July 28, 2010

40 x 3

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It's the third birthday dinner for the gang of 40, and like last time we assembled at Cipriani.  It's good to see the gang getting used to another restaurant...

It was pissing rain tonight with that black rainstorm warning, and a bunch of people were very late.  Those of us who arrived on time started sipping the magnum of 1996 Jean Grivot Clos de Vougeot I carried over.  I had popped the cork in the office, but without decanting there was simply not enough aeration, so initially the wine was closed and a little acidic.  It gradually opened up and put on weight, revealing a farmy nose with mushrooms, herbs, some floral notes and eventually the fruit emerged.  Light and smooth on the palate, and acidity kinda faded with time.  I didn't have a lot of expectations for this wine, but it turned out reasonably OK.

For a dinner where I'm drinking red, I totally ordered the wrong dishes...  I guess I just couldn't pass up the specials for the day.  My starter was grilled seppeolini with arugula. My mind immediately flashed back to a lunch last year where I had these delicious squids deep-fried... and they were really yummy.  Of course, grilling means the squids are not as fragrant as having them deep-fried, but you get more of the fresh flavors of the sea.  The simple cherry tomatoes and arugula were pretty nice.

The other special I took as my main course was tagliolini with gambero rosso and thyme.    I can't pass up any gambero rosso at an Italian restaurant, and in any case I was curious to see how it compared with the other ones I've had in town.  I place it somewhere just below the one I had at Tuscany by H, and about on par with what Da Domenico offers.  The pasta itself was just perfect, and the prawns... oh boy!  I was sucking on the heads with all my might, since what was inside was like manna from heaven.  I wish I could have been able to eat another plate of this...

I also had a small piece of Kagoshima wagyu , which was nice, fatty and succulent.

I definitely had too much to eat, so like everyone else I passed on dessert.  Not a bad evening, especially since the guy who arrived late paid the bill!

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