Showing posts with label tasting menu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tasting menu. Show all posts

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Seafood and Absinthe Go Swimmingly Good at Waypoint (Harvard Square, Cambridge)

Waypoint is the seafood-focused restaurant from Chef Michael Scelfo from Alden & Harlow. Tucked between Central Square and Harvard Square, it has become one of my favorite restaurants to go to for seafood.

One time, I went for the chef's counter tasting menu using a Gilt City voucher (seriously, Boston's Gilt City has some great restaurant deals listed from time to time).

For the tasting menu, we started with some oysters with pickled fennel mignonette, and fish pepper cocktail sauce
Waypoint
this was paired with Ca Di Rajo's Le Moss Pet Nat
Waypoint
We loved the wine. Le Moss is an unfiltered sparkling Glera Pet-nat (Petillant Naturel). Unlike champagne, these wines are bottled before fully completing its first fermentation.

The second course was the steak tartare, 3 minute egg, smoked trout roe, toast
Waypoint
This was one of the better steak tartare in the city, in my opinion. The flavor and texture of the meat was spot on, and the slightly runny egg yolk added a nice touch.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tapas Tasting at Toro, a Boston Mainstay

I have long wanted to try Toro. This tapas bar from duo Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette has been around for many years (since 2005), but there's still always a long wait every night since they don't take reservations, even after they've opened other locations in New York and Bangkok. I finally went to try it when I saw a Gilt City voucher for it. The voucher for a tasting menu wasn't cheap at $100 but it was 8 courses including wine pairing, but the best part is that it allows you to make a reservation! If you've never used Gilt City, you can save $25 off your first order with my invite link.

The tapas tasting started with a Tortilla Espanola (egg, onion, potato, nettle, aioli). A nice rendition of the traditional Spanish dish. The ratio between egg and potato is just right.
DSC03233
Uni Bocadillo (pressed uni sandwich, miso butter, pickled mustard seeds)
DSC03235
This is similar to the uni sandwich at Coppa. Of course, I'm always happy to get uni on a tasting menu.

Since my friend is kosher, we got different third courses - I wanted at least one porky dish. I got the Jamon Blanco (Toast with lardo, marinated Jonah crab, black garlic, crispy shallots and avocado)
DSC03237
While this wasn't what I had in mind when I wanted a "pork" dish, I enjoyed the toast regardless.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mini Tasting Menu at Journeyman (Somerville, Boston, MA)

Journeyman is a small restaurant hidden in Somerville that only serves tasting menu. They're also one of the few (only?) spot in Boston that uses a ticketing system, and prices for the same menu vary depending on the time of your reservation. If you book a normal reservation, the 9-course tasting menu is $95. If you prepay by buying a ticket, the ticket is $85. But if you want to dine at a non-peak time - say, a Wednesday at 9pm, it's cheaper still at $75.

Journeyman
My friend and I wanted to go for cheaper still, and Journeyman also has a deal for diners who come on Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday evenings after 8:30 pm. During this time, you can get a 4-course meal for $40! We sat at the counter and our meal started with a nice bread service.
Journeyman

Since it's next to Backbar, they also have a daily milk punch menu.
Journeyman

Our first course: Icelandic char, fennel puree, roasted sunchokes, chorizo oil, apricot gel, mizuna green
Journeyman

I'm partial to char ever since I went to Iceland and had a great arctic char at Blue Lagoon. I loved the crispy skin on this char. The flavors come together nicely in this dish and the chorizo oil added just the right amount of kick.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Tasting at Clio (Boston, MA)

I read recently that Clio, one of Ken Oringer's restaurants in the Eliot Hotel in Back Bay will be closing while Uni (also his restaurant) will be expanding into its space. I was a bit bummed by it since I recently tried Clio and enjoyed it. So, I thought I would blog about my experience there before they close, in case you guys would be enticed to go try it out! Plus, it's one of the only photos I took with my new Sony a6000 before it was stolen when my house got broken into the second time ... sigh.

Anyway, I had grabbed a Gilt City deal for a tasting menu at Clio, which was a pretty good deal for this restaurant. Clio has had a number of great bartenders behind the bar and albeit some have moved on to new restaurants, they still had a nice cocktail menu when I went. Being a root beer lover (don't give me that Dr. Pepper nonsense), I obviously went with the Sarsaparilla Flip (sarsaparilla spice rum, root beer reduction, egg white, nutmeg brulee, $14)

Clio

Dinner starts with an amuse bouche of nori with white umami cream cheese, lemon cream cheese - a rich umami bomb.
Clio

The first course was a Chilled Courgette (zucchini, basically) Soup, marinated mussels, rose geranium, truffle vinaigrette
Clio

The soup is a local marrow squash with smoked salt foam.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Tasting Room at 51 Lincoln Opens with 5-Course Menu (Newton, MA)

51 Lincoln in Newton will be opening their Tasting Room on July 29, where they will offer a 5-course prix fixe menu on Tuesdays-Saturdays. The Tasting Room will be located downstairs of 51 Lincoln.and can seat up to 20 people.

The Tasting Room
Before dinner started, we got some cocktails from 51 Lincoln's bar menu. I had the Barkeep's Julep with bourbon, sarsaparilla reduction, Leopold fernet, and mint ($12). The fernet's bitterness added a nice depth to this classic cocktail. 
The Tasting Room

The first course of our dinner was a light, refreshing scallop crudo with grapefruit segments, evoo, opal basil sauce. As you'll see throughout the dinner and in this course, the chef pays a lot of attention to the dishes and bowls used.
The Tasting Room
This was paired with a glass of Pinon sparkling Vouvray. It's a creamier sparkling and it's a lovely pairing with scallops.
The Tasting Room


Friday, June 26, 2015

Providence's Anniversary $80 Menu Extended to July

Chef Michael Cimarusti's Providence Restaurant celebrated its 10th anniversary with a four-course menu for $80 in June, but don't be mad that I didn't tell you because they've extended it to the month of July!

Providence is one of the top fine dining destinations in LA, as evidenced by it having survived 10 years! It's one of my favorites, and though it would usually cost quite a pretty penny to dine there, every June they celebrate their anniversary with a cheaper 4-course menu (it has gone up from the $65 from a few years ago, but hey, inflation). And lucky you, they usually also extend it to July.

Oh, and your $80 gets you more than just four courses. When I went there were amuse bouche upon amuse bouche and great bread service before the real dinner even started. The amuse bouche included salmon skin chips with creme fraiche.

Providence

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Forage: A Surprising Fine Dining Gem in Salt Lake City (Utah)

I never knew Salt Lake City to be a fine dining destination, but my last visit to Forage was an eye opener. Chef Bowman Brown's tasting menu at Forage is worthy to be compared to the best tasting menus in New York or other major metropolitan cities, and at a fraction of the price! The food and presentation reminded me a bit of my experience at Willows Inn.

We got the wine pairing and started dinner with a glass of Gruet Brut, followed by the first course:
apple and evergreen

Forage SLC
These tiny, bite-sized apples were filled with chestnut and coated in spruce vinegar. What a surprising dish and so fun to it. To make it even better, it was served with apple cider poured over spruce juniper. Can I have the whole pot?
Forage SLC

Bread with goat's milk butter, both really good (even if it doesn't compare to Willows Inn's chicken drippings to go with bread).
Forage SLC

Potatoes cooked in oak leaves, garlic scapes
Forage SLC

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ten Tables (Cambridge)

I finally tried Ten Tables in Cambridge, an outpost of the original in Jamaica Plain. It's a popular place - the cozy, dimly lit restaurant was completely packed and it wasn't even a weekend night. As with most other restaurants, they serve locally sourced ingredients, but instead of a hip, modern direction, they went with the comfortable, neighborhood feel.

We went with the tasting menu instead of ordering a la carte, which is $55 for 4 courses.

We started with a tile fish rillette

Ten Tables

Followed by Oyster with kombu seaweed, apple, vanilla foam
Ten Tables
I liked this surprising dish. I don't normally associate oyster with a creamy broth and vanilla aroma, but after my initial suprise I really enjoyed how the flavors worked together.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ribelle (Boston, MA)

Trying to find all the best restaurants in Boston, I jumped at a Gilt City deal for a tasting menu at Ribelle in Brookline. Ribelle is a small restaurant by chef Tim Maslow, a Momofuku alum. By the way, if you've never bought any voucher from Gilt City, you can get 25% off your first purchase using this link.

While waiting for my friends to arrive, I spent time at the bar with the Hip Replacement (Laphroaig, lime, salt, burnt cinnamon, $13), a nice cocktail with plenty of the components I like: smoke and citrus.

Ribelle

Our dinner started strong with some South Bay Blonde oysters with shiso ice. I'm really digging the briny East Coast oysters and these sweet oysters from Cape Cod are no exception.
Ribelle

We had a wonderful salad of Macoun apples, stracciatella, mustard frill, nori.
Ribelle
I can't think of a time I've had apples better and sweeter than these so I had to look them up. The macoun apple is a Fall fruit (yes, I'm behind on blogging and I had this meal in the fall) and is known to be especially sweet and juicy. It really was sweet and paired so well with the creaminess of the stracciatella.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Trio Menu at Next Restaurant (Chicago)

I've been visiting one Grant Achatz restaurant/bar per visit to Chicago, starting with Alinea, then The Aviary, The Office, and now, finally, Next. As you may know, the menu at Next changes every few months, and we're not just talking seasonal changes but complete, absolute shift to distinct themes. There had been Modern Chinese, Bocuse d'Or, Chicago Steak, and other themes. This time, since it is the 10th anniversary of Alinea, the theme is Trio. This is the restaurant in Evanston that Grant Achatz was working at when he met and subsequently partnered with Nick Kokonas to open Alinea. The menu thus evokes techniques and dishes that he served 10 years ago at Trio.

IMG_8420
Our meal started with Osetra,caviar avocado, sugar, lime
IMG_8425
This goes back to when they started playing with "neutral flavors" with the hardened sugar chip that adds texture to the dish.

Rock shrimp, cranberry, Meyer lemon, vanilla bean
IMG_8429
A simple fried shrimp skewered with a stick of vanilla bean to enhance the aromatic experience.

When we were first seated, we were given a glass of rose. Now, they bring a bottle of housemade bitters that we can add to the rose based on our own taste preferences.
IMG_8430

Crab, coconut, ten bridging garnishes
IMG_8433

Monday, September 15, 2014

Seasons and Transitions: Kaiseki Dinner at Ishikawa (Tokyo, Japan)

When I had an overnight layover in Tokyo, I asked drtomostyle to take me to have kaiseki, the traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. We headed to the 3 Michelin-starred Ishikawa in Kagurazaka, along with two of her friends.
IMG_9833
We started with a course of pike eel. This was the last of the season of pike eel, which requires a lot of knife skills to prepare. The delicate eel was served with a pickled plum sauce (a classic pairing for pike eel), shiso, wood ear mushroom, and wasabi. 
IMG_9834
It's a wonderful start that really increases our anticipation. 

The next dish marks the transitions of the seasons. There are deep fried ayu (river fish) which at the time of the meal was at the end of its season. It was served with an ingredient just beginning its season: ginkgo. They're all served atop of daikon radish jelly.
IMG_9837
In other words, this was probably about the only time each year where you can have both ingredients together, and Ishikawa pairs them beautifully.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Morel Mushrooms at Curtis Stone's Maude (Beverly Hills)

When Maude opened, I asked the same question I ask about other celebrity chefs: "But can Curtis Stone cook?" I went the first time for the artichoke month and the answer was a resounding "Yes, Curtis Stone can cook, after all". Before leaving for Boston, I went back for the morel menu.

If you're not familiar with their concept: Maude serves only a prix fixe menu, which changes every month. Each month's menu is built around a particular ingredient: artichoke, rhubarb, morel mushroom, pea, and so on. The prices vary, since morel is obviously more expensive than peas.

For starters, Popcorn, Australian winter truffle, and shaved morels

IMG_7042
Popcorn

I loved the next course: Risotto, citrus butter, chicken-stuffed morel
Risotto
I wish I had a bigger bowl of this risotto, but I knew there are many more to come. The light zest of the citrus butter made each bite of the rich risotto feel fresh and new.

Rock Kanpachi crudo with pickled morels, avocado mousse, herbs, passion fruit snow
IMG_7051
I was wondering how they would pair something as earthy as morel with a delicate kanpachi and passion fruit, but pickling it is ingenious decision.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Bazaar's 5 Year Anniversary Special Menu (SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills)

You may have read that The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel is celebrating their 5 year anniversary with a special $55 tasting menu until this Friday.

Well, I couldn't find what this menu actually entails online, but I went there for dinner last night and thought I should share the menu with you!
IMG_0924
So, here it is. The $55 menu starts with pan con queso and pan con jamon, and three starters (chef's selection).
IMG_0925
Japanese tacos (unagi in daikon) and jicama-wrapped guacamole
Then, you get to choose three dishes from the options below (click for larger view):

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Patina Toasts 10th Anniversary With Build-Your-Own Tastings For $10/Dish

On October 10th, Patina Restaurant in downtown LA will be celebrating their tenth anniversary in a big way. On that day only, guests can design their own tasting menu for just $10 per dish. For Patina, that's an amazing deal!

IMG_7896
I was lucky enough to taste a few of the dishes that will be served on October 10th during a lunch preview.

The man behind the food at Patina now is Executive Chef Charles Olalia who was previously Chef de Cuisine, with experience at French Laundry and Guy Savoy. 
IMG_7908
My lunch started with an Amuse bouche duo of Paradise Cove oyster topped with caviar and vichyssoise, and a Scallop and potato chip sandwich
IMG_7897
What a decadent start to a weekday lunch! The scallop "sandwich" was a unique combination.
IMG_7899
Bread service: olive bread
Big Eye Tuna Tower, soya onion, avocado, oven dried tomato, yuzu granite.
IMG_7900
Paired with Albarino from Galicia, Spain. 
IMG_7901
I thought this tuna and avocado combination would be like any other tuna tartar-like dish, but I was wrong. The flavors here were surprising and delightful and the tuna was fresh and almost melted in my mouth. The AlbariƱo was a great wine, crisp, lightly sweet. This was my favorite pairing and wine of the day.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Willows Inn (Lummi Island, WA): An Unforgettable Experience

My favorite meal in 2012? Easy. Willows Inn at Lummi Island is a small inn on a small island in Washington, with a restaurant helmed by Chef Blaine Wetzel, a young native of the area who had worked at Noma (you know, the world's best restaurant). When they talk about local ingredients, they really mean it. It isn't just produce from the state, but really local. Chef Wetzel forages around the island. A lot of the fish used are caught in the waters around the island, just five minutes from the restaurant.

IMG_2237
Willows Inn is a 2-hour drive from Seattle plus a 10 minute ferry ride, and it's not only worth it but the journey adds to the experience.
IMG_2292

IMG_2227
There's only one seating every night which is at 6:30. The ferry only runs every hour and we didn't want to be late, so we took the 5PM ferry and ended up with time on our hands when we got to Willows Inn. Time to sit on the patio staring into the sunset while sipping cocktails. The cocktails here had quite a few interesting ingredients. I loved the Pacific Gin Fizz (gin, wild pineapple weed, egg white - $14)
IMG_2235

What is wild pineapple weed, you ask? I didn't know it then but apparently it's wild chamomile. Whatever it was, it was my favorite out of the cocktails we tried. We also had time to peek into the kitchen as they were prepping.
IMG_2231

Finally we got called and seated in the small dining room.
IMG_2233
The dinner is "five courses" with a lot of "snacks", which meant way more food than five courses. Our meal started with a small wooden box.
IMG_2244

As you open the treasure box: a whiff of smoke, and baked sunflower root
IMG_2245

Next is a Crispy crepe with salmon roe, sandwiched between green onions. The crepe was a thin crisped salmon that held everything in a perfect bite-sized morsel.
IMG_2246

Pickled oyster with sorrel was beautifully presented on a bowl of rocks
IMG_2250

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital

TOP