June 23, 2011

Seafood galore

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Tonight looks to be my last visit to On Lot 10 in a while.  Susan had organized a gathering, and as usual had given David carte blanche on the menu.  I was only too happy to join them and count it as part of the birthday celebrations...

Tomato and basil salad with summer truffle - the different types of tomatoes were all very good, with balsamic and basil to pick up the flavors.

Farmed southern blue fin tuna - David's pretty environmentally conscious, and knows I do try to avoid certain ingredients.  This was nicely marinated and a good way to kick off the dinner.

Bayonne ham - nice with the cornichons.

Air dried duck magret - I loved this the first time I had it, but tonight I found this to be a little stale...  The fat had been sitting out at room temperature for too long and no longer tasted "fresh"...

Warm Riviera vegetable salad 'Louis XV' - David used to work at Alain Ducasse's Louis XV in Monte-Carlo, and no doubt this was inspired by the Riviera salad on the menu over there.  A lovely mix of vegetables and truffle.

Seafood "pot au feu" - our first big feast here featured an amazing pot au feu... which was so huge that everyone got doggie bags.  Tonight we kinda got the seafood equivalent, with my favorite carabineros, octopus, mussels, scorpion fish (cabezone?) and another type of fish.  Needless to say I was overjoyed at the sight of those big, red heads in the pan.  The octopus was very tender as I expected, but the fish was pretty bony.  As usual I didn't touch the potatoes...

Bouillabaisse - this was sooooo good.  Basically this is the essence of everything in the last dish, and all the flavors from the fish, octopus, mussels...etc are all here.  Plenty of bits from the fish and other "sediments"...  Lovely on its own, and even better with a dollop of rouille.

Grapefruit sorbet with lychees - a great and refreshing dessert for this summer night.  The tart flavors from the grape fruit and those from the Campari were just what I needed.  I love lychees, but these were kinda frozen...

Tonight there were praises all around for David, since for the first time we had gotten the "right" amount of food at one of our feasts.  We had always loved the food, but there was always simply too much of it in the past.  Tonight he kept the menu relatively light, with no heavy meat courses at the end.  We all left the restaurant satisfied but without feeling bloated - and that's how you put together a happy meal!

2006 Cloudy Bay Te Koko - nose of minerals, pipi de chat, toast, muscat grape, sulfur. Ripe on the palate. Drinking just as I expected.

2004 Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon - typical Cali Cab, with mint and ripe fruits in the nose.

1977 Glenlivet, bottled by Douglas Laing - this was a single-barrel release from bourbon cask, sharp at 50% alcohol. Sweet and floral, with medicinal / hospital disinfectant notes. Very long finish. Many thanks to David for giving me a pour as my birthday present!

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