August 19, 2010

The road to becoming VIP

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Mrs. Hoover has her heart set on attaining VIP status at Caprice.  The Resident Froggie has been frequenting Caprice lately, and Mrs. Hoover doesn't want to be the only non-VIP member of the Lunch Club... so she's been trying to create dining opportunities - like lunching with clients.  Her client cancelled on her today but she was loathe to give up the table, so I was called in as filler...

I didn't want to be bothered with complicated ordering, so I just took the set lunch.  No wine today... was drunk enough last night to fall asleep early.

The amuse bouche today was Provençal chicken rillette, aromatic jelly and black olive confit.  There were chopped tomatoes on top, next to the bits of chicken consommé gelée.  The black olive confit was interesting, as it wasn't exactly like tapenade... more like a cross between tapenade and hoisin sauce due to the sweetness...

Tomato gaspacho, Alaskan king crab and guacamole - I've always loved gaspacho, and tend to order it in the summer when I see it.  This was a pretty refreshing way to start lunch, although it's a little heavier than usual thanks to the guacamole.  Kinda on the sweet side and not very spicy.

Lamb shoulder pastilla, Oriental quinoa, date jam and Ras el hanout sauce - this is the main reason why I came to lunch... to have the pastilla I love so much.  Today it's lamb, and it tasted very exotic with the Ras el habout sauce...bringing back memories of the Arabian Peninsula.  It's a pretty heavy dish, though... Quinoa is always fun to eat thanks to its texture.  I didn't really care for the date jam... there was just too much of it, and it didn't really taste like Medjool dates.

Apricot tart, green cardomome and bergeron sorbet - OK, this obsession with gold leaf is really starting to annoy me.  I can't believe the pastry chef here applied it to the squiggly thingy-ma-jig on top...  The layer of apricot in the middle - sitting on top of the sablé breton - was very nice, and apricot's normally not anywhere near my top choice.  The mousse on top was made with white tea, and very delicately flavored.  I had expected the sorbet to be pretty exotic in flavor, but in the end I think what came out was made with just apricot...

A pretty enjoyable lunch... and my last French meal for some time to come!  It's pretty much gonna be all Japanese starting tomorrow, and I can't wait!

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