September 26, 2015

A couple of new neighbors

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Tonight was an occasion to introduce a couple of friends to my favorite Neighborhood, and a chance to check out some new dishes.  We wanted an early night and decided to take the early seating.

As soon as we were seated, we were informed that the restaurant has a stash of white truffles now that the season has started.  I picked out the biggest one in the box, had it weighed, and set it aside for later.

Foie gras / sweet corn / truffle / hazelnut - when this arrived, we were all wondering: "where's the foie gras??"

The sweet corn is actually "reconstructed" around the foie gras terrine "cob".  I liked the idea and the combination, but there was a tad too much of that sticky sweet syrup.

Fried padron peppers / ham salt - I don't think anyone got a spicy pepper... The ham shavings were nice and crispy.

Warm shellfish cocotte / red prawn / coco beans - when this arrived, we immediately realized that we needed at least another serving.  I was lucky enough to be given one of the carabinero heads.  The dish was pretty tasty with plenty of shellfish flavors from the clams, razor clams, and prawns mixed with the coco beans.  The particular type of sea urchin, however, wasn't something I appreciated.  But that didn't stop everyone from taking pieces of bread to soak up all the juices at the bottom of the bowl...

Yellow croaker bottarga spaghetti - always one of my favorite dishes here... How can I say "no" to bottarga?

I shaved a little bit of white truffle on top to see it it would work.  At this point in the season, the white truffle wasn't fragrant enough and got overpowered by the bottarga.  Or maybe I just needed to put a lot more white truffle shavings in!

Ovoli mushroom / handmade tagliolini - 'tis the season for the ovoli mushrooms, so I made sure to get this.  The handmade tagliolini was really, really nice.

With white truffle on top.  Of course pairing fungus with fungus made a lot of sense...

Baked macaroni / beef shank ragu - another favorite dish.  That beef shank ragù - with plenty of beef tendon chunks - was really, really yummy.

Also with white truffles on top...

Roast pigeon - this was the daily roast, and since I enjoyed my last pigeon here so much I ordered this without a second thought.

Nobody asked us how we wanted our pigeon done, but I'm guessing the kitchen and staff already know my preference.  Nice and very pink inside... perfectly rosé the way I like it.

Oriental sole - David told me that he had a dinner engagement and wasn't going to be in the house, but he left me a very special fish.  Oriental sole (七日鮮) is a pretty interesting catch, and since I was having it here, I would naturally conclude that this was wild caught and not farmed.

This small sole didn't have a lot of flesh on it, so the ratio of bones (especially the fins) to flesh was definitely way above average - making it a little bit of a pain to eat.  There was also a distinct bitter flavor here.  But what little flesh there was certainly tasted very tender and silky.  I was a little surprised that this was cooked in a pan with tomato and sweet basil.

Chocolate palette - someone was so bowled over by the chocolate palette on her last visit that she demanded an entire serving all to herself... although in the end she did agree to share a quarter with me...  Delish as always.

Vanilla ice cream - as most of our food tonight didn't pair well with white truffle, there was about half of the tuber left... which I saved specifically to shave over vanilla ice cream for our Ice Cream Monster.

The ice cream did look a lot better with white truffle shavings, of course!  I'll just casually mention that someone inhaled two bowls all by himself...

Canelés to finish, as usual.  Very yum.

Another satisfying meal here, but I'm really looking forward to David's new restaurant!  Locally sourced seafood?  Yes, please!

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