March 30, 2010

Franco-Japanese pigeon

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Tonight I had my first business-related meal at Caprice.  Amazingly I did not choose the venue, but was delighted when I was told that I would be taken there - on condition that I provide the wines for the evening.  Of course I happily obliged...

The amuse bouche was a trio:
There was the salmon cannelloni with herring and mashed potato, which was a combination of interesting textures.  You'd expect a creamy center for a cannelloni, but mash has a slight degree of graininess about it.
The deep-fried cube of pork knuckle was good as usual.
watercress velouté with beetroot foam was awesome...a perfect combination of two distinctive and earthy vegetables.

I recommended the langoustine ravioli to my companions, but as I've had it earlier last month, I decided to try something different.  The wild watercress velouté, Ecaille d'Argent oyster and marine scent cappuccino looked interesting because it would be something relatively light - or so I thought.  I forgot that Caprice is more traditional in style, so their velouté wouldn't be as light as what I was expecting.  Maybe it was the cappuccino but the flavors of watercress here wasn't nearly the same degree was what we got for the amuse bouche.

2001 Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Boudriotte - have I ever mentioned that I love Ramonet's whites?  I do.  Even though I've had better bottles of this wine before, I was still happy to drink this.  Nose of lemon, minerals, flint, toast, hint of sweet butter.  Initially acidity was medium to high on the palate, then turned a little more ripe and tart in the middle, only to really smooth out after more aeration.

Before we ordered, Jeremy had come over and recommended a few dishes for me.  One of them was the Racan pigeon en croûte, nori seaweed, foie gras, broad bean and artichoke fricassée.  This was also a recommendation from one of the elves who works in the kitchen, and since I had a bottle of red Burg I thought I'd give this a try.  I was not disappointed.  The unlikely combination of pigeon/foie and nori worked perfectly.  As Chef Vincent told me a little later in the evening, anybody can do pigeon and foie gras.  But he thought the combination with nori would be interesting, and his experiment paid off.  The savory taste of the ocean was a perfect complement to the sweet and creamy flavors of the foie, and the gamey flavor of the bird added to the mix.  The whole thing was then encased in puff pastry and became a beautiful thing to behold when cut open.  Then there was a leg of the pigeon, which was oddly straight with one "toe" sticking out... Can you say "rigor mortis"?  The artichokes were pretty decent, but I was already getting full for some reason.

2000 Dugat-Py Mazis-Chambertin - well...I was disappointed by 2000 Dugat-Py, again.  Yes, I know it's not a great vintage, but I honestly expected better from these guys.  Nose of mushrooms, red fruits, a little bit of forest, a little muddy, mint, smoke and grilled meats.
My last bottle of Dugat-Py was a little disappointing, too...and I bought the two bottles together.

We were kinda full, so we passed on dessert.  A shame, because I was ready to go for the wild strawberry combination again.  Maybe I'll come back for lunch and order that again.  Gotta get more of this stuff while they're in season!


e said...

What? No cheese?

Peech said...

Sadly, no. I saw the cheese board being presented a few tables away and quieted salivated while swallowing back some tears...


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