May 26, 2010

L'amour, l'amour

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I think the last time I had dinner at Gaddi's was some 10 years ago, but for some reason I just never found the urge to return, despite the obvious talent of Philip Sedgwick and his successors.  Tonight I finally had the opportunity to return, thanks to a dinner hosted by my friend in conjunction with Champagne Deutz.  Fabrice Rosset was here with his team tonight.

Salon de Ning Rosé - this house Champagne at the Peninsula is actually made by Deutz.  Lots of raspberry, red fruits and a little yeasty.

The amuse bouche was OK, but honestly not very interesting.

1999 Deutz Cuvée William Deutz - citrus, yeasty, toasty, a little caramel, honey and straw.  Open and beautiful, although it was a little hot on the finish when paired with food.  I left half my glass and tasted again after dessert - salty plum (話梅) came out in the nose, but the wine became too warm and the palate suffered and became tart and tangy.

1988 Deutz Cuvée William Deutz - oxidized/caramelized nose with honey, minerals, and a little bit of salty plum (話梅). Still very fresh and vibrant, with the slightest hint of tartness on the palate. A beautiful wine.

Layers of marinated goose liver with slow-cooked Bresse chicken, celeriac cream - honestly... not a fan.  And I don't say this very often about foie gras. I have no idea why the chef thought Bresse chicken and foie would be a good combination... I didn't like the tough texture of the chicken with the foie. Didn't particularly care for the ham (Parma?) on the outside, either.

Braised white asparagus gratinated with a black truffle crust - not bad at all. I always find it hard to cut poached or braised white asparagus, but I do love the flavors.  There was plenty of foam and what looked like to be Hollandaise sauce. There was some spinach with the black truffle...

1999 Amour de Deutz - I don't think I'll get tired of drinking this.  Yeast, citrus, toast and a little sweet.  Light and elegant, while a little sweet on the palate.  The pairing with the caviar, though, was a little disturbing.  I honestly don't think this kind of caviar should be paired with any wines, including Champagne...

1993 Amour de Deutz - lots of caramel, orange, apricot and preserved orange rind (陳皮). Not as ripe and a little sharper.  At the end of the dinner, toast and mineral notes came out.

Lightly-poached Atlantic turbot carpaccio with Oscietra caviar - the dish was OK, although I'd hardly call poached fish "carpaccio"... I also totally didn't realize that the caviar was actually Oscietra... thought it was just plain lumpfish...

2007 Delas St Joseph Les Challeys - actually pretty approachable and enjoyable now... very open nose of mint, eucalyptus, violet, floral and smoke.

2006 Delas Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette - eucalyptus, a hint of floral notes, black fruits and the nose was in general a little sweet. More powerful on the palate.

Combination of beef prepared 3 ways with a red wine oxtail jus - the wagyu fillet was reasonably tender and nice. The braised beef cheek was done like Chinese-style, and was not bad. Finally there was the tête de veau, tasting a little acidic and deep-fried.

1986 Doisy-Védrines - loads of polyurethane and turpentine at first.  When it cleared a little, the fruit underneath emerged, showing apricot and honeydew. The wine was a little strange on the palate, as it was way too light and short at the beginning. The body firmed up a little with further aeration in glass.  Just a little disappointing for this wine.

All about mango - I love mango so this was right up my alley.

Tonight's dinner was a lot of fun. Not only did I get to enjoy a couple of older vintages of Deutz Champagne - including the first vintage of Amour de Deutz - it also re-introduced me to Gaddi's after a long absence.  I think I'll be drinking Deutz for a long time to come...

Some words about the service... I was a little annoyed and surprised when our waiter decided to interrupt our conversation at the start of the dinner to announce the names of all the dishes in one go.  I was annoyed because he insisted on interrupting our conversation, just as we were started to get acquainted.  And why would anyone announce the names of all the dishes in one go, instead of introducing each dish one by one?  Does he truly expect us to remember them all?  I am truly surprised at this kind of service at a restaurant of this caliber.

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