December 31, 2019

Last stars of the decade

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I pinged Hairy Legs this morning.  I had something for Bilbaobab, and could I just drop it off with him at the restaurant during my lunch hour?  Being the kind friend that he is, Hairy Legs offered to make me a few dishes for lunch.  While I politely declined and told him that I was happy to eat something simple so that I could return to my desk, he insisted that I should not leave the restaurant hungry.

That's how I found myself sitting at the chef's table behind the open kitchen at Caprice, on the last day of the year - nay, of the decade.  I came delivering a small package of pop corn, and ended up staying for a multi-course lunch.

Victor came in with a magnum of bubbly. I guess it made sense to have some... with less than 12 hours to go.

Vouette et Sorbée Fidèle, en magnum, dégorgée le 16 Octobre 2018 - more pronounced mineral notes, caramelized on the edges.  The acidity on the palate was balanced by some ripeness.

Pâté en croûte de cannette, pickles de légumes, vinaigrette à la truffe noire - for some reason I have never had Hairy Legs' pâté en croûte, although we've talked about it a number of times.  This came with a "salad" with frisée, pickled cherries, and black truffle.

Besides the foie gras, the main ingredient is wild colvert duck.  The meat certainly was on the firm side, which made sense.  There was also a little bit of duck gizzard, and apparently also a little lardo di Colonnata.  I was a happy camper.

I was offered some bongwater to go with my pâté.

Olivier Cohen Les Vignes d'Olivier Ronds Noirs Version 2 - a little smoky, still got fruit, and later a little brett.

Langoustine - this sat on a bed of button mushroom ragout, with vin jaune sauce, mint oil, and topped with shaved black truffle and button mushrooms.  Inhaled.

Hairy Legs wanted to let me try more dishes, since I haven't been back for almost 6 months, but I declined.  This was more than I needed, and I no longer have the luxury of taking 2 to 3 hour lunches on a work day... I also declined the white wine offered to pair with the langoustine...

Caramel, vanilla, and peanuts - a layer of caramel ganache was sandwiched between two layers of chocolate, then topped with "intense" (no idea what this means...) vanilla ice cream.  Then accompanied by two halves of a salted peanut.

1999 Yquem, en imperial - this big boy has been open for a couple of weeks, I believe.  Still pretty nice, with classic notes of honey and botrytis.

This was an unexpected treat... I had thought about having on a simple lunch with a couple of people from my team, but turning down Hairy Legs' hospitality just seemed wrong.  I did, in fact, ask for the bill at the end - even though it would be in vain.  I am very grateful to have friends like him in my life. 

In fact, when I heard about how much truffle was going to be served at the countdown dinner tonight, I was a little tempted to change my usual plan of spending a quiet evening at home.  But in the end, I guess I still prefer to forgo a big blow-out...  These days I'm much happier being in comfortable at home.

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