April 18, 2017

Mo' Unni in the 'Hood

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Mo' Unni's making some big changes in her life, and we figured we were overdue for a catch up, so a reservation was made for an early dinner at Neighborhood.  I was a little surprised that she had never been to my favorite restaurant in town.  As an aside, days after this reservation was made, another friend asked me to take her to Neighborhood for dinner... a request I turned down as I suggested an alternative.  So... more than 2 years after the place opened, my friends are still waiting for me to take them to my favorite restaurant...

Anyway.  I arrived shortly after 6 p.m. to a completely empty space.  I was the only customer around as I chose my table and sat down.  No sign of the Man in White T-shirt.  After Mo' Unni arrived, I asked her to pick out a handful of dishes.  It's a casual meal and we don't really need anything fancy.

Potato gnocchi / fava beans / duck ham - this was pretty damn good, if slightly heavy as the first dish.  The gnocchi were like fluffy marshmallows, and the fava beans were very, very delish.  Those slices of duck ham?  DAMN!  Those could give jamón ibérico a run for their money.

Artichoke barigoule / escargot - the boss loves working with artichokes, and this is a simple and homey dish - with carrot and ham brunoise as well as chopped onions.  Very yum.  The portion size was fairly large.

Toyama firefly squid / Hokkaido sea urchin risotto - naturally, I can't pass this dish up while it was still available.  Firely squid (蛍烏賊)!!!!!  I simply pointed the dish to Mo' Unni and told her that she couldn't possibly not have a dish with uni as one of the main ingredients...

Well... tonight the risotto was a lot more wet than usual... and their style is already a little more runny than what many people are used to.  I was, of course, in firefly squid heaven, and not surprisingly Mo' Unni felt that she could have done with less squid and more uni...  I did originally suggest that we each order a bowl for ourselves, but that would have been a little too much to handle.  Maybe next time we will order two bowls, and her bowl will have more uni and mine will have more squid - making both of us even more happy than we were.

Wagyu bavette steak / bone marrow jus - this was surprisingly good on my last visit, and the rump steak remains really tender and flavorful.  Always happy to have bone marrow, too...

Homemade coconut sorbet - I had intended to pass up dessert, but I just couldn't resist when I found out they had coconut sorbet.  This wasn't the crisp and refreshing kind made with coconut water, but rather rich and intense.  Very sweet with that coconut butter flavor.

Canelés - nom nom nom

I brought a casual bottle of wine, which was given to me by a Taiwanese friend some years ago.  The winery is owned by a Taiwanese guy, so that makes it kinda unique.

2007 Les Belles Collines - sweet on the nose and also a little sweet on the palate, showing eucalyptus, minty, a little meaty notes.  Almost jammy.  After 2 hours, palate became a little bitter and tannic.

After we had finished with our food, the Man in White T-shirt finally made an appearance... in a suit!!!  I have no idea what function he had just attended, but as Mrs. White T-shirt said, it was clearly a wardrobe malfunction!  Well, at least his shirt was still white...

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