March 9, 2019

Happy mom, happy son

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I'm back home in Taipei for a short weekend trip, with the main goal of celebrating mom's birthday a few days early.  It's becoming increasingly difficult to pick a decent restaurant in Taipei to take the Parental Units out, and tonight I decided to go back to Tutto Bello after a few years.

While the others ordered à la carte, I decided to take the shorter, gourmet tasting menu to try a few more dishes.

Cappe sante / cipollina / salsa al Champagne - the scallops were well-executed and mi-cuit.  The Champagne sauce came with lots of trout roe, and there was a good level of acidity in the sauce.  Pretty nice.

Zuppa di funghi / biscotto al Parmigiano e noccioline - not very interesting and too mainstream for my taste, but there was nothing wrong with this mushroom soup.  The cheese and peanut cracker only tasted of cheese... and not much peanut.

Fegato d'anatra / fregola / castagne / crema di fegato - OOPS, I did it again!  I saw the word "fregola" and I just had to order this dish.  In fact, I took this menu because of this dish!  I just love chewing on those little bits of dough...  Unfortunately, the sauce made of chestnut purée and foie gras cream just didn't work for me...  The sauce was grainy from the chestnut, and the oil separated from sauce... which made it taste very greasy.

The execution on the foie gras was... OK, I guess.  I thought the exterior was too charred for my taste, so while the interior was still reasonably moist, I would have preferred it a little more raw and jiggly.

Mom loves pan-fried foie gras, so she ordered something similar à la carte.  The execution on her piece was the same as mine, and while it wasn't perfect for her, either, it was apparently the best she's had in the last couple of years.

Arrosto di petto d'anatra di Challans / salsa al vino Porto ed arancia rossa / croccante di verdure - the funny thing is that on my last visit 7 years ago, I also ordered Challans duck as my main course.  OK, so this wasn't part of the gourmet menu... I gave my beef to Hello Kitty and ordered this à la carte.  In fact, this single dish cost almost as much as the entire gourmet menu.

The duck looked beautiful.  Just look at the doneness... and the crispy, brown skin.  But this dish was disappointing.  Why?  It was tepid.  The plate was barely above room temperature, and the temperature of the duck wasn't the result of me snapping a few pictures.  So why the flavors and the execution were good, the result just wasn't as satisfying as it should have been.

Panna cotta / salsa ai frutti di bosco - the dessert, on the other hand, was much better than I had expected.  The berry compote and coulis was very tasty, with some added herbs.

At this point mom got a special chocolate dessert.  Haokoufu knew I was taking mom here for her birthday, and she called to notify the restaurant's owner.  I'm grateful for the special treat.

A birthday can't do without birthday wine, and I brought a special bottle I've been waiting to open.  This came from the cellars of Bill Koch.

1943 Mouton-Rothschild - initially the acidity was a little higher than expected.  Showed nose of plums, a hint of savory black olives, a little smoky, a little woodsy.  Second pour 30 minutes later, and still acidic.  First whiff nose was more muted but got better after a minute.  After a while the wine gained weight and the body improved.

Mom was very happy tonight, which was the most important thing.  She was reasonably satisfied with her foie gras, and she was very happy that I recommended her the Iberico pluma.  And she kinda liked the wine, too.

2 comments:

Fabrice Delorme said...

thank you for sharing these treasures with us

Peech said...

Allo Fabrice! Hope all is well!

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