January 5, 2020


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A few hours after stuffing myself with Dominique Ansel's goodies, I joined the MNSC boys for our gathering at the Hong Kong Club.  It's been a while since Gayliao last played host, and we were only too happy to see him in town.

Crab meat salad, turnip, fried Jerusalem artichoke skin, piquillo pepper - didn't expect the crab meat to be packed so densely... and the deep-fried sunchoke skin was a nice touch.  BUT WHY THE FUCK DID THE KITCHEN PUT SUPERMARKET TAKUANZUKE (沢庵漬け) IN THE DISH?!

Baked sardines "Sicilian style", raisin, fennel salad, aioli - WTF.  Serving up sardines at a red wine-dominated dinner - and a blind tasting at that - was pretty much like when I served up raw oysters and spicy tomato soup about 15 years ago... Not a fan of the dish.

Beef sirloin, croquette, savoy cabbage, truffle and pavé potatoes, Cognac jus - a fairly pretty presentation for the stuffy old boys' club...

Actually, the US sirloin was pretty decent.  But then again, I'd expect this place to do a good job for straightforward dishes like this.

The croquette contained shredded (shank?) and was pretty damn tasty.

This savoy cabbage roll was very nice.  As a matter of fact, the truffle and pavé potatoes were nice, too.

Mille-feuille, caramelized puff pastry, passion fruit cream, raspberry sorbet - kinda surprised that this came with passion fruit cream instead of vanilla, but nice and refreshing.

Of course, food comes secondary at an MNSC dinner. Tonight our host pulled out a surprising string of wines that confounded the best of us...

1985 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet - very nice and caramelized, with popcorn notes.  So smooth.  The last pour more than 2 hours after opening was amazingly beautiful, with sweet and exotic coconut and Chinese licorice notes.

First flight: poured 1½ hours after opening, and served 2 hours after opening.
1985 Dujac Clos Saint-Denis - beautiful and floral, really elegant.  Still got a hint of sweet grass.  Second pour was more concentrated.  96 points.

1985 Dujac Bonnes Mares - very nice, with lovely fruit and leather notes.  More tannic and grippy.  97 points.

Second flight:  poured 2 hours after opening, served 2½ hours after opening.
2000 Rouget Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux - minty, a little burnt rubber, a bit more acidity on the palate.  With the second pour there was more leather, and still pretty tight.  94 points.

2000 Ponsot Clos de la Roche - kinda closed, minty, and almost gingerbread.  Much better with the second pour, with a sweeter nose.  95 points.

Third flight: poured 2 hours and 45 minutes after opening, served almost 3½ hours after opening.
2003 Bouchard La Romanée - kinda alcoholic, minty, potpourri, coconut.  Second pour more animal and leather notes, almost a totally different wine.  96 points.

2003 Hudelot-Noellat Richebourg - beautifully toasty, with a hint of burnt rubber, and a layer of coffee along with some fruit.  97 points.

2003 Mugnier Musigny - sharp on the nose, a little metallic.  Not great.  A little orange and sweet fruit.  93 points.

Many thanks to our generous host. Please refraining from serving up such an "educational" last flight in the future...

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