July 19, 2018

Jim's new playground

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I rarely hang out with my professional peers socially, but one of my good friends invited me to join a networking dinner with people in similar positions at myself - people I normally only run into at conferences.  Since the dinner was gonna be at The Flying Elk, I agreed to join the gang even though I knew I might be tired after my long trip to Europe.

I was ever so grateful that, for once, nobody asked me to do the ordering. Not even for the wine. I was happy to just go with the flow.

Truffle popcorn, Västerboften cheese, dried mushroom - meh.  Kinda fun for the first couple of bites, but we all kinda lost interest quickly.

Boneless chicken wings, Kvibille cheese, crispy parsley, clarified butter - these were a little more salty than I expected, with a dab of blue cheese on top.  Almost tasted like chorizo...

Croquettes, shortrib, thyme, smoked chili emulsion - there was mushroom purée along with the very tender short ribs inside.  Served with smoked chipotle sauce.

Gougères, Allerum cheddar, fennel seeds, chestnut honey - this came compliments of Jim.  A combination of sweet and salty thanks to having honey on the outside and cheese on the inside.

House smoked Norwegian salmon, pink peppercorns, lemon smetana, trout roe, crispy cucumber - also compliments of Jim.  This was pretty nice.

Tartar "lamb in dill", dill mayonnaise, "ättika vinegar", pickled root crops, crunchy onions - this was interesting because the pickles brought acidity and sweetness to the dish.

Umami salad, duck confit, shiitake, smoked pecorino, crispy onions, umami dressing - this was kinda interesting, I guess... because I wouldn't exactly call it a salad...

Halibut tartar and king crab, lime hollandaise, sour carrots, cayenne, coriander cress - nice and refreshing.

"Rossini", roasted cod and foie gras, truffle jus, green beans and mie de pain - interesting to see a Rossini made with cod...  The piece of pan-fried foie on top was obviously sinful, but there was good acidity in the sauce to cut the richness.  The haricots verts were also pretty good.  Overall a very tasty dish.

Baked hen's egg "63.4C", spinach, truffle, Gruyère, roasted chicken jus, petit pois and dried sourdough bread - pretty nice and satisfying, with diced cubes of Gruyère.

Open sandwich, pork cheeks "24h", cabbage, truffle béchamel, wild mushroom, black pepper - what's not to love about tender pork cheeks, especially after braising for 24 hours?  Slap it together with some pickled red cabbage so that the acidity can help cut the richness, then shave some truffle on top with a Microplane.  Instant crowd-pleaser.

Roasted scallop, scrambled egg, truffle, beurre noisette, crispy potato and smoked soy - always done very well by the Frantzén team, and it's easy to see the scallops were mi-cuit.  The combination of scrambled eggs and beurre noisette was pretty nice and comforting, and the crispy shredded potato on top always adds some very satisfying crunch to the whole mix.

Baby chicken and lobster "pot-au-feu", baby chicken, lobster, consommé, tarragon and lobster soup - a signature dish here and their version of "surf-and-turf".  This came with carrots, turnips, fennel, and garnished with chervil.  Very tasty.

The lobster soup was rich but at the same time came with plenty of acidity.

Swedish punsch - on the house before dessert, and very sweet indeed.

"After Eight", mint and chocolate - once the mint ice cream and mint leaves are combined with the chocolate fondant, the flavors remind one of After Eight chocolate mints.

Crème brûlée, Swedish coffee, Tahiti vanilla, toasted hazelnuts - pretty nice with all the hazelnuts on top.

Swedish "syltkakor", vanilla and raspberry

This was clearly a crowd in need of some alcohol, and we actually did OK... polishing off 5 bottles between the 9 of us.

2015 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley - very fruity, very minty, really ripe and jammy, with metallic and iron notes.

2012 Alejandro Fernández Tinto Pesquera Reserva - notes of black fruits.

2015 Shaw and Smith Shiraz - very sweet and oaky, minty.

2011 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc Beeswax Vineyard - pretty toasty, flinty, later getting pungent with sulfur.

2015 Foillard Morgon "Côte du Puy" - really beautiful nose, with fragrant potpourri.

We had a pretty good time tonight, and judging by the dishes we had, we probably went through more than 3/4 of the menu here.  Many thanks to Jim for sending us some extra goodies.

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