an egg is an egg...meditating at the Museo Miró in Barcelona

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Gala Birthday* @Pastis

French meets Asian or East meets West
Sake** & Wine Dinner
Pastis Restaurant, Hartford, CT

First Course
Kumomoto Oysters with a cucumber rice wine salad and mirin mignonette
Sake Junmai Tentaka Kuni (Hawk in the Heavens)

The Oysters were fantastic and so fresh and were a great start to a great meal.

Second Course
Spicy Tuna Roll
Toro Sashimi with seaweed salad
White Tuna Sushi over napa cabbage slaw
Sake Junmai Ginjo Mantensei (Star-Filled Sky)

This course was overwhelming; the three types of tuna were matched perfectly. Teak chopsticks had been provided and this course was an experience in itself.

Third Course
Asian Dim Sum:
Vegetable spring roll, pork & lime dumpling and shrimp tempura
Sake Tokubetsu Junmai Ama no To (Heaven’s Door)

This was my favorite course; each item was perched on a different salad. The spring roll was sublime.

Fourth Course
Eel & Potato Terrine with eel glaze and micro tatsoi
S.A. Prum Riesling “Essence” Mosel-Saar-Ruwer , 2003

The terrine was wrapped in Nori which bound it together while adding another texture and flavor. The Riesling was our transition wine and did well between the Sake and the Reds to follow.

Fifth Course
Pan Seared Japanese Hamachi with rock shrimp fried rice & sweet ponzu sauce
Archery Summit Pinot Noir “Premier Cuvee” Willamette Valley, 2002

The Hamachi was very meaty and needed the red wine. The Ponzu sauce coated the top of the fish and blended well with the Fried Rice.

Sixth Course
BBQ Wild Boar Spare Ribs over baby bok choy
Turnbull Wine Cellars Syrah Oakville, 2002

Another favorite course as the Ribs were delicious and had been cooked in an Asian Barbecue sauce for five hours. The Syrah [one of my favorite wines] held up well against the strength of the meat.

Seventh Course
Kobe Beef & Braised Cheeks over herb roasted potatoes and
celery carrot mousseline with red wine demi reduction
Swanson Vineyards Merlot Napa, 2001

This was American Kobe Beef and I didn't know this even existed. The difference in texture of the beef and the cheeks was very interesting. Even though I am not a Merlot fan, this was a good mix of tastes.

Chocolate Sushi Roll
Ramos Pinto Reserva Port “Collector”

A heavy but delicious way to end such a meal. The Sushi roll was chocolate encased in a coconut blend; very rich. The Port was superb.


*There were three of us at this wonderful dinner which also celebrated the birthday of JD. The other two were, of course, BD [her husband] and me [Ol' Mofongoman]. We sat at a table for 10 with another table for 5 next to us; total of 15 diners only. The Chef, Manager and Wine Merchant helped us all through the dinner with a great presentation concerning the sakes, wines and the food. Most of the guests were restaurant people: owners, chefs and gourmands. It was an easy crowd to be with. All in all, an expensive and delicious repast; well worth the money!

**for more info on sake

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