August 23, 2019

Spinning plates

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Another week, another team spinning class.  I was clearly not in good condition today, as I felt fatigued not long after we started.  After cooling myself down and cleaning up, I trekked back uphill to the office to finish some work.

Little Meg pinged me yesterday and invited me to dinner tonight.  I told her that my attendance would depend on my physical condition after spinning, and truth be told, I was pretty fatigued.  But as she was entertaining a visiting foodie who was coming for the first time, I figured us locals should try to be hospitable.  So I walked the short distance from the office to Neighborhood to dine there for the second time this week.

The menu tonight was, of course, put together by The Man in White T-shirt while he's off on his European vacation.  I figured there'd be a reasonable amount of overlap with what I had on Monday, but I guessed there would be at least a special or two...

Basque saucisson "Noire de Bigorre", culatello di zibello "Massimo Spigaroli" - I can never complain about starting dinner with these... Just so tasty.

Mochida tomato / salted plum / melon - great combination of sweetness, acidity, and savory notes.

Gooseneck barnacles - I was scratching my head... I wasn't expecting The Man in White T-shirt to serve percebes to our Spanish visitor, but I guess it's interesting to see what local ones look and taste like.  These were very, very juicy... and as we tore into them, juices were literally shooting across the table.

Aquitaine beef tartare / anchovy / mushroom - a nice combination with that little bit of anchovies.

Poached pigeon eggs / chorizo - very nice and salty, and full of chorizo flavors.

Fried matsutake mushroom - I really do like them deep-fried!  Especially interesting with that black olive / mayo sauce topped with piment d'espelette.

White asparagus / bacon gratin - the béchamel made it a little liquid and gooey, but the little bit of black truffle together with bacon bits was nice.

Bouchot mussels - I didn't ask if these still came from Mont Saint-Michel, but what hasn't changed was the curry powder used in the sauce.  Slurp.

Handmade garganelli / spicy scallop skirt / beef tripes / black truffle - had the same dish on Monday, but tonight the kitchen shaved some black truffle on top.  I guess I'm not that special on my own...

Still love this dish.  That spicy kick.  That depth of flavor from the tripe.  And the interesting combination of textures with chewiness coming from scallop skirt and tripe, along with the al dente pasta.

Boudin Basque / fried egg / pickled peppers - another interesting choice for our visitor.  But I was more than happy to have this for the second time this week.  The flavors are always incredible, and that Japanese egg with the orange red yolk...

Salt baked chicken rice / yellow wine / morel - no surprise that this showed up.  Love that cream sauce with morels, and I definitely smelled the fragrance of yellow wine.  Tonight, though, the rice was fairly wet... so we didn't get much rice crispies / socattat at the bottom.  SOMEONE - who shall remain unnamed - inquired whether the chicken ass will be served, and I asked Shirley to get us multiple asses.   Someone happily lined up 4 chicken asses on the plate and snapped a bunch of pictures...

Warm vegetables casserole / lardon / truffle vinaigrette - always good to have some veg, especially when they're so delicious.  And no, this is not a vegetarian dish...

Aubrac beef onglet steak / bone marrow / caviar - there was no way that the 4 of us could handle so much food... especially after the chicken.  I asked whether it was OK for us just to have the bone marrow, but that was pretty much thrown back in my face...

Obviously we didn't get the Rubia Galega but the Aubrac onglet instead.  Still tasty but in a different way.

And the best way to enjoy that bone marrow topped with caviar is to have it over a piece of sourdough.  Simply fantastic!

French toast / vanilla ice cream / black truffle - I really didn't have any more room, but when this shows up... just gotta have it.  Always love the crunch and fragrance of the hazelnuts.  And will you just look at the color of that toast?!


When I was invited to dinner, I told Little Meg that I didn't have any decent wine in my office. She replied by informing me that the Hairy Twin would bring some... which didn't inspire much confidence in me because, as we know, the Twins are very much into bongwater.  So I ended up picking up a bottle from a wine shop nearby.

2014 Guiberteau Saumur Brézé - huge nose of toasty oak.  Very ripe on the palate, but still got plenty of acidity and very vibrant on the palate.

2016 Esporão Alentejo Reserva - big, flinty nose with some ripeness on the palate.

2016 Cos Nero di Lupo - minty, eucalyptus, fruity, dried herbs, and a bit leather on the nose.

This was a lot of food, and I was clearly operating under a diminished capacity tonight.  I was happy to just go home and crawl into bed afterwards...

P.S.  There was a table next to us who were being very, very loud over dinner.  I know it's Friday night, you're with your friends, and you've had a few bottles of wine.  We've all been there.  But what those of us with manners don't do is to treat it as if you're eating in your own home, thinking that it's OK to yell, shout, high-five each other or generally acting very selfish and entitled.  I couldn't believe it.  These people are all highly-educated, and they talk about their jobs at global investment banks.  Reminds me of a bunch of assholes from Linklaters at On Lot 10 a few years ago...  I wish The Man in White T-shirt would ban assholes like these from his restaurant.  I'm sure my friends and I would be more than glad to make up for the lost revenue.


Audrey said...

Hi! I've been following your food blog for some time and enjoy your commentary a lot. Question and I must have missed this - but I've seen you refer a lot to 'bongwater' wines - what do you mean by that? Is it the "natural /bio dynamic" wines that are trendy right now?

Peech said...



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