oyster, something I really like. The rice foam really didn’t serve a purpose I could figure out. I tried to pair this with a saison – a belgian one, Saison Dupont. It didn’t work. The fruity esters simply fought with the salty seafood flavors.

ENVY – watermelon imitating tuna, agua fresca & nasturtium leaves

Pretty good – massive slices of top grade hamachi balanced on pressed watermelon, served on top of a smear of watermelon agua fresca. The tuna was awesome. The balance against the watermelon was interesting, but I’m not sure it worked. I did appreciate the use of tuna as a ‘salt’ on the watermelon, but the agua fresca needed to be in a shot glass or something – I had to mop up the smear with my spoon, and barely got a flavor of it. I tried the saison again with this – not at all working with the salty tuna and sweet watermelon.

SLOTH – Sea snails grilled slowly over oak, smoky pineapple, garlic nage and molasses

This was my fave dish. The garlic nage, which had molasses mixed in it was absolutely ethereal and a flavor combination I will always remember. I wanted to lick the bowl. The sweet pineapple was topped with thin slices of fennel root. I paired it with Guinness (in the bottle – no widget), which proved to be absolutely perfect. Without the nitrogenation of the widget the stout was even dryer and more bitter than normal, and it balanced so well with the garlic flavors and the nuttiness of the sea snail. It was an inspiring combination.

GLUTTONY – Foie gras milkshake, rich butterscotch and pave of foie gras

I was not as afraid of a foie milkshake as perhaps I was supposed to be, but then again I like strange things. It was darn tasty, and something everyone should try. The pave was well executed and really great, but after such a night of challenging dishes this well-executed foie seemed almost pedestrian by comparison. If only every night could be like this one! I paired this with Fullers ESB, which I had placed out on the table to warm after the LUST course. The nuttiness and slight malty sweetness paired perfectly with the foie milkshake, and was a nice crown to my beer pairing night – I can now say with absolute truthfulness that I have sucessfully paired beer with foie gras and chocolate in the same course.

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3 Responses to “A little more detail on tenacity”

  1. glad you enjoyed yourself and next time bring some extra beer for the kitchen – the rouge you had is still on mind!

  2. ytee said

    Wow thanks for the comment – feels kinda like a brush with fame to have you commenting on my blog. I immediately got all sensitive about anything I might have been too critical about – glad even after reading it you still might welcome back to the club, albeit with a promise for some extra beer. 🙂

    I’ll definitely bring some for the kitchen next time – I wasn’t sure how much cooler space I would have available so was a little skimpy on my pickings.

    Thanks for the great meal!

  3. everyone has an opinon i take everything into context when reviewing the menus and documenting. please dont sweat it. that’s the reason we do what we do…

    see ya soon…

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