July 28, 2022

Freedom in da 'hood

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I was meeting up with the Tiggers again, and this time they requested a dinner at Neighborhood. The Kitchen Nazi is eating his way through the Land of the Rising Sun, which meant I was free to order whatever I wanted off the menu - with input from the family, of course.

French Aquitaine beef tartare / abalone / sansho pepper - there was never any question that we would order this. We loved the chewy texture of the hand-chopped beef, and the abalone slices also delivered a good amount of bite. The sansho (山椒) peppers tickled the tongue very nicely.

This is always better when taken with some sourdough bread.

Escargot / spring garlif leaf / "N25" oscietra caviar - I knew this would be a hit with this crowd, and honestly, it definitely wasn't enough caviar... even when we ordered 2 portions. So, so tasty when you deep-fry the garlic leaf. The cream and the caviar really worked so well together.

Porcini / egg - the shrooms are in season, so of course we wanted some. The piment d'Espelette and Sichuan peppercorns were nice on top.

Bouchot mussels / escargot garlic butter - I don't always get the mussels, but I gotta admit they were pretty tasty tonight with that garlic and parsley. Not surprised I also found Sichuan peppercorns here. Putting the sourdough to good use when the mussels were gone.

Buffalo wings / Roquefort salad - always a popular choice, and that Roquefort on the sucrine lettuce was pretty strong.

Local rockfish "onion" soup - a word of advice: whenever you see fish soup on the menu here, get it. So much fish goes into making this, and this time we've got onions inside as well as a gratin top.

Giant grouper fin / tomato / potato - this was a pretty giant-ass fin, and I wondered how big the fish was. The skin of giant grouper (龍躉) is thick with a ton of fat, and that fishy taste isn't for everyone. But I love how the acidity of the tomato and the piment d'Espelette work to tone that down.

Salt baked chicken / fiblets / morel mushrooms - it's always good to have what has become the signature dish here. Love the flavors of the morels and all the giblets, and of course all that fragrance coming from the chervil and chives. The rice, though, was a weeeeeetle too wet for me.

Canelés - no dessert for me, but I got to keep ALL the canelés for myself. YEAH, BABY!!!

This is not a drinking crowd, so I just ordered a bottle of rosé from the wine list:

2018 Le Cinciole Rosato - nose of strawberries and raspberries.

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