April 15, 2019

10 days in 3 cities day 3: eight is not enough

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The Dining Austrian's eating tour continues, and tonight we took him to Neighborhood.  I initially rounded up a couple of people to join us, but in the end we became a party of eight nine with a last minute addition.

As usual I left it up to The Man in White T-shirt to do whatever he likes, although I did suggest that he not serve Rubia Galega to the guest of honor - since it is something he would have had often while traveling in Spain.

Basque saucisson "Noire de Bigorre" - I would never dream of complaining about starting dinner with this...

Culatello di zibello "Massimo Spigaroli" - or this...

These shells were too difficult to get to - especially armed with the wrong equipment.  I gave up after 2 of these...

Homemade bottarga / radish - the bottarga was soft and beautiful.  Obviously salted but not too much.  The sweet radishes helped to balance things out, especially with a little spicy kick.

Sea bream crudo - just love something so simple... drenched in olive oil and sprinkled with chopped chives and cracked pepper.

Padron pepper / Raclette cheese - always delicious and can't complain.

Pigeon eggs / escargot butter - another old favorite.  I wish I had room in my stomach for a few more.

Mochida tomato carpaccio - the tomatoes from Mochida Farms (持田農園) were soooo incredibly ripe and sweet.  Sprinkled with pickled cherry blossoms, salt, and plum powder on top.  Great interplay between sweetness, salty, and acidity.

Artichoke salad - nice and interesting way to serve artichoke.  Gone in one bite.

Buffalo chicken wings / Roquefort - the chicken wings came on a bed of shredded celeriac dressed in Roquefort sauce.

Scallops / uni - judging by their colorful shells, I'm thinking that these could be noble scallops from Japan.  Topped with breadcrumbs drenched in butter and seasoned with diced chorizo, then a couple of tongues of sea urchin on top.  How could you not love this?!

Boudin basque / egg - I'm always a fan of blood pudding, and I never tire of having this Boudin basque (from Christian Parra, par hasard?) ever since I first tasted it back in the On Lot 10 days.  Having that fried egg on top seasoned with piment d'espelette is even better.

Four-finger threadfin - the first of our main courses.  The boss brought out this impressive four-finger threadfin (馬友), which we know he likes to serve (and we love to eat!)

It was apprently smoked and confit in goose fat.  Just look at the beautiful golden hue of the liquefied goose fat it's resting in!

We got a serving of fish soup on the side, which was made with sea ruffe (石狗公) and seasoned with aged mandarin peel (陳皮).  I will always drink a cup (or a pot) of any fish soup The Man in White T-shirt sends my way...

And finally the finished product.  With boiled potatoes and thick chunks of lardon.  And that milky sauce.  Heavenly.

Aubrac beef onglet steak / bone marrow / caviar - so instead of Rubia Galega we got ourselves a big plate of Aubrac onglet.  Very nicely done and garnished with garlic on the side.  Of course, we must not forget the large pieces of marrow-filled bone that have been topped with golden oscietra from Kaviari.  Totally sinful.  Couldn't help but scoop the marrow/caviar combo onto pieces of those delicious sourdough bread from Daniel Calvert...

Black truffle mashed potatoes - standard accompaniment to the beef.  And why not?!

Warm vegetable casserole / black truffle - another perennial favorite, which is a welcome sight given all the heavy stuff that has been coming our way.

Salt baked chicken rice / yellow wine / morel / foie gras - another perennial crowd favorite.  Always nice watching them crack open the salt crust to retrieve the chicken.

Of course we've got the morels and that delicious cream sauce drenched all over, but tonight the kitchen has also added escargot and foie gras.  Damn sinful, but so fucking good.

Tarte tatin - very sweet and caramelized apples.  Always delicious.

Vanilla ice cream / black truffle - how can we say 'no' to this, even when we're stuffed?!

Canelés - always the perfect ending to a meal here.

Needless to say, there was a plethora of bottles...

Jacques Selosse Exquise, dégorgée le 2 Octobre 2017 - lovely nose with some oxidation.  Lots of salty lemon.

2008 Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux - riper than expected, but still showing some leanness and green.  Full-bodied with good acidity.

2003 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, en magnum - mature now, with sweet vanilla notes, ripe and buttery.  So sweet on the palate.

2000 Grange des Pères Blanc - ripe on the palate but not too sweet.  Flinty with a hint of acetone.  A beautiful wine that is very big on the palate with a long finish.

2003 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Marie Beurrier, en magnum - unfortunately we forgot to remind our guy to decant this... and he didn't think about all the sediment that would be splashed around... So for me the wine was ruined by all the tannins coming from the sediment.

1995 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon - initially not quite open, showing minty, smoky, and very cool fruit.  After a while it showed very nicely with a little violet.

2003 Ausone - opened 3½ hours prior to serving.  Ripe fruit, smoky, sweet vanilla.  Pretty smooth on the palate with silky tannins, but still got the concentration.

What a feast! I think our visitor was pretty happy...

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