June 11, 2021

In the Realm of the Senses

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Sankala and I were having such a good time at MONO a few weeks ago that we felt the Birdiegolfs needed to join us for another round. I expected to repeat a number of dishes tonight from my last visit, which is actually OK.  They were all pretty delicious so I don't mind having the same things again so quickly.

Shellfish / recado negro / mashua - similar to what we had last time, except tonight we've also got tua tua clams and razor clams in addition to scallops. Still got that hint of smokiness from the recado negro, which also delivered a little kick at the end. I liked the acidity of this ceviche, as well as the chewy seeds.

Carabinero / chayote / Imperial caviar - you can barely see the sections of carabinero, which were so, sooooo beautifully executed... barely cooked, perfect texture, and glistening under the lights. The ribbons of chayote kinda helped to offset the salt from the caviar along with the cream that was made with sherry vinegar and apple cider vinegar. The borage leaves brought some interesting and refreshing flavors.

Heirloom tomato / tamarillo / avocado - these tiny heirloom tomatoes were poached and seasoned with very fragrant avocado leaves. With very sweet peas and avocado leaf jelly on the side, garnished with some pepino, and served with a sauce made with tamarillo that tasted really tropical like mango or passion fruit.

Quinoa sourdough / Eva Aguilera 100% Arbequina olive oil - this was, of course, as good as always. The starter is now 649 days old.

Nova Scotia lobster / Moqueca / patty pan - the lobster was poached in clarified butter and served with a moqueca bahiana sauce using coconut milk made in Hong Kong from Vietnamese coconuts. Served with slices of patty pan and coriander emulsion. Very nice.

Callos anticucho / chicharron / hallaquitas - the honeycomb tripe was cooked with anticucho spices which were delicious and had lots of cumin and a little kick. Interestingly this was made into a roulade which sees the tripe wrap around a hallaquita made with corn and quail. The beef jus infused with coriander was nice, but the best part was definitely the chicharron on top - although I really must protest at the tiny portions of these beauties, which were made with the ears and not the skin. Yes, I'd love another 2 servings of this.

Brittany monkfish / oca / pipian verde - you always get roasted monkfish, but the flavors vary each time. Tonight it came with pipián made with pumpkin seeds and green tomatoes. On the side we've got roasted yellow oca as well as slices of raw red oca.

Racan pigeon / jicama / 21 ingredients mole - I'm really loving the pigeon each and every time I come here, as the breast was done perfectly. The leg wrapped in banana leaves is nice, too, with the cumin... and taken with the guava ketchup. The jicama came with chimichurri, filet, and mustard cress. There was mole on the side for the pigeon breast.

Guanábana sorbet - made with Ecuadorean guanábana, which looks different from Asian soursop but tastes similar. Nice and refreshing.

Mate cocido

Our homemade chocolate / rosemary / Sicilian olive oil - beautiful as always. It's one of those rare occasions when I don't object to the flavors of rosemary, because somehow it just clicks so well with the other flavors.

Alfajores - always nice to finish with this and a little mate.

We brought our own bubbly, but Ricardo was kind enough to offer us a glass to start, anyway...

Krug Grande Cuvée, 168éme édition, ID 219017 - very nice mousse. Lovely nose of toasted brioche. Acidity was a little sharper than expected, but very nice nonetheless.

Michel Fallon Ozanne - kinda floral nose, with a hint of caramelized sugar. Good depth on the palate and a little tart and grippy,.

1998 Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune - tons of petrol and polyurethane, as well as white flowers. Absolutely LOVE the nose. A little ripeness here on the palate.

2004 Ponsot Chapelle Chambertin - served 1 hour after decanting. Lovely fruit with a beautiful, floral nose along with leather and farmy notes.

2001 Yquem, en demi-bouteille - orange blossom, honey, nutty, honeydew melon, lychee honey. Fucking beautiful.

So... the playlist tonight was pretty low key and mellow for most of the evening, but thankfully we eventually moved on to some disco and funk, with Kool and the Gang, Boney M, Quincy Jones and some Ai No Corrida, to boot...

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