June 8, 2009

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Tonight was a dinner I had been looking forward to for some time. It's another MNSC gathering, but the big deal is that we were going this at the Drawing Room. This has been the hottest restaurant in town since it opened a couple of months ago, and it's been pretty hard to get a reservation.

The restaurant was very full as I expected, with quite a few large parties. This has the effect of slowing down the service, as the kitchen seemed to have some difficulty handling multiple large parties. The private room that we were in had windows to allow us to peek in and see what's going on in the kitchen. Kind of reminds me of Pierre Gagnaire in Paris.

The amuse bouche was a shot of rock melon soup with a slice of jamon iberico. Good palate cleanser.

Wagyu beef tartare with truffle mayonnaise - the fragrance of the Australian black truffle hits as soon as the plate is served, which was pretty amazing. Did it overpower the beef tartare? A little bit I didn't mind. The truffle mayo had a bit of honey mustard for just the slightest bit of kick.

Roasted langoustine with veal cheek and smoked herring - the langoustine was succulent and tasty, even a bit sweet and creamy inside. The veal cheek was excellent - moist with a slightly chewy texture. As for the smoked herring...why do I not remember anything about this?

Mascarpone ravioli with duck ragut and red wine reduction - an excellent dish. The creamy mascarpone was really nice, working really well with the bit of duck ragout and the nicely pan-fried chanterelles.

Trio of wagyu short rib, wagu beef tenderloin and ox tongue with whipped potato and red wine sauce - the short rib was really nice, as the fat had melted and slightly caramelized and charred, bringing out all the flavor. The ox tongue was not bad, either, as I am a big fan of this. In comparison the tenderloin seemed a bit boring, which is a shame because it was actually pretty juicy and tender.

The chocolate combination consisted of a shot of melted chocolate, a warm chocolate cake and a scoop of very chocolatey ice cream. Nice but a bit of overkill at the end of the meal...

Onto the wines:

We started with Krug Grande Cuvée, with the trademark toasty oak and lemon citrus notes.

1975 Latour - nose of sweet fruit but also a little bit stewed at the same time. A little smoky and medium-full body. Not quite open. 93 points.

1975 Haut-Brion - tangerine and fruity, a bit smoky and slightly farmy. High alcohol. A beautiful wine. The nose completely changed with the second pour, as it was more muted and grassy, and a little chalky towards the end. 94 points.

1975 Cheval Blanc - sweet grass nose, green peppers and a bit of brett makes this a classic Left Bank claret - or so I thought... Sweet on the palate and even a bit "hot". 92 points.

1975 Vieux Chateau Certan - sweet and a bit grassy with a hint of orange. Finish was slightly tart but very long. 94 points.

1975 L'Evangile - nose was very sweet and a bit smoky. 95 points.

1975 La Fleur Petrus - very ripe, sweet and stewed fruits, with orange and smoky notes. Very gorgeous and my wine of the evening. 97 points.

As usual, we were way off on our guesses. We got the idea that the wines would be from the 1989 or 1990 vintage...and ended up being around 15 years off. The MNSC tradition continues!

1973 Yquem - a gorgeous wine with melon, orange marmalade, honey, acetone and plastic notes. Sweet but with a good acidity balance so it isn't just all sticky. From the birthday boy's birth vintage.

We also got a taste of the 1985 Léoville-Las Cases that the ladies were drinking, which was a classic claret with smoke and brett.

At the end of the dinner, Chefs Roland and Umberto joined us for some of the Yquem and Las Cases. We complimented them on the wonderful cuisine, although I must admit the menu didn't seem very Italian tonight... I'm glad I finally had the chance to get a taste of what the Drawing Room had to offer, and I'll be back in the future to check out what else is on offer.


Anonymous said...

The Drawing Room has quickly became my favorite restaurant. It's a hidden gem really.

Babedolphin said...

How much would such a meal set me back? Thanks for assistance.

I think it looks like a combination of Italian and French preferred ingredients, but execution style is a bit modern.


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