December 22, 2017

A feast before Christmas

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L is back in town for Christmas, and when she planned her trip two months ago, she demanded that I take her to Uwe while she's in town.  So I dutifully booked a table, then added an extra seat at our table when My Favorite Cousin couldn't join me for dinner last night. 

It's Christmas holiday season, and given that Uwe's always had a tree in the middle of his restaurant, it wouldn't surprise anyone that there is now a Christmas tree in the space.  Except... that in order to fit an extra table for the busy season, they've decided to hang it upside down from the ceiling.  But this seems to be a thing these days...

Autumn landscape - once again we have a whole spread on the table as our "first course", but there is a little bit of variation this time.

Fallen leaves - dehydrated parsnip purée.

Finnish reindeer moss - with grated horseradish.  The "snow" underneath is made of hazelnuts.

Bone marrow and caramelized onion candle

Fermented sourdough bread sticks - with homemade Branston pickle, and sweet potato leaves.

Pickled Japanese breakfast radish

Venison tartare - with foie gras and chicken liver terrine, shaved black truffles.  Yum.

Smoked salmon with caviar and cream cheese

Ebisu oysters with barrel-aged soy sauce and yuzu

Mushroom egg - with pickled mushrooms and mushroom velouté.

Artichokes - once again, we've got an artichoke tart with caramelized Roscoff onions, onto which Uwe proceeded to shave a ton of Comté.  Then he added some black truffles shaved with a Microplane.

Then some chopped chives was sprinkled on top, and some chicken jus was added to finish the dish.  Very, very tasty, but the chicken jus put the flavors on the salty and heavy side - which is in keeping with the season.

Pigeon - the Bresse pigeon was cellar-aged for 4 weeks and was absolutely perfect in terms of execution - especially the breast.  The confit leg was simply beautiful. Served on top of red cabbage cooked according to Uwe's grandma's recipe, with roasted salsify and local spinach on the side.

Prawn - I loooooove carabineros, and these were pretty damn big.  Served with sauce made by fermenting the heads for 6 weeks.

The tail was, naturally, wonderfully delicious and full of umami.  But the best part is always inside the head!  Yanking the tail away from the head, the "goo" started to flow out...  And I took great pleasure in sucking out the contents of the head, as always.

Sea bass - served with curly kale, Japanese mussels and mussel sauce, and herb oil.  The line-caught sea bass was, of course, very nice and tender in texture.  The dill and chive flowers on top added a lovely fragrance.

Bison - organic bison tenderloin from Rhug Estate.  There are apparently only around 10 heads of bison on the estate...

This wasn't something I'd expect to find in this town, but it a special privilege to have tasted it.  And it was very, very good.

This was served with a few side dishes...

Creamed Brussels sprouts

Chervil root purée - definitely on the sweet side and kinda similar to parsnip.

Blackberries - from last season in late summer.  And macerated in alcohol.

Pineapple - these come from Costa Rica.

And they're put over the fire for 3 hours, peeled, then grilled again. Garnished with flowers and served up on antique silverware - real silver, that is...

Rum raisin ice cream - served with a mix of Bourbon and pineapple jus.  Abso-fucking-lutely delicious.  Once again, these were served in bowls dating from the Ming Dynasty.

Minced pie with brandy butter, and salted caramels

Dinner tonight was, of course, accompanied by a few bottles... I decided to order a bottle of Krug off the very good and reasonably-priced wine list, because the markup was so ridiculously low... and what was on offer by the bottle was 3 editions ago compared to the current release.

Krug Grande Cuvée, 161éme édition, ID 412044 - initially more lean and light than expected, but still delivered a nice and toasty nose.

1989 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett - pretty dry on the palate, but definitely mature.  Polyurethane notes on the nose.  Later this turned pretty ripe and mineral.

1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou - served after almost 2 hours in decanter.  Classic left bank, with smoky notes.  Showing more fruit with the second pour a half hour after the first, along with earthy notes.  Good acidity with velvety tannins.

I think we were all pretty happy at the end of the evening... We were all very stuffed, to say the least! 

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