Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being 33 so far means more dinner and more wine

Is it dorky to blog about my birthday dinner?  Is it absurd that my only birthday pictures are of food?  Don't answer those.  Instead, come along with me on a tour of my birthday meal from Moto, the restaurant famous for its chef's innovative and sometimes wild preparation and presentation of gourmet cuisine.

We sat down for a 10-course meal with wine pairings and over the course of three hours, enjoyed the following:

The menu.  Yes - we enjoyed it.  Mine was on a tortilla sheet with salsa.

The "Snowman" - tuna with sake lemon foam and sea salt eyes.

The "Rosebud" - pickled beets, frisee, rose petal, and something else I can't remember (this "something else I can't remember" will come up again, I assure you).

"Foraging" - Monte's second dish.  Moss made of bread and truffles with asparagus.  *

"Vichyssoise" - Halibut served with crispy shoestring potatoes, leeks sauteed in butter, blended potato leek soup, and parsley powder served from a pot of liquid nitrogen.  *

Sushi Roll - rabbit loin, brussel sprouts, sesame and allspice aioli.  I love this presentation.  *

Monte's - Orange crab cake with lemon cream cheese, fennel, graham cracker crumbs and butternut squash ice cream.  *

Seared Quail with sugared peanuts, corn powder, and cola and cranberry puree with edible cracker jack paper.

Rooster with cornbread puree, carrot tops, micro cabbage leaf and a sage emulsifier poured from a candle over the entire dish.  *

Pork Belly, some kind of mushrooms (the menu currently says maitake, but I'm not sure that is what we had), red cabbage and mushroom puff

Blue cheese puree, pear something or other, apples and chamomile foam (excellent with the port).  No picture.  I guess I was having too much fun to stop and snap one!

Wintergreen Fluff with thyme infused pineapple and coconut powder.  I couldn't eat this.  I gave mine to Monte.

For dessert Monte had Earl Grey ice cream and crumble with chocolate mousse and greek yogurt.

For dessert I had cereal.  Yup!  Almond milk and cereal flakes with liquid nitrogen frozen raspberries.  It was fantastic with the last two wines.  I could start eating cereal if it was always served with an excellent cuvee and champagne.

We finished with a beaker of something or other (I thought I tasted cardamom in there) with a frozen corn packing peanut on top.

The food was fantastic.  The wine was perfect.  The presentation was so much fun.  We got a tour of the kitchen and had a really memorable time.  Then, because we're gluttonous, we went over to my favorite bar and got a burger and fries and ended the evening with a beautiful little surprise from the staff there:

I like being 33.

* indicates something I'm going to try to recreate.  I'll link to the recipe, once I've figured one out.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Urgent AND Important

I have been SO busy lately!  I don't know - I guess it is end of the teaching year type of stuff that has kept me tied up.  But I haven't had time to practice the piano.  Or read.  Or exercise.  Or answer e-mails from friends.  Or drink wine on my porch.  Or any of the things that I would typically do on nice summer days. 

And today - I finally cracked.  Halfway through doing something that is both urgent and important, I started crafting.  That's right.  Making CRAFTS.  With glue.  And yarn.  And even toothpicks.  Here are the results:

A pretty dumb one:  a sheep grazing in a jar.

A drawer and champagne cork jewelry box. 

 I'm particularly happy with how this one turned out.

And now I'd better finish my work and jump in the shower and head off to teach before anybody notices that I stopped for a morning.  I hope nobody notices the marker I can't get off my fingers!