Sunday, May 20, 2007


This required its own blog post.

Our reservation was for 6pm, and we arrived just about on time after an episode involving chasing after a cab driver for three city blocks in the rain (he tried to drive off with the polka dot umbrella Bluenana gave me for Christmas). We left at 10:37 (that's the best timestamp I can come up with, based on the text message I sent the rally monkey that read: "Probably not going to make it back tonight. Im drunk. SoRry."). So I guess we ate for about 4.5 hours, give or take.

I knew I was in bad shape when I dreamed that night that I was trying to eat dinner at a restaurant but kept falling asleep at the table while looking for my water glass. Every time I fell asleep in the dream I would wake up in real life.

I don't feel guilty that we got the incredibly expensive tasting menu (with wine pairings) because my aunt ordered for both of us. So it also wasn't my fault that I got disgustingly sloshed.

Courses as follows (not being a wine geek, I'm just putting down what I remember about the wine instead of all the dumb details that don't mean anything to me, like vinyard or region or whatever):

1) Rouget, morcilla panna cotta, bruleed onions

wine pairing: a Loire Valley bubbly white

2) shrimp flavored macaroons with tarragon paste (they disappeared in your mouth)

[let me mention here that the waiter kept topping up our glasses]

3) Foie gras in the round (the foie gras was beaded into tiny pearls, and served in a bowl with tiny dark chocolate beads and dollops of watercress puree)

wine pairing: a lovely very sweet Mosel Riesling

4) lightly fried sweetbreads (which, it turns out, are made of the thymus gland of a calf) in a thick dusting of chamomile, with a cabbage lime puree and water chestnut

wine pairing: an Austrian rose that smelled like bubblegum but turned out not to be sweet at all

5) pickled beef tongue, fried mayo cubes, tomato molasses, tiny chopped puree of lettuce

This is what my aunt cleverly identified as a "ToungueLT." The fried mayo was a point of curiosity--as the waiter explained, it's actually very difficult to fry mayonnaise, because it has to solidify slightly in order to bear the batter and frying. You can't freeze mayo, because the fat content is a little too high. In the end, they had to find a natural gelatin that reacts with the mayo to create a semi-solid fryable version of mayonnaise. Anyway. Very tasty. The tomato molasses was particularly moving.

6) miso soup with shitake mushrooms, sesame "noodles"

"Noodles" is in quotation marks because what they served us was the tiny bowl of [really really nice] miso and next to it a little plastic bottle full of sesame paste. You squirt the paste into the miso and it becomes squiggly noodles. We were approaching lashed at this point, so we had to be chastised by the waiter to "make" our noodles in a hurry before the broth cooled too much.

wine pairing: a Piedmont red called Santo Stefano

7) Kokotxas, smoked sunflower paste, capers, grapefruit-shallot preserve streak, candied sunflower seeds

Kokotxas is a very flavorful kind of hake. The sunflower paste was really nice.

8) squab breast, beets, sorrel (a leafy vegetable), coconut pebbles

This was my favorite course. It was sublime. The squab (that's fancy for "pigeon") was all soaked in beet juice. OH my goodness. SO SO good.

wine pairing: a Santa Monica red called Pape Star (that's pronounced "Pop star")

8a) Here my aunt added a course, because there was no lamb on the tasting menu (shocking!!). So she added:

Thinly sliced lamb in a light broth, caramelized onions, mustard greens, and a diced pretzel topping (lordy this was a good choice)

wine pairing: she probably also added a wine pairing, but I don't remember what it is or even if it happened. Apparently at this point in the evening was where things went downhill, because the tasting menu reminder sheet is covered in what appears to be lamb juice.

9) palate cleanser: peach puree with peanut filling, pandan

Alas, the real tragedy of the dinner begins here, for I'm afraid I don't remember the dessert courses.

10) Soft chocolate, avocado, licorice, lime puree, dark chocolate crumbles

Dark chocolate and avocado go together shockingly well. I wish I had more clarity here.

wine pairing: a rose champagne

11) Coffee cake, ricotta, maraschino, chicory ice cream

Neither of us remembers this course at all, unfortunately. Although apparently we were very impressed with it. Alas.

wine pairing: a Muscat from Rhodes. This was excellent--I do remember that.

(allow me to remind you again that the waiter kept topping us off)

12) corn nougat cookie

added wine (because we really needed more booze): Banyuls (that's a French red dessert wine)

I won't tell you what the bill came to. As James Patterson's editor's former editorial assistant told me about the advances paid Mr. Patterson for each book, think of a number, and it's probably higher.


jalexissmith said...

I read the title of this post incorrectly and thought it would be about oil (WD 40 to be exact).

As lovely as your dinner sounds (mmm sweet bread and tongue), would a nice burger not have been just as good? (I do not have the refined palate of Ratatat.)

You are a light weight.

moonrat said...

Yeah. The rally monkey is TOTALLY in your school of thought re: bang for the buck.

And yes. Yes, I am a lightweight.

angelle said...

alas we were too tired for a damn tasting menu. but i'm still hungry right now.

Bluenana said...

hahahaha! I had EXACTLY the same oil thought and wondered what on earth she would be doing with the stuff.

I don't think I have ever in my life gorged myself with this much and this many options of food in one sitting.

Your amazing list of courses is mocking the pathetic tuna sandwich from Subway that is sitting in my stomach.