April 28, 2016

Boss in the 'hood

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The boss is back in town so it was time again for a long-overdue team dinner.  This time around I made an executive decision to take the team to Neighborhood, since it was close to the office and I really, really wanted some of the seasonal dishes.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce the team to Neighborhood after the closure of On Lot 10.

I had pre-arranged a couple of the specials with the restaurant, so I just picked out a couple of starters while we waited for the big guns to show up.

30-month culatello di zibello "Massimo Spigaroli" - seriously good shit.  Need to revisit more often for more of this.

Salt cod / cod tripe / tomato crostini - I love a good bruschetta or crostini, and this was really, really delicious.  Having tomato and basil as toppings is pretty normal, but the shredded salted cod added a nice dimension.  I've never had cod tripe before, and these chipped bits were kinda springy and bouncy... kinda reminds me of espardenyas.  Nice seasoning with piment d'espelette.

Fried asparagus / spring garlic aioli - I do love asparagus when they're in season, and they've been coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried.  Love the garlic aioli, too.

Bone marrow risotto / morel mushroom - it's hard to come here without having the bone marrow risotto, and tonight the kitchen added some delicious morels and what looked like chervil on top.  So rich. So delicious.  So satisfying.

Fourfinger threadfin cutlet beurre blanc - The Man in the White T-Shirt has been telling me that he's been getting some good fourfinger threadfins (馬友), and it's a really delicious fish from local waters.  We didn't get the fish head cooked with rice, but the beurre blanc was a nice way to accompany the flavors of the fish.  The flesh was so silky and tender... just a beautiful dish.  The potatoes were pretty good, too!

Pyrénées spring lamb shoulder / morel / rice - now THIS was the dish I had been craving!  The 2-month-old lamb was likely still suckling on its mother, which explains the tender and milky meat.  This big pan came with lamb shoulder, lamb chops, a front leg of lamb, as well as some lamb kidneys.  Lots of morels and chervil with a cream sauce seasoned with piment d'espelette... all sitting on a bed of jasmine rice.

This was really, really awesome.  It's really tough to beat milk-fed spring lamb, and that cream sauce over rice... We were all pretty stuffed after this.

We didn't want any dessert, but the kitchen wouldn't take no for an answer...

Chocolate palette - just as rich as always.

Baba au rhum - the kitchen warmed this up and then poured a good amount of rum on top.  Served with chocolate ice cream.  Nice.

I brought a casual bottle to share with the team...

2005 Petaluma Chardonnay Tiers - very ripe on the palate, with heavy toasty nose and some buttery corn.

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