Wolvesmouth – 1/15/11

Wolvesmouth Underground Dining
Wolvesden – Various Locations

In my opinion, one of the most exciting dining trends in 2010 was the pop-up restaurant (think LudoBites and Test Kitchen). In a similar vein but yet, entirely different, is “underground dining” – the most notable of these in LA is Wolvesmouth. Wolvesmouth (aka Craig Thornton) is the chef behind this unique dining experience. He creates 10-15 course market-driven meals, constantly changing for each dinner party. The food is imaginative, thoughtful and artistic. Oh, and I’ve heard it’s delicious too.

Why underground? Well, it’s not a restaurant; it’s more like an organized dinner party. It’s invite-only (get on the mailing here). You don’t know where the location is until the night before. You don’t know what the menu is until you get there. You don’t even know who you’re dining with until you get there (well, I did know one person – Christina of food, je t’aime also came). For legal reasons, there is no set price to the menu. It’s cash donation-based, so you pay what you think is fair.

dining table

Tonight’s dinner was set in a downtown loft. One of the things that immediately struck me was the intimacy of this meal. The dining table was just a few feet away from the kitchen which, by the way, was completely open. This led me to my next observation – this whole dinner would be created in a modest kitchen with four burners and one oven. A ton of organization and planning was necessary to put together these ten courses at a consistent pace.

alcohol

The affair is strictly BYOB (no corkage). Thinking that the alcohol would be wine heavy (it was heavily weighted toward reds), we opted to bring a selection of craft beers. Not knowing what the menu would be, I selected an array of beers: The Bruery Orchard White (Orange County), Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (San Diego), La Chouffe (Belgium), Stone Double Bastard Ale (San Diego), and Rogue Chocolate Stout (Oregon).

squash, cotija, crema, nopales, white onion

soup

We started with this soup. The squash was very sweet on its own, and I thought the tangy crema and sauteed white onions did a good job of tempering this.

Dungeness crab, meyer lemon, malt vinegar sabayon, old bay profiterole, mustard mizuna

crab

One thing that Chef Thornton had talked about, when serving this dish, was how you always wish there was more crab in your crab dish. He responded by giving a generous portion of Dungeness crab here, complemented with an “old bay” profiterole stuffed with a malt vinegar sabayon. Some meyer lemon added nice citrus notes to accompany the chunks of sweet crab. The malt vinegar was a good accompaniment to the crab as well, and I thought the profiterole was a fun “vessel” for it.

John Dory, swiss chard, sweet and sour shallot

john dory

John Dory is a firmer fish, one that I usually don’t find as moist as other lighter white fish. This was an example here – I thought the fish was cooked well, but just wasn’t as moist as I would have liked. The sweet and sour shallot was really nice, and thought it matched well with the fish.

snails, wild mushrooms, black walnut, crouton, pine

snail mushrooms

This dish had a bunch of components that could be found in a forest (perhaps by a wolf?). Three kinds of mushrooms (black trumpet, chanterelle, and hedgehog) were plated with snails, toast, walnuts and maple syrup. I’ve never had snails in such a “natural” state (it’s often slathered with garlic and butter), and they were actually quite mild in flavor on their own. The mushrooms added to the earthiness of the dish, but I thought the maple syrup really brought this together for the sweet/savory combination.

squid, 38-day aged steak tartare, creamed kimchi, Asian pear

squid kimchi

Excellent dish here. The squid was perfectly cooked, leaving it very tender. The creamed kimchi (kimchi cooked in some pureed kimchi and heavy cream) was a revelation – the creaminess tempered the spicy kimchi a little, so as not to overwhelm the mildly-flavored squid. The Asian pear was crucial in adding some fresh fruit flavors. I probably didn’t even need the steak tartare (it was seared rare then chopped up) for this dish to be successful.

thornton1

verjus, yuzu ice

verjus yuzu

This next dish was a bit of a palate cleanser. I thought the yuzu and unripened grape juice was a good pairing, and I appreciated its lightness.

thornton2

veal tongue dumpling, trotter and bacon relish, black vinegar, cabbage

dumpling

This was probably my favorite dish of the night. When we talked about this dish, it sounded like an incredible amount of time and preparation for one dish (especially when it’s one person).  The pork trotter was soaked for four days in order to remove impurities. The veal tongue was braised a day ahead. The dumpling dough was made fresh – the dumplings were filled, steamed, then slightly boiled until done. The result? A delightfully chewy pasta and a rich, meaty filling. The relish lent an extra dimension of pork flavor, while the raw cabbage did a good job of cutting some of the richness. An excellent dish; I just wish there was more!

roasted chicken home style, glazed carrot

chicken

Chef Thornton explained this dish as a fairly simple one that the home cook could make. This was a roast chicken (seasoned with salt in a hot oven) that was cut up in small chunks. The drippings were turned into a pan sauce, and then the chicken was tossed in this sauce and served. What separated this dish from other roast chickens was that he removed the skin immediately after roasting and tossed it back in the oven to crisp up. It resulted in a very nice crispy skin. The chicken was a little bit on the salty side for me, but was still quite good. Both the white and dark meat were moist, and the sauce really added that extra layer of flavor.

french toast ice cream

french toast ice cream

This was pretty much as advertised. It was a french toast ice cream done very well. It was appropriately sweet with a hit of cinnamon spice; it totally tasted like french toast. Just as important was that it was served at an ideal temperature. It was a few degrees above frozen (almost slightly melted) so that the flavors were very apparent at that temperature. I really liked this one. We drank this with the Rogue Chocolate Stout…this would be perfect for a beer float.

chocolate panna cotta, chestnut purée, coffee shortbread, pear ice, coffee meringue, warm pear

chocolate pear

There were a number of components here. The flavors that stood out to me were the chocolate and pear, as well as some coffee with the shortbread. When I first tried the chocolate panna cotta and pear ice, I thought to myself, “Hmm…that’s interesting.” As I ate more and more of it, the flavors really started to meld well together. The chocolate flavor was kind of mild, so that it didn’t overwhelm the pear. The coffee shortbread was fantastic; it had a rich coffee flavor that went well with both the chocolate and pear.

We were given these puffed rice crispy treats to take home. I think we were the first group to get something to-go.

treats

These had a nice crunch, yet were still chewy – I enjoyed them the next day with a cup of green tea.

At the end of the meal, Chef Thornton talked about some of his inspiration behind the dishes and to answer any questions.

thornton3

This was one of my more memorable dining experiences in recent memory. The food was fun, inventive and, most importantly, tasted good.  I loved being able to watch all of the action in the kitchen; I’m still amazed at how Chef Thornton and his three assistants were able to put all of the dishes together so efficiently.

Listening to Chef Thornton talk about the dishes (how and why he did everything in that way) was fascinating to me. Everything was so meticulous and deliberate, you would think he’s been planning and refining this menu for months…which isn’t the case at all. His cooking finds a medium somewhere between what he wants to cook and what he thinks the diner wants to eat. Without any of the restrictions that having a restaurant brings with it, Chef Thornton is able to let his creativity run wild and keep the menu fresh and exciting.

Bar Agricole – 1/8/11

Bar Agricole
355 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

I’ve been curious about Bar Agricole for a little while. Opened in August, much of the hype was around the fresh, artisanal cocktails. I wondered – how about the food? It’s called a ‘bar,’ so it sounds like the emphasis is on drinks first, food second. However, a lot has been said about the food as well. Food critic Michael Bauer just named it one of the 11 best new restaurants of 2010. Given my newfound appreciation for cocktail pairings (fostered at Los Angeles’ Test Kitchen), this was a must-try place on my list.

It took me a while to notice it, but the napkins are actually denim. Soft denim. Weird.

Tequila Cocktail with sweet vermouth, stonefruit bitters and orange


We started with this small cocktail compliments of the bar. It had a strong citrus and peach nose, and actually went down rather smooth with a pretty strong orange flavor.

Moonraker Cocktail with brandy, peach whiskey, cocchi americano and absinthe

This cocktail had a strong caramel flavor; slightly sweet, yet slightly savory too.

Ti Punch with white agricole and lime zest

The punch had a noticeable lime flavor and an interesting sweet/bitter interplay.

Grilled squid with meyer lemon, potatoes and cilantro

The squid was cooked well, yielding tender and rather meaty pieces of squid. The meyer lemon was instrumental in adding a little bit of citrus and acidity to accompany the squid, as well as the savory potatoes. Yum.

Dungeness crab with farro, dandelion greens and chili

The farro had a really nice chew to them – perfectly cooked. The crab chunks varied in size, and the smaller pieces were rather overwhelmed in the farro. However, when the ratios were correct, this was a delicious bite. A little heat from the chili and some extra body from the greens rounded out the dish.

Spaghetti alla puttanesca with a meatball

Next was this rather ordinary looking spaghetti. However, this was a very good pasta. The pasta was al dente with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. The meatball was moist and had some good fresh herb flavor; this was a surprisingly strong pasta, especially after having some good ones for lunch at Cotogna.

Long Rhum Buck with ginger and lime

This next cocktail was probably my favorite of the night. Ginger and lime flavors were both evident, and worked very well together.

Wood oven roasted pork chop with savoy cabbage and scarlet turnips

The pork chop was cooked to a medium temperature. There wasn’t as much of a sear as I would’ve liked, but we still have a lot of food flavor. The pork chop was pretty juicy too, and I liked the savoy cabbage to go along with it.

Chicken al mattone with chickpeas and purple carrots

We were thoroughly enjoying the food, so we ordered one more entree. The chicken was cooked okay – it wasn’t dry but not that moist. However, the skin was nice and crispy, and the chickpeas and carrots combined for a little bit of sweetness and earthiness.

For dessert, we opted to head out to my favorite ice cream shop anywhere. It was about 10:30pm and 40 degrees outside – still, the line was out the door. The honey lavender at Bi-Rite Creamery is so good.

I was impressed with the food at Bar Agricole. This is in some part due to the level of expectations (I was cautiously optimistic going in), but the food here really is quite good. And the cocktails? I had high expectations and they did not disappoint. I expect Bar Agricole to remain a popular spot for the foreseeable future, drawing in both cocktail-seekers and foodies.

Cotogna – 1/8/11

Cotogna
490 Pacific St
San Francisco, CA 94133

Cotogna is Michelin-starred Quince’s sister restaurant next door, opened in November. Serving the same type of rustic Italian food, Cotogna is a much more accessible way to sample some of Michael Tusk’s food. The restaurant just started Saturday lunch service a couple of weeks ago; given that I was in town for the weekend, this would be a perfect opportunity to drop by. I’m a big fan of pastas in general, so our menu choices tended to lean towards these dishes.

Tagliolini with dungeness crab

This was the first pasta we tried. All of the pastas we sampled were cooked a perfect al dente, lending a nice chew with each bite. The sauce was richer than I anticipated; I could have used a little bit of acidity or lemon zest.  Still very good though. Large chunks of sweet crab meat were all over. An excellent pasta.

Farm egg raviolo with brown butter

The filling of this ravioli was a creamy, cheesy mixture. The runny egg on top, in tandem with the nuttiness of the browned butter, made a rich and satisfying sauce.

Lamb pappardelle cooked in the wood oven

The first thing I noticed about this pasta was the meaty chunks of lamb dispersed throughout. Tender and flavorful, these were excellent. The pappardelle was good, but I was missing a little bit more of a ragu; this felt a little too much like meat and noodles, without the sauce to bring it together.

Pizza with wild nettle, egg & pecorino

The last savory item we tried was this pizza. I’ve been eating a lot of pizza in San Francisco over the last couple of months (probably too much). Compared to some of those, I thought this was just okay, but really it’s a pretty solid pizza. The wild nettle provided a strong vegetal quality to the pizza, while the egg added a really nice richness to it. I probably could’ve used two eggs on this pizza, as I thought this was the difference-maker.

Bonet with caramel & amaretti crumble

Lastly, here we had dessert. A bonet is kind of like a flan – a smooth custard. The almond flavor of the amaretti crumble, in combination with the caramel, was quite good. The amaretti crumble had a sort of macaron texture, providing a mild chew as well. Served cool, I thought this was a nice way to end the meal.

My meal at Cotogna was very satisfying – I’d say it met expectations. I was a little picky on the pastas, and that’s because Quince serves some of the best in the city. Cotogna isn’t quite at that level, but it presents a much more reasonably-priced way to try some of this hearty Italian fare. I would return, but not before returning to Flour+Water.

Coi – 1/7/11

Coi
373 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

exterior

Coi is currently San Francisco’s only Michelin two-star restaurant (and one of two in the Bay Area, Manresa being the other). It’s been open since 2006, and somehow neither I nor my parents have yet paid a visit. A large part of it is due to my mother’s negative experience at Daniel Patterson’s former venture Elisabeth Daniel. However, it’s consistently received numerous accolades and is considered one of the best restaurants in the city. It was time for a visit.

The 11-course, $145 tasting menu is the only option available in the dining room (a la carte is available in the lounge). Interestingly, the menu is devoid of any of the usual suspects one might expect to find at a restaurant like this; lobster, foie gras, caviar, and truffles are nowhere to be seen. Instead, the restaurant’s focus is largely on local and seasonal produce of the highest quality. Only 3 of our 12 dishes would contain any meat or fish.

bread

Bread and butter were both made in-house. The bread came out nice and hot each time – very good. The butter’s presentation was odd; the rough shards lacked the neatness and deliberateness of the rest of the food.

FROZEN MANDARIN SOUR angostura bitters, kumquat, satsuma ice

mandarin sour

This first course was an apertif of sorts. A vodka mandarin gel was topped with satsuma ice. This was slightly salty and slightly tart; the citrus was definitely strong, and some kumquat/satsuma rind added a little bit of texture.

OYSTERS UNDER GLASS marin miyagi oysters, yuzu, rau ram

oysters

Two large oysters were placed underneath this “glass,” which was a yuzu flavored gelee.  The oyster was good, and the citrus (a classic accompaniment) was applied in the form of this gelee, which had a little bit of an almost al dente texture to it. Pretty interesting.

PASTURE beets roasted in hay, fresh cheese, wild sprouts and flowers

pasture

Colorful presentation here. Beets roasted in hay? Hm, never heard that one before. The beets were mixed in with cheese, creating a slightly sweet, yet savory combination. The sprouts provided just a little bit of welcome texture for this interesting and enjoyable dish.

CRAB MELT, CALIFORNIA STYLE steffan’s lardo, wheatgrass

crab melt

Next was this California style crab melt. Dungeness crab was placed on a thin, crispy piece of toast with some wheatgrass and pea shoots. The crab was tasty and worked well with the earthiness of the pea shoots and wheatgrass, while the toast added just a bit of crunch. However, we stumbled upon 5 pieces of crab shell within 2 of the portions – definitely a problem; this took away a lot from the enjoyment. Nevertheless, this was a delicious dish.

SUPPLEMENTAL DISH olive oil, brussels sprouts, broccoli, fennel, preserved lemon

supplement

Because of the crab shell error, we were given an extra dish here. If you’re ever indecisive about ordering soup or salad, this might be the dish for you. This was kind of a soup/salad combination – various vegetables were placed in a warm, soup-like vinaigrette. The waiter spoke at length about the quality of this olive oil and how it was the first pressed oil of the year. The bold, fruity flavors of the oil were apparent, and I enjoyed the variety of textures from the vegetables – fresh, clean flavors.

FARM EGG cauliflower, nettle-dandelion salsa verde

farm egg

farm egg2

Next up was this dish highlighted by the slow-cooked farm egg. The yolk was beautifully runny and gushed out when broken. It was a tasty egg for sure, and I liked the mini croutons for their texture.

EARTH AND SEA steamed tofu mousseline, mushroom dashi, yuba, fresh seaweed

earth sea

The steamed tofu mousseline was topped with a delicious mushroom-dashi broth that screamed ‘umami.’ The tofu mousseline had ginger and lime overtones, and the custard-like consistency was nicely balanced by the pickled radish and slight chewiness of the yuba.

SAVORY CHANTERELLE PORRIDGE crisp root vegetables, cress, sherry

porridge

root chips

Best dish of the night. This porridge took on a risotto-like consistency with the bold flavor of chanterelles. Absolutely delicious. The cress added a slightly herbaceous quality, while the crispy root vegetables added texture. Superb.

PRATHER RANCH BEEF potato, coastal grasses, monterey cypress

beef

This was the lone meat dish of the night. The beef was perfectly cooked, leaving it tender and rather flavorful for tenderloin. I enjoyed the potato puree accompaniment as well as some of the leafy greens; however, the vinaigrette was a little overbearing with the vinegar.

SALAD wild chicories, aged sherry vinaigrette

salad

We substituted the cheese course for this simple salad. It was fine.

LIME SHERBET frozen yogurt, pomegranate, mint

lime sherbet

This was the first of two desserts. More of a palate cleanser, the lime sherbet was pretty good. I didn’t need the tartness of the frozen yogurt as there was already enough with the lime.

BREAD & CHOCOLATE brioche ice cream, pistachio, tarragon

bread chocolate

The chocolate had good chocolate flavor which paired well with the brioche ice cream and pistachio pudding. The pistachio crumbles were fantastic, adding some nuttiness and texture. The caramelized brioche, like sweet croutons, were another source of texture, and were very good on their own too.

Lastly we were presented with a few petits fours. Pinenut bread with chocolate and firethorn berry jellies were on offer this night. I thought the bread/chocolate combination was a little repetitive given the last course, but the jelly was very good. It had a very supple texture and a gingerish, tangerine-like flavor.

mignardises

Coi put together one of the most interesting and unique menus I’ve had in a while. It’s sure to expand horizons and definitely give anyone something they’ve never had before.  For the most part, the dishes were pretty light and “healthy” feeling – I was waiting for something meaty, rich and filling for much of the meal. However, no one left hungry.

The execution of the dishes was spot on, except for the glaring error of the crab shells. Coi is a very different restaurant from Gary Danko, which is what I feel is the most popular choice for “best restaurant in the city.” Coi is much more innovative and produce-based, while Danko is much more comfortable and meat/fish-heavy. Both are good.

Katana-Ya – 12/30/10

Katana-Ya
430 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Katana-Ya is generally regarded as one of San Francisco’s top ramen houses, if not the best. The line to dine here begins before the restaurant opens (see picture below), and remains late into the night (often past midnight). Reminds me of LA’s Daikokuya. I was a little wary, however, as San Francisco does not really have good Japanese food, in comparison to its SoCal couterpart. I didn’t even have my first bowl of ramen until I moved to Los Angeles.

We arrived a few minutes before the restaurant opened at 11:30 on a Monday. This picture was taken right as they were opening the doors. Clearly, it’s a popular place. Luckily, our party of 5 was able to squeeze in and secure the last remaining table.

The restaurant is located within a block of Union Square, which is a festive place during this time of year.

We ordered a couple of appetizers to start with.

Gyoza

I found these to be fairly standard. Not exceptional but not really bad either. The wrapper had a good chew to it, but the browning was a little uneven, a little burned at parts.

Chicken Karaage

This was a pretty good chicken karaage. A crispy exterior covered really moist and juicy chicken thigh meat.

Shoyu Ramen

Here came our much-anticipated ramens. Each bowl has the option of shoyu, miso or shio – this was shoyu. I would say this bowl was fairly pedestrian. The flavor of the soup was decent – it had a hearty soy flavor without being too salty. I didn’t think it had too much depth though. I would have preferred the noodles to be a little more chewy too; they weren’t overcooked, but they weren’t al dente.

Katana-Ya Ramen (Shio)

The eponymous ramen is this bowl filled with fried gyoza, chicken karaage, corn and egg. The shio broth was pleasant, though somewhat light in flavor. I’m not really a fan of fried things in my soup – my preference is to have them on the side to dip on the spot.

The ramen at Katana-Ya is fairly mediocre to the ramen standards I’ve been accustomed to in LA. Having said that, it’s a decent bowl that could satisfy a craving on a cold day. I wouldn’t say it’s worthwhile to wait in that line though…

Fraiche – 12/16/10

Fraiche Culver City
9411 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Chef Benjamin Bailly is a bit of a blogger darling. During his short stint at Petrossian in West Hollywood, I read blog after blog post raving about his food. I’m not really a huge fan of caviar, and I don’t go out of my way to find a caviar-centric menu. As a result, while there were some dishes I absolutely loved (the truffle mac and cheese, for one), I don’t think I fully appreciated my meal at Petrossian.

In December, Bailly moved on to Fraiche Culver City, a restaurant that serves rustic Italian/French cooking. Definitely something in my comfort zone.

Danny of Kung Food Panda, a big advocate of Bailly’s food at Petrossian, organized a dinner of 18 bloggers/foodies to come sample Bailly’s latest menu.

Olives and Bread & Butter


Waiting for us at the table were some olives and bread & butter.

Piquillo Cheese Spread – Chorizo, Manchego
Tonnato Dip – Tuna, White Anchovy, Capers
Smoked Trout Rilletes – Lemon, Chives, Creme Fraiche
Chicken Liver Parfait – Green Apple Jelly
Olivade – Ricotta, Olives, Roasted Tomatoes
Eggplant Caviar – Raisin, Marcona Almonds


Also waiting for us at the table was a selection of potted meats and spreads with some crostini. With so many varieties and so many people (and pacing was important, this was going to be a long meal), I didn’t get a chance to sample each of these. However, my favorite was the piquillo spread for its sweet and savory combination of flavors.

Hamachi Tartare – Shaved Turnip, Lime, Espelette Pepper


This tartare didn’t quite look as I expected it to, with the fish sort of hidden. However, the taste was spot on with the hamachi’s light flavor accented by a little bit of turnip and lime citrus.

Vitello Tonnato – Veal Steak Tartare, Arugula, Parmesan


Next was a steak tartare. I thought some of the pieces of steak were a little chewy/sinewy for me, but overall was pretty good. The nuttiness of some parmesan and a good crostini completed the dish. Loved the arugula too.

Brussels Sprouts – Chorizo, Manchego, Dates, Almond Piquillo Vinaigrette


The brussels sprouts were blanched nicely, yielding a cool, crisp “al dente” texture. Just a little bit of chorizo flavor accented the brussels sprouts, while the vinaigrette helped to cut the richness of the sausage.

Bouchot Mussels – Fava Bean, Tomato, Chorizo


I found some of the mussels to be a little undercooked for me, but I thought this was a pretty solid dish. The chorizo and tomatoes were key elements in the flavorful broth.

Basil Risotto – Escargot, Lemon, Tomato


Unique looking risotto here – the basil gave it a brilliant green color. The risotto was rich and creamy with just enough basil flavor. The escargots were tender, and the lemon provided the right amount of citrus. I really enjoyed this dish.

Seared Foie Gras – Frisee, Rhubarb Pomegranate, Speculoos


I thought this was a beautifully prepared piece of liver. The texture was very rich and melt-in-your-mouth, with the pomegranate adding a little bit of welcome tartness.

Crispy Loup de Mer – Sunchokes Soubise, Crosnes, Salsify, Mushrooms, Bordelaise


This dish signaled the start of the entrees with an impressive presentation of the fish. I found the skin to be perfectly crispy, and the flesh to be really moist. Awesome. The mushrooms were a great accompaniment.

Taglieneri Neri – Maine Lobster, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil


I was really looking forward to the pastas here, and this first one got me excited. The pasta, made with squid ink, was a nice al dente, and the small chunks of sweet lobster were exactly what I wanted. The tomatoes and basil added just a little more flavor to this successful dish.

Lamb Papardelle – Tomato, Olives, Onetik Goat Cheese


The pappardelle was also al dente, and I enjoyed the chunks of meaty lamb dispersed throughout the pasta. The ragu was rich, hearty and pretty flavorful.

Hand Cut Maltagliati – Pork Ragu, Scallion, Gruyére


I enjoyed the rich pork ragu on this pasta as well, but I found the maltagliati pasta to be fairly stuck together. Maybe this was because we took too long taking pictures, as this wasn’t a problem with any other pasta. The scallions added a welcome crispness and freshness.

Bucatini Carbonara – Slow Poached Egg, Pancetta, Parmesan


Loved this dish. Carbonaras can so often be too rich, muddled in an overly-creamy, cheesy sauce. Not so here. The sauce was quite light actually, but didn’t skimp on the flavors of the layered cheese, pancetta and egg. The pasta was perfectly cooked as well. Probably my favorite dish of the night.

Truffle Burger – Onion Fondue, Boschetto, Truffle Aioli


Next was Chef Bailly’s famed truffle burger. This was prepared to a medium-well temperature so I didn’t think it was as juicy as it could’ve been. However, the flavors were all there with the arugula, onions and truffle aioli. The fries were fantastic – crispy on the outside and tender and fluffy on the inside.

Soft Polenta – Wild Mushrooms, Slow Poached Egg


I thought this polenta was nice and creamy, but a bit too overwhelmingly cheesy for me. I always enjoy a slow poached egg, though.

Praline Tiramisu – rum espresso, vanilla bean
Pot De Creme – Manjari Chocolate
Pot De Creme – Caramel


To start of desserts, a selection of pot de cremes and a tiramisu was served. The chocolate pot de creme was my favorite of these – rich with a delicious chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Tart – Tres Leches Gelato, Almond Crumble


I enjoyed this chocolate tart. It was combined with an almond crumble, which lended some texture, and the tres leches gelato was a brilliant flavor of gelato to go along with it. I thought these flavors were pretty well balanced.

Chocolate Coulant – Toffee, Peanut Butter Ice Cream


The peanut butter ice cream really separated this dish for me. Chocolate and peanut butter makes quite a combination, and it worked very well here.

Apple & Pear Clafoutis – Brown Butter, Candied Brioche, Caramel Ice Cream


Finally, this was the last dessert (I think we were all pretty full at this point). I enjoyed the cinnamon and apple flavors here, with the candied brioche being an interesting way to add some texture.

That was a lot of food. Chef Bailly definitely took good care of us (and our stomachs) and provided a good variety of dishes to sample the menu. Given the number of the dishes, there were some that I did not like as much, but overall this was a strongly executed meal that was quite delicious. For me, the pastas were my favorite (the loup de mer was very good too!), and the desserts displayed a nice mix of sweet finishing dishes.