December 14, 2018

La laa, la laa, la la la la laaa laaa

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A few days ago a receive a message from a dear friend, asking me whether I would be available for dinner tonight.  She and her husband had booked their places at the winter dinner hosted by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, but she has since decided to run off to a concert instead.  Would I be so kind as to keep her hubby company?

I had just returned from an 8-day binge fest in Japan a mere 6 days ago, where I've gorged on two big meals each day.  I've dined out 5 out of the 6 nights since my return.  I really didn't need to have another night out.  But I knew that my friends were being kind in extending this invitation, so I decided to take my friend's place at the dinner table.

I arrived at the Hong Kong Country Club a few minutes after the official start of the dinner, and hovered next to the seating chart by the door while speeches were delivered on the stage.  It took me a while to find my table, and I was rather surprised to be seated at the Romanée-Conti table... I would quickly discover that Alexandre Abel - the current winemaker at Domaine Ponsot - and Chef Simon Rogan were among those seated at my table.

Marinated scallop and Scottish langoustine terrine, seaweed, salicorne, chive oil, sea urchin - not bad at all.  I don't think I've had this type of spongy terrine in a long time, and the small chunks of langoustine encased inside weren't bad.  Kinda surprised to see salicornia on the plate here.

2014 Marc Colin Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly - nice bit of toast, oaky, lemon.  Lovely on the palate and quite full-bodied.  More toast notes came out later, along with acidity.

Pavé de saumon à l'oseille - not to toot my own horn, but I was probably one of the few people who recognized the origins of this dish - if the reactions around my table was any indication.  It is, after all, one of the most famous dishes that made a name for the Troisgros brothers... and one of the early classics which exemplified nouvelle cuisine.

I've never had the original version during my visits to Maison Troisgros, so this would have to do.  The doneness on the salmon was pretty nice.  And I loved the light cream sauce with that acidity from sorrel.

2014 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes - heavier toasty nose.  Cleaner and more focused on the palate.  Beautiful and showy, with a big dose of acidity.

Poularde de Bresse vapeur - the chicken had a very smooth texture, and came very tender.  There was a little bite on the skin, with a slight springy texture.  The basmati truffle rice, not surprisingly, was mushy.  I was intrigued by those long, thin julienned red strips... which had the acidity like Japanese pickled ginger but had a texture closer to celeriac.

2007 Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Champeaux - cool fruit.  Drinking nicely and served at a good, chilled temperature.  Slightly tight on the palate but not bad.  A hint of leather on the nose with some ripeness.

Roast Mieral pigeon, root vegetable gratin, fondant potatoes, caramelized shallots - Mieral pigeon is always nice, as long as the kitchen doesn't screw up.

And the kitchen certain did the job perfectly.

2007 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St Jacques - reductive nose with toasty corn, grilled meats, and almost a little stinky.  Some eucalyptus, and almost a little like Côte-Rôtie.

Individual beef Wellington, baby vegetables, thyme and red wine sauce - not bad at all, but as Simon Rogan noted, the classic version would have been made with mushroom duxelles.

2007 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche - very pretty nose, sweet, fruity, floral.  Lighter and more elegant.

Caramélia and tonka bean mousse sphere - I actually really liked this dessert, despite the silver foil on top.  The tonka beans certainly delivered their distinctive aromatics and flavors, and beneath the mousse were buried chunks of honeycomb crunch.

Cannelés Bordelais - I love canelés, but why did these have to be made with pop rocks???!!!

Besides the usual, seemingly neverending rounds of "La laa, la laa...", we were entertained by a group of singers throughout the evening.

This was a fun evening, and it was good to run into friends who are Chevaliers.  Many thanks to my friend for giving me the chance to have a sex change for the evening and pretend to be her...

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