January 9, 2018

Big fish for two

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The Hungry Tourist is passing through town, and I promised to meet him for dinner even though I am trying to get back on my diet.  I requested for a "casual and light' dinner, and we figured a couple of simple dishes at my favorite Neighborhood would do the trick.  How naive I was...

The minute I showed up, I was informed that The Man in White T-shirt - despite not being here himself - had left instructions to serve me some threadfin.  So I knew I couldn't order too many dishes on my own...

"Acquerello" risotto / porcini / bone marrow - it's been a LONG time since I last had the bone marrow risotto here, and tonight there was a huge pile of big ass porcini on top.  As usual the risotto was on the wet side, but I'm OK with that.  The richness of the oil from bone marrow was lip-smacking good.

Fallow deer sugo / soft polenta - I didn't know what I was getting into when I ordered this, as I saw the words "fallow deer" and a button was pressed.  The polenta was way, way too runny and wet for my taste in this case, but the deer sugo was nice.  However, the dish was very, very heavy.

Threadfin fish confit - so this was the main event for tonight.  I knew we were in trouble when Shirley told me that this was coming.  And it looked huge!  For just the two of us.

Whereas The Hungry Tourist had just been nibbling and tasting the two dishes we've had so far, this is where he stepped up.  This is the perfect season for fourfinger threadfin (馬友), and I already had a taste of it from The Man in White T-shirt last night as he tried to cook a "Chinese" version.  Tonight's preparation was completely different.  This was confit in Chinese yellow wine which, along with the fattiness of the fish itself, helped deliver an amazing tender texture.  The dish also came with the chef's trademark touch of acidity, and when combined with the presence of shredded Napa cabbage alongside chunk of potatoes - began to remind me of choucroute.  

Brie de Meaux / truffle - we were already pretty full, but took a very small slice of this on Henry's advice.  Lovely and just perfect.

Canelés - normally I find some of my favorite canelés in town here, but I have no idea what happened today... The cooking temperature seemed all wrong as these babies were obviously deformed and ugly as sin.  Cat anus for sure...  Having said that, though, the texture was pretty perfect - crunchy exterior with a nice and wet, spongy interior.

I brought a bottle for casual drinking, which we did not quite finish...

2012 Lucien Le Moine Corton Blanc - huge nose of toasty oak and toasty corn.  Delicious.

It was good to see my friend tonight, and I look forward to seeing him in about a month...

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