March 8, 2013

Death by cheese

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A gathering had been planned for a small group of friends who haven't seen each other, and we agreed to meet up for some wine (and perhaps some food) tonight.  ILoveLubutin suggested that we meet at our favorite Caprice and just grab some wine and cheese, which sounded like an excellent idea.

I arrived to find that the cheese bar was already full, but luckily I was able to be seated at a small table and wait for a bigger to free up.  I thought I'd wait for the rest of the gang to arrive before ordering anything, but Sebastien decided that just wouldn't do, and graciously offered me a glass of 2011 Ostertag Sylvaner Vielles Vignes.  Ripe, floral, tropical fruits, peach and white flowers.  Lovely.

We moved to a larger table, but ILL had to leave early for another engagement.  While my friend ordered a selection of cheese (and asked for soft cheese, without goat cheese), I took the opportunity to get a taste of this season's black truffles.  Chef Vincent had come around earlier to chat a little, and mentioned that we are getting close to the end of truffle season, so I'd better hurry and get some.

Scrambled eggs with black truffle - œuf brouillé aux truffles is one of the best ways to enjoy truffles, and I was only happy to get some.  Unfortunately, something went awry in the kitchen today.  There must have been 50% more salt in the contents of the cocotte than what I'm used to.  I couldn't eat more than 2 spoonfuls without getting a sip of water or some wine.  With truffles priced the way they are, I didn't have the heart to send it back to the kitchen…

A humongous spread of cheese was laid out in front of us.  Everything was "supersized" and the two of us were trying to figure out how we would finish everything.  At this point Ninja was finally able to join us, but as she is allergic to cheese, her arrival was no help to us…

Abbaye de Tamié - slightly salty and a little strong.

Colombier fermier - saltier, a little stronger, with some ammonia.

Coulommiers fermier - very creamy, a little salty.  The rind was a little bitter.

Saint Félicien - creamy, higher acidity with saltiness.

Brillat-Savarin fermier, made with triple cream - not as melt-in-your-mouth as before, with higher acidity this time.  REALLY rich.

Moelleux du Revard - from Savoie.  A little musty with a bitter finish.

Comté (4-year old) - pretty rich and creamy, with some bitterness on the finish, along with a little sweet aftertaste.

Époisses de Bourgogne - made by Gaugry.  Creamy and very salty.

2007 l'Aiguelière Sarments - interesting blend of Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc.  Very floral, very ripe with apricot.

I was too full to nibble on the St. Nectaire or the Fourme d'Ambert.  What I had taken in was too rich, and it hit me all of a sudden like never before…  It was the first time that I felt I couldn't take any more of the cream after having enough of the Brillat-Savarin...

When the bill was presented, I noticed that the scrambled eggs had been taking off the bill.  Perhaps the staff had overheard my comments to my friend about how salty it was.  I tried in vain to argue with the staff to have them add it back on the menu, as the price for this item was much, much more than the cheese we had been charged for.  The staff did not budge.  After several rounds of pleading, I relented. I guess this is what you'd call "Michelin star service", and yet another example of why I would always choose to come back time and again.

P.S.  I packed the unfinished cheese and brought them home to Taipei for mom.  She dug right in to the melted Époisses with a spoon...

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