January 17, 2011

YET another black truffle evening...

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After my last meal at On Lot 10, some of my friends became upset that I hadn't invited them along, and threatened to organize a meal there without me.  Fortunately they weren't as mean as they pretended to be, and I was allowed to join them for dinner tonight.

I arrived early and discovered that David's not in the kitchen today.  He is opening a new restaurant today and was manning the new kitchen, so his staff would be taking care of us tonight.  I wondered whether things would be the same without him around...

Black truffle crostini - similar to what I had a few weeks ago, except the layer of foie gras has been replaced by the fat from jamon.  How delicious is that?! 

Roasted bone marrow with black truffle - wow!  I looooove bone marrow, and the last time I had it as part of a pot-au-feu was pretty awesome.  Topped with slices of black truffle, this was even more sinful.  I refrained from grabbing the extra portion...

Giant scallop - this thing was pretty humongous... I'm guessing about 1¼ inches in thickness.  Both the mantle and the gonadscoral were presented on the half shell.  To be quite frank, while the chef made sure that the center was still raw and thus remained soft and juicy, something was just not quite right with it.  Dunno what it was...  We probably didn't need the black truffles here.  The baby radish was pretty nice, though.

There was some green salad in front of us, again with a sprinkle of black truffle shavings. 

Artichoke velouté - unlike some of my fellow diners, I didn't mind the sprinkle of black truffle bits on top.  There was a poached quail egg as well as chopped bits of artichoke in the bowl, but somehow this just didn't do it for me.  Neither, I suspect, did it work for anyone else at the table.  I always felt that the soup course was the weakest part of the meal here, with the exception of the house butter.

Braised oxtail - big plates were laid out on the table, with chunks of oxtail covered by a layer of creamy, mashed potatoes that was slightly au gratin.  Needless to say there was more black truffle, both in slices around the oxtail as well as finely ground and sprinkled on the mash.  There were also pearl onions and lovely pieces of chopped pig trotters.  Pretty tasty, but I kept to just having one piece.  Dyson 2000 once again demonstrated her plate-cleaning skills, just about wiping one of the big plates clean with her index finger...

There was a cheese plate, with what was supposedly a whole piece of Mont d'Or that looks like it had been baked.  Unfortunately the cheese was just not ripe at all, so I decided not to touch it.  I did like the preserved perssimmon that was served on the side.

Black truffle crème brûlée - the last time I had black truffle in my desserts was at Pierre two years ago.  I like crème brûlée, and I think it made sense for the chef to infuse the flavors of black truffles into it, but having my dessert taste a little savory wasn't something I really wanted at the end of this particular evening.

We ordered a bottle of 2001 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Gran Reserva, which was fruity and sweet, with a little strawberry, smoke and mint.  Tannins were still a little chewy and velvety, which was pretty nice.

I think we all OD'ed on black truffles tonight, and not all the dishes worked for me.  The gang also got a little bit of a shock when the bill arrived, as this was the highest one we'd seen for our carte blanche meals - no doubt thanks to the mountain of truffles.  We did get 10 portions for some of the dishes, as the original reservation was for 10 instead of 8.  At the end of the day, it was a pretty good meal and I look forward to my next visit.

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