Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nicholas, 3/27/2009

So Steph and I headed up to Nicholas for her birthday last Friday. Yet again, we were quite satisfied with our amazing meal. After the jump, I'll tell you about what we had, along with my conversation with Nicholas himself!

Unlike last year's anniversary post, I'm way too drained to go into crazy formatting. I'll just talk about what we had, what we liked, what we didn't. Also, I don't quite remember the wines we had, I just remember that they were amazingly paired, per usual. I just wish the wine captain spoke a bit louder, he was a low-talker.

Braised & glazed turnip with minced haricot vert and baby carrot salad
Tasty, and I ate the whole thing, especially surprising since everyone who reads this should know by now I am not usually a fan of vegetables that I don't prepare myself. The turnip was super-sweet, completely unexpected.

Course #1:
Lobster & Blood Orange Salad, Avocado Puree, Grilled Scallion
Right off the bat, they start sauced tableside with a blood orange sauce, which is always a win for me (I am a sucker for table presentation). I am a big fan of blood oranges, and their tartness brought the entire dish together. We didn't order the other choice on the tasting, as it had some things we were a little wary about (octopus, geoduck, jalapenos for Steph).

Course #2:
Seared Day Boat Scallops, Ginger Marshmellow, Pineapple Vinagrette
Parisienne Gnocchi, Sugar Snap Peas, Braised Artichokes

We had the gnocchi previously, and they were just as good now as they were then, if not better. The peas were bright and sweet, the artichokes were amazing, and the gnocchi...well, I need to figure out how to make gnocchi like that, as I only know how to make Italian-style. The star was the scallop, Steph's favorite dish of the night. The ginger and pineapple are a great combo, but there was also a carrot puree that was unreal. I had the scallop with each individual component, and they were all good, but then when I got them all together, it was a winner.

Course #3:
Pine Nut Crusted Halibut, Roasted Garlic Polenta, Balsamic Marscapone
Roasted Monkfish, 24 Karat Gold Nugget Potatoes, Spring Onions, Bacon Butter Sauce

I really enjoyed the halibut, with its Italian flavors. It also was served with a basil foam, which added a nice herb note without being overpowering. The monkfish was prepared excellently, but the potatoes and onions were a little eh, to be honest. Bacon butter sauce? Sign me up.

Course #4:
Braised "Pulled" Suckling Pig, Poached Quince, Cinnamon Jus
Braised Beef Short Ribs, Heirloom Potato Leek Cake, Horseradish Jus

The only course Steph and I really didn't share. She took one bite of my short rib, shrugged her shoulders, then wanted the pig back, which was fine with me. Normally I don't order short ribs out, as I've found that I usually enjoy my own recipe better than what's made out. Not the case here - absolutely amazing. Here's where are story turns fun - when Steph got up to use the lav, who walks over to pick up and refold her napkin but the chef/owner himself, Nicholas Harary. He asked how my meal was going, and I told him my deal with short ribs, but I'd want to eat his dish every night, to which he casually replied "oh, we sous vide them overnight", at which point we lapsed into talking about sous vide at home, how I should buy a FoodSaver rather than use ZipLocs, how they cook their short ribs at 160, and I got a disparaging look about my ZipLoc vacuum seal bags. However, it was fun, if only for an instant, to talk food with such an amazing and talented professional.

Brillat-Savarin, Perla Grigia, Muenster, Roquefort
Amazing, amazing, amazing. I loved the perla grigia, with its tasty truffle scent. Steph, didn't eat much (except for the muenster) so I got a double dose. So good, I love cheese.

Palate Cleanser
Yogurt Sorbet with Blood Orange Syrup
3 perfect blood orange segments with a demisphere of sorbet about a quarter-size in diameter. Reminded me of the time my mom made grapefruit sorbet, all kinds of tart and delicious.

Dessert Tasting
A quadruple-tasting of vanilla ice cream on a chocolate tuile, a mini molten chocolate cake, a black currant creme brulee, and a linzertorte. The ice cream and cake were standard the brulee was rather tasty (and excellently prepared) but the star was the linzertorte - I love it and I need to make it more often.

Yet again, the meal started off strong, peaked early, then eased out to a tasty end. I think, next time, Steph and I are going to bring friends along, go to the bar, and make everyone order something different, as recommended by someone previously. Talk about smart thinking.


Rob Timko said...

I'm Game!!! Just name the date haha. And, I love me some shortribs (and love cooking shortribs) but that pork dish there is an edible orgasm!