Friday, January 04, 2008

Three Latest and Best

New Years' Eve at L'explorateur: 21 Courses. Four hours. But for New Year's Eve, it was like a L'Exploratuer's "Greatest Hits" tasting menu. 21 small bites of perfect flavors including mini versions of raw bar favorites like the hamachi carpaccio and the perfect scallop, some menu standards like the elk tartare with pickled elk tongue, and the butternut squash soup with white chocolate. But then there were the new treats -- the seared foie gras in a rich apple sauce, the braised beef stuffed in a steamed pork dumpling, the rich consomme, and the three courses of dessert. A wonderful way to ring in the new year.

Mahi Cakes at McCormick and Schmick's: This dish was so good, it makes me want to go back for lunch today! And what a treat -- three fat and crispy-edged mahi cakes on jasmine rice with a spicy, sweet Thai peanut sauce. Could have been a heavy mess, but was a delightful and surprisingly light treat instead. Bravo! (Look for it on the lunch menu.)

Dado's Apple Pie at Meridian: I don't eat apple pie often because, well, I'm picky. Too many have the wrong combination of crust, fruit, spice, and sugar. But I may have found a new standby -- the phyllo crusted, vanilla ice-cream topped apple "tart" style pie at Meridian. Ours was full of fruit and perfect with the light phyllo crust. Ask the Chef the story of the name.


SCUBAchef said...

I didn't try the pie at Meridian, but everything else I've had there has been top-notch. One of the most flavorful and perfectly-cooked steaks I've had in I don't know how long. Shortly after a visit there I tried the restaurant at Buggs Temple for the first time. Throughout the whole meal, we kept noting how far-and-away better Meridian was for a similar price.

William said...

Were the dumplings beef? I thought they were pork. Over the top nonetheless. As far as the consommé was concerned, I thought it was incredible though I liked it better in the past when there were cool little fruit caviar floating around. What an amazing night though, it was good to meet you!

braingirl said...

D'oh! They might have been pork. My notes said beef but they weren't exactly clear! Neal might be along shortly to clarify. I could eat 10 of them!

And yes! I've had the apple caviar in the consomme and it's tart, tangy goodness. (And great to meet you, too! It was really a fun night!)

Anonymous said...

Yep, pork belly braised in soy and other goodness. The sauce was a reduction of the braising liquid.

My ode to David Changs Saam Bar in NYC.

Glad you guys enjoyed it.