Last night Cindy and I joined our friends Rick and Karen for the 4th in the series of Seattle Chefs Table Dinners. This one held at Lark Restaurant. Six of Seattle's best chefs in a seasonal, one course per chef dinner. The food just keeps getting better and another good time was had by all. We started the evening with Hors d'Oeuvres and a White Port Cucumber Cooler provided by Lark. The cooler was very refreshing and light. A nice way to start. Unfortunately, the Hor's Deuvres were not flowing too freely so the only one Cindy and I saw in the half hour was the Frog Legs - as they say tastes just like chicken. It was very nice. Rick and Karen beat us there by a few minutes and they got all 3 of the Hors d'Oeuvres - especially liking the quail egg on brioche.
It is interesting how the physical layout and acoustics of each restaurant effects the whole vibe of the evening. This dinner was by far the most sedate - feeling more like eating in a busy but quiet restaurant than a communal food event. I like the noise and excitement better but others may well prefer the more private and quiet approach.
For the 3rd straight Chef's Table the highlights of the evening was the simple but exquisite offering of Holly Smith from Cafe Juanita vying closely with the sensuous beauty of the perfectly prepared more complex offering of Jason Wilson's Crush. The wine pairings were by far the best yet - each one a nice match and covering France, Italy, and the NW beautifully. The menu and comments follow:
Seattle Chefs Table 2009
Tuesday May 19, 2009
Hosted by Lark
Hors d’Oeuvres and White Port Cucumber Coolers
LARK – John Sundstrom
Quail egg on truffle buttered brioche, Frog’s legs Meuniere,
Hamachi Tartare with white asparagus
CAFE JUANITA – Holly Smith
Local Porcini sliced over Carne Cruda of Wagyu with lardo Crostini . wine pairing: Castello Di Tassarolo, Gavi, Italy. Utter simplicity! Raw slices of perfect fresh Porcini over a wonderful Wagyu tartare paired with a amazing simple crisp Crostini with some fresh lardo. Cindy does not do raw protein and she savored every bite! Ingredients and loving handling make genius look simple.
CRUSH – Jason Wilson
Mascarpone and fresh fine herb agnolotti with butter poached Maine Lobster, Favas, and Spring Carrots. wine pairing: 2007 Domaine Servin, Premiere Cuvee, Chablis, France. A complex flavor extravagenza perfectly prepared and presented. A major home run as usual for Jason.
ROVER’S - Thierry Rautureau
Halibut, Ramps, Truffle, Potato and Bacon. Wine pairing: 2006 Lemelson Vinewards Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon. Very subtle, minimalist seasonings and perfect French technique - just what one expects from Rover's.
TILTH – Maria Hines
Slow Cooked Pork Cheek, pig’s feet, sweet pea, and morel. wine pairing: 2006 Monte Aribaldo, Dolcetto D'Alba, Italy. Pork cheeks yummy - pork foot "cake" surprisingly yummy - peas not so great and didn't notice any morels. It was a very enjoyable dish.
HARVEST VINE – Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez
Venison loin braised in oil with black onions and cocoa nibs, in a chocolate, piment d’espelette
sauce with migas. wine pairing: 2007 Cadence, Coda, Red Mountain, Washington. The venison was excellent but the dish seemed more Fall than Spring.
LARK – John Sundstrom
Lillet soaked savarin cake with strawberries, rhubarb and buttermilk ice cream. wine pairing: 2005 Muscat Beaumes de Venise, France . WOW! Really excellent and simple - great taste, texture, and presentation.