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Monday, May 28, 2007

Blue Door = Gates of Heaven?

So, I saw Thomas Keller. I ate at THE French Laundry. My world is basically complete. A fabulous meal in a great town. In my life I've never had better (1) beef, and, (2) pork. I spent most of my meal saying "holy god" and trying to discreetly take photos (which mostly came out blurry). Details below!

The French Laundry Chef's Tasting Menu for May 26th, 2007:

CAULIFLOWER "PANNA COTTA"
with Beau Soleil Oyster Glaze
and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar


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SALAD OF MARINATED GOLDEN BEETS
Jacobsen's Farm "Mars" Onions, Cippolini Onions,
Mizuna LEaves and Yuzu-Infused Wildflower Honey

MOULARD DUCK "FOIE GRAS EN TERRINE"
Pickled Pearl Onions, Shaved Cornichons,
Peach-Mustard Puree and Frisee

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SLOW-COOKED FILLET OF BLACK BASS
Garden Carrots, Lilly Bulbs, Spring Garlic, Pea Shoots and Pili Nut-Coconut Broth


PACIFIC KAHALA "TARTARE"
Fava Beans, Piquillo Peppers, Green Almonds, Nicoise Olives,
Spanish Saffron Emulsion and Cilantro Shoots


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NEW BEDFORD SEA SCALLOP "POELE"
"Ragout" of Green Asparagus with Sunchoke Puree
and Black Truffle Emulsion



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GINGER-GLAZED KUROBUTA PORK BELLY
Sauteed Baby Mustard Greens, Tokyo Turnips and Natural "Jus"


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BOUILLON-POACHED ELYSIAN FIELDS FARM LAMB RIBEYE
Globe Artichokes "en Barigoule," Yukon Gold Potato Confit,
Arrowleaf Spinach and "Sauce d'Agneau avec ses Cotes"


HERB-ROASTED SIRLOIN OF AUSTRALIAN WAGYU
Cepe Mushrooms, Glazed Broccolini, Crispy Bone Marrow and "Sauce Bordelaise"


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"OSSAU VIEILLE"
Fennel Bulb, Toasted Pine Nuts,
50 Year-Old Sherry Vinegar and Watercress

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MANILLA MANGO SORBET
Black Sesame Tuile, "Goma Nougatine,"
Papaya Salad and Coconut Sauce

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"COMPOSITION DE CHOCOLAT ITALIEN"
Amedei Gianduja Chocolate "Creme Patissiere,"
Toscano Nut Brownie and "Nougat Glace"


"SUMMER PUDDING"
French Laundry Garden Lemon Verbena Ice Cream,
Vanilla "Genoise" and Summer Berry "Compote"


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"MIGNARDISES"

There are additional parts of the meal that aren't listed in the tasting menu, like the Black Sesame Cornets of Atlantic Salmon Tartar with Red Onion Crème Fraiche, which started the meal. Somewhere before the fish courses we were given some locally baked bread and two types of butter, one from Vermont with Fleur de Sel and another from Sonoma County. With the foie gras course we were given the choice of three different types of salt, included grey salt from Brittany, Japanese sea salt and salt taken from a copper mine in Montana estimated to be 50 million years old.

At the end, we were also given Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee and a kind of strawberry/raspberry mini trifle.

Next time: the vegetarian tasting menu.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Aqua, SF

So, Aqua was ok, I mean, it wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't bad. Thank God I ate there before I went to French Laundry though. Best course: Parmesan-Black Pepper Souffle. Worst course: tie between Smoke Sturgeon & Caviar "Bombe" (WAY too lemony) and Tuna & Foie Gras Mosaic (bad quality tuna and foie gras).

Smoked Sturgeon & Caviar “Bombe”

Meyer Lemon & Yuzu Gelée


Tuna & Foie Gras Mosaic
Spiced Mustard Fruits, Muscat Vinegar


Parmesan-Black Pepper Soufflé
Dungeness Crab, Sea Urchin, Chive Butter


Maine Scallops
Celeriac, Caramelized Apple Gastrique, Truffle Essence


Monkfish Rôti
Ramps, Porcini Mushrooms & Sweetbread Fondue


Roast Beef Tenderloin
Glazed Onions, Poppy Seed Pappardelle and Sauce Au Poivre


Chocolate Tart
Orange Segments, Chantilly Cream