Showing posts with label foie gras. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foie gras. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Carnivorous Birthday Dinner at Bazaar Meat (Las Vegas, NV)

I spent my birthday weekend last December eating and drinking my way through Las Vegas with some friends from LA. We had some pretty stellar food throughout the weekend, including a meat-centric birthday blowout at Jose Andres' Bazaar Meat!

One of the hardest decisions you'll have to make during a dinner at Bazaar Meat is which cow you want your steak that night to come from. One of the most special meats they have is the Vaca Vieja, which means "old cow". This is 8-10 year old Holstein dairy cow (cattle for beef is typically slaughtered starting from 18 months and dairy cows from 4 years), and vaca vieja is typical meat found in Basque Country. Because of the age, there's actually more flavors to the vaca vieja meat, but the server warned that it could be an acquired taste.

Since we wanted to try as many things as possible, and the steak tartare is made with vaca vieja, we decided to try that particular meat as a tartare, and try a different one for our steak!

The components of the steak tartare was beautifully plated and then later mixed tableside. We ordered the Classic Tartare ($32)
Bazaar Meat
See the dark color of the vaca vieja? It's very distinct from other beef at the restaurant.
Bazaar Meat
The tartare was a sirloin cut, prepared tableside with Savora mustard, egg yolk, HP sauce, and anchovy.

Bazaar Meat

Friday, August 12, 2016

Devouring the Bar Menu at Grill 23 and Bar (Boston, MA)

Grill 23 and Bar may be celebrating 30 years of being one of the best steakhouses in Boston, but don't forget about the "Bar" part of the restaurant! Grill 23's bar menu features some great cocktails and satisfying bites like these Foie gras slider on cider doughnut with jalapeno jelly.
Untitled
No, really. Seared foie gras on a donut! I went to the bar menu launch party there and I think I ate 3 of these babies, and still wanted more. I would definitely come back for these - Foie gras lovers have to try them!

Grill 23 and Bar also has some nice cocktails - I love Death & Taxes in particular, with the smokiness of the cigar infused bourbon and the sweetness of the peach.
Grill 23
Grill 23

Monday, July 25, 2016

Steak with a View at SER Steak + Spirits (Dallas, Texas)

Dinner is not just about the food. Dining out is an experience, and sometimes the view makes the experience. That is the case at SER Steak + Spirits in the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the food and the service are also solid, making your night admiring the Dallas skyline even more enjoyable.
SER Steak
SER Steak
I visited SER the evening before Valentine's Day, so I got to try the prix fixe menu they had for V-day. They had live music and dancing going on, as well.

The amuse bouche was a spoonful of bay scallops with truffles
SER Steak
I opted for wine instead of cocktails, that night, because how can I say no to some Louis Roederer Cristal champagne?
SER Steak
When I visited in February, SER has just gotten their new Executive Chef, Kevin Spencer, and the Valentine's Day menu really let him show off what he's about while he slowly changes the regular menu. I loved the second course of Kobe tataki, beech mushrooms, soy, avocado, pig ears, orange.
SER Steak

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Epic Foie Gras Heaven, Au Pied de Cochon (Montreal, Canada)

I had a great foodie trip to Montreal earlier this year, and of course, one of the highlights was the famed Au Pied de Cochon, also affectionately known as PDC. I went there for a foie gras-filled dinner that was unforgettable.

Au Pied de Cochon

To start, combining this rich and delicious favorite of mine with the quintessential Canadian dish was the Foie Gras Poutine ($24, Canadian dollars, obviously)
Au Pied de Cochon
The fries were duck fat fries - crispy and doused in house gravy. Chunks of amazing foie gras and cheese curds made this possibly the best poutine ever.

As if foie gras was not decadent enough, there's the breakfast dish of your dreams: Plogue a Champlain ($29)
Au Pied de Cochon
Buckwheat pancake, Canadian bacon, potato, egg, and foie gras in maple syrup reduction.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Brunch at Terrine (Los Angeles, CA)

When one thinks of brunch in Los Angeles, al fresco or patio dining comes to a lot of minds, especially during the summer months. The fairly new Terrine has a beautiful back patio shaded by a tree canopy.

Terrine
Terrine's kitchen is headed by Chef Kris Morningstar (formerly at Ray's and Stark Bar) and he's doing some great things. This was one of the restaurants I had to try on my recent trips back home to LA.

I ordered the Eggs in Purgatory (spicy tomato sauce, fennel pollen, basil, pecorino, crostini, $14)
Terrine
Yes, I have a soft spot for eggs in tomato sauce, but Terrine's version of shakshouka is one of my favorite brunch dishes we tried. The sauce isn't too spicy but rich in flavors. Their bread was also especially good which made the dish even better.

We had to order this: Terrine de foie gras with prunes and fleur de sel - and baguette, of course.
Terrine
The foie gras accompaniments are different between their lunch and dinner service, but both are worth ordering. This terrine was a wonderful version of a classic, smooth and rich. Welcome back to California, foie gras.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ames Street Deli (Cambridge, MA)

Backbar is one of my favorite bars in Boston, so when the same team opened Ames Street Deli near MIT, well, I was quite excited (and scared for my wallet).

Ames Street Deli is open from morning until evening with different offerings throughout the day (making the place even more dangerous for the wallet!). In the morning, come for a kouign amann. Ames Street makes a great one, the layers are so flaky and crispy with the baked sugar.

Kouign amann
They also have breakfast sandwiches and scrambled egg donut and bacon and egg donut! I'm not quite sure yet what those are like because I haven't woken up early enough to go to campus for those, but I'm certainly intrigued. The kouign amann is also typically gone by late afternoon, so you should come earlier for that, too.

At lunch, you'll find sandwiches. The sandwiches are on the smaller side, but each order comes with a side dish! I really enjoyed the Rabbit Sandwich (mustard bread, rabbit mortadella, pork liver, beets, radish)
Ames St

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Trio Menu at Next Restaurant (Chicago)

I've been visiting one Grant Achatz restaurant/bar per visit to Chicago, starting with Alinea, then The Aviary, The Office, and now, finally, Next. As you may know, the menu at Next changes every few months, and we're not just talking seasonal changes but complete, absolute shift to distinct themes. There had been Modern Chinese, Bocuse d'Or, Chicago Steak, and other themes. This time, since it is the 10th anniversary of Alinea, the theme is Trio. This is the restaurant in Evanston that Grant Achatz was working at when he met and subsequently partnered with Nick Kokonas to open Alinea. The menu thus evokes techniques and dishes that he served 10 years ago at Trio.

IMG_8420
Our meal started with Osetra,caviar avocado, sugar, lime
IMG_8425
This goes back to when they started playing with "neutral flavors" with the hardened sugar chip that adds texture to the dish.

Rock shrimp, cranberry, Meyer lemon, vanilla bean
IMG_8429
A simple fried shrimp skewered with a stick of vanilla bean to enhance the aromatic experience.

When we were first seated, we were given a glass of rose. Now, they bring a bottle of housemade bitters that we can add to the rose based on our own taste preferences.
IMG_8430

Crab, coconut, ten bridging garnishes
IMG_8433

Monday, December 8, 2014

$1 Oysters, Great Cocktails, and More at Russell House Tavern (Cambridge, MA)

One of the recommendations I received before moving to Boston was to have cocktails at Russell House Tavern. They do have great drinks, but now most of the time, I come here for the $1 oyster special, which starts at 11pm til closing.

Russell House Tavern
I previously had made a list of $1 oyster places in Los Angeles, but there are even more in Boston! Still, there's a big range on quality, and Russell House Tavern is on the top end where that's concerned.
IMG_3258A lot of places don't serve the freshest oysters when they do $1 oysters, but I've had great experiences with Russell House Tavern, and I've come 3-4 times. The first time they had Island Creek oysters. I also had Moon Shoal oysters once. Not only the types, but these are also fresh and cleaned properly (unlike the $0.50 I had at Red House which were not that fresh and weren't even really cleaned well).

The cocktails I've enjoyed included the Howling Winds ($12): Ansac cognac, yellow chartreuse, cinnamon syrup, lemon, butterfly absinthe, bitters, and Battle of Trafalgar (pictured below, $10): Pimm's no 1, elderflower liqueur, Batavia arrack, honey, lime.
Russell House Tavern
There was also Burma Nights ($13): Bombay East Gin, P.F. Dry Curacao, Orange Flower & Jasmine Waters, Lemongrass, Regans No. 6.

I've tried the other dishes which tend to be good and reasonably priced like the Steamed Moosabec mussels, Spanish chorizo, fried garbanzo, white wine, grilled Fondi bread ($10)
IMG_3252 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kali Dining: An Underground Dinner with Chef Kevin Meehan

When I saw foie gras on Kevin Meehan's Kali Dining menu, I knew I had to go before I moved away. Kali Dining is an underground dinner party that takes place at different locations throughout the year. The menu is set (at $65 when I attended) and this time it was in a beautiful home in Marina del Rey.

We got there and mingled while watching chef Kevin Meehan and his team at work. The dinner is BYOB and there were plenty of wines to go around. The dinner party was pretty small, no more than 20. Meehan makes a great host too, chatting and joking with everyone.

We started with the long-awaited amuse bouche of foie gras truffle

IMG_5286
It's a creamy foie gras mousse covered in black crumbs that made it resemble truffles.
IMG_5299

Next amuse: Egg yolk poached in ash oil
Egg

Friday, August 15, 2014

Omakase at O Ya (Boston, MA)

When I asked for sushi recommendation, the name that kept popping up was O Ya - with the warning that it's expensive. Indeed, although you can order a la carte at O Ya, the full omakase runs about $250 and the smaller tasting menu $180. But I have to try it, right? I sat at the counter where I can see the chefs at work. My friend was late so I was getting hungry watching all the foie gras sushi being fired out ...

IMG_7343
Finally my friend came and we opted for the smaller omakase menu. As expected, it started with a fresh Kumamoto Oyster (watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette)
IMG_7350
Then, we proceeded with the nigiri courses. What makes O Ya different is the sauces he puts on the nigiri sushi. They're not just soy sauce or yuzu, but you can find things like Hamachi with spicy banana pepper mousse
IMG_7351
I loved the texture of the seared hamachi and the banana pepper mousse worked well, although it slightly overwhelmed the hamachi flavor. Maybe slightly less mousse on top?

Things like banana pepper mousse doesn't mean that O Ya veers completely from the traditional, though. Our next course is a Salmon with unfiltered wheat soy moromi
IMG_7353
Moromi is a term you may hear in sake brewing, and I believe it basically means the unrefined or unfiltered mash of grain that is undergoing fermentation. I enjoyed the earthy flavor with the fatty salmon.

The next bite is an indulgence: Santa Barbara sea urchin and Russian Osetra caviar
IMG_7354
An unbeatable combination, of course.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Foie Gras Fantasy Comes True at Mistral Kitchen (Seattle, WA)

It was our last night in Seattle, and it dawned on me that I had not had foie gras while eating my way in another state! I suddenly started craving it and convinced everyone else to go eat foie with me. Our Seattleite friend suggested Mistral Kitchen. Seeing they had seared foie gras on the menu and the fact that it was nearby we decided on it.

We originally just wanted to come here for some foie and drinks and ordered some Seared Foie Gras to share ($19)

Seared Foie Gras

We haven't had it in so long and the seared foie was so good! We also had to get the Foie Gras Torchon, black mission fig balsamic compote ($15)
IMG_2372

We were pretty hungry by this point and since both the foie gras dishes were really good, we decided to eat dinner here after all. At this point I was going to order the lamb loin. We were sitting at the bar and I joked to the bartender that it would be awesome if they could put the seared foie on the lamb. Our bartender said that sure we can! They make dreams come true here!
IMG_2365
Woah. So we customized our own dish.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Farewell to Foie at Takami Sushi with Montes Wines

At least with the impending foie gras ban, there are many more chances to indulge in foie at numerous restaurants in Los Angeles until then. Takami Sushi and Robata in downtown LA also has a rotating foie gras special until July 1. I was recently invited a tasting of the foie dishes paired with Montes wines from Chile, hosted by Takami and Montes Wines. Chilean wines are much more affordable than the European or Californian counterparts. Before the dinner we were served a crisp and refreshing Montes Chardonnay that runs about $11 a bottle.

The first course was a Vichyssoise of foie gras

IMG_8745

Naturally the soup was rich and smooth. It was topped w seared foie, which was a bit gritty.
The soup was paired with a 2011 Montes Cherub Rose of Syrah
IMG_8774
IMG_8742
The richness of the soup and the acidity of the wine neutralized each other nicely.

Seared foie gras, caramelized mango, rose reduction.
Paired with 2010 Montes Alpha Chardonnay
IMG_8777
The seared foie here was much better and smoother than the one in the soup and it went really well with the sweet, tender mango!

Braised daikon, foie gras w shallot butter broth, paired with 2010 Montes Alpha Pinot Noir
IMG_8757
I love this since it was a more unique combination and a fitting one for a Japanese restaurant. The daikon was very tender and sweet. Each bite was wonderfully savory and creamy and paired nicely with the pinot.

Next: Nigiri of Ahi tuna and foie gras with eel sauce
IMG_8766
I've had foie gras sushi before, but not tuna sushi further topped with foie! Double the rewards.
This was paired with the only California wine of the night, 2007 StarAngel by Montes, Syrah, Paso Robles.

The last savory course was a filet of beef and foie gras with black truffle in veal stock reduction.
IMG_8782
How can you go wrong with this trio? The beef was very tender, and combined with the oh-so-fatty foie and a generous piece of truffle it was a heavenly bite. I wanted a big serving of this!

Paired with 2009 Montes Alpha Carmenere
IMG_8783


The final course was a couple of Foie gras truffles, fresh berries, and butter wafer, paired with their dessert wine: a 2010 Montes Late Harvest Gewurtztraminer
IMG_8769
I didn't really taste the foie gras but these may be the richest and creamiest truffles ever!

The foie gras dishes will rotate in and out of the menu at Takami until the ban on July 1st, so get them while you can!

Takami Sushi and Robata
811 Wilshire Boulevard #2100
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 236-9600
www.takamisushi.com

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Citrus Lee: French Cuisine in Surabaya (Indonesia)

High end Western cuisine in Surabaya, Indonesia is few and far between and I'm usually pretty skeptical about trying them. Some of my cousins have been talking about a fairly new French place called Citrus Lee, and it looked pretty good. Turns out the chef is a regular at my mom's restaurant, Kogyo, so we decided to go there for my birthday dinner.

The menu at Citrus Lee comes as a set (when he didn't do set menus, some people would make a reservation and come to eat salads - it was all about showing off that you dined here) of three or four courses. The prices vary depending on your choice of main course and you can go as low as a three course chicken dinner for Rp.175,000 (US$19-20) - not bad compared to US prices! But it does go up to about $80 for 3 courses with a lobster entree. With the amuse bouche, palate cleanser, and all, it ended up being a substantial amount of food and a pretty good value.

First came a trio of seafood-centric amuse bouches: smoked salmon, scallop, etc

IMG_5932
Although it's a French restaurant, Citrus Lee incorporates a lot of Chinese flavors. It isn't quite fusion but probably just enough to cater more to the Asian palate.
For my first course I chose the Tiger Prawns with Leek-Potato Bacon Prawn Cream Bisque Soup Infused with Shaoxing (a traditional Chinese rice wine)
sIMG_5943

The foie gras addition is expensive compared to the US, though. The seared duck foie gras with apricot vanilla puree and star anise costs an extra Rp.265,000 (about $30) - oh well, it had to travel farther to Indonesia.
sIMG_5940
It was a good sized piece of foie gras and nicely done. I was missing foie gras and was glad I could have a good version for my birthday in Surabaya! This was also the first time my mom tried seared foie gras - and she liked it!


Sauteed Wild Mushroom Brule with Brown Butter and Beets-Orange Wedges
IMG_5948
Wild mushrooms are one of the things I miss when I'm in Indonesia, and this was the first time I encountered them here. Turns out he gets them from a small local island, and they were wonderful.

A shot glass of juice and a bowl of granita as palate cleansers follow between courses.

For the entree, my brother ordered the Pan-Roasted Angus Tenderloin with Chinese Aromatic Spices and Bordelaise-Shaoshing Sauce
IMG_5968
Tender, medium rare pieces.

My mom's order: Crispy Duck Margaret Confit with homemade preserved orange navel with duck-bacon spiced dressing
IMG_5959
The duck in Indonesia is decidedly leaner and gamier than  in the US, so I thought the confit is not quite as fatty as what I'm used to - expectedly so and it was still good.

Marinated oven-roasted seabass with sesame-miso and black truffle-infused soy-corn coulis
sIMG_5962
Indonesians tend to fry their fishes whole, so the flaky texture of a roasted seabass is a nice break - but really, I ordered this to get a whiff of truffles.

Roasted lamb rack marinated in green curry, garlic mint butter with layu-spices mint chutney
IMG_5971s
Tender lamb rack, flavorful "curry" sauce. This was a great dish.

Pan-seared Jumbo Scallops with miso mustard sauce and sauteed Chanterelle mushrooms
sIMG_5974
Another thing I tend to miss in Indonesia: scallops. I'm talking jumbo scallops. I mean, sure we have scallops at street stalls but they tend to be tiny. The scallops at Citrus Lee are the ones I miss, and they were seared nicely.IMG_6000

The chef at Citrus Lee is Hendry Sedjahtera whose parents own a Chinese restaurant in a neighboring city, Malang. Hendry studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked at a few restaurants there before opening Citrus Lee in 2009.

The desserts at Citrus Lee are all made by his younger brother in Malang and shipped here. A family of chefs who work together! The dessert menu is pretty small here. With the tasting menu you get a choice of two flavors of creme brulee and another item that I can't remember right now ... There's also a flourless chocolate cake and some specials, but they cost extra.
IMG_5990
Happy birthday to me!

IMG_5991 Psst, so at Citrus Lee they serve mini mochis after your dessert as a palate cleanser. Guess who makes these mochis? Yup, my family's shop, Mochiko! So of course we loved this course, hehe. We made them miniature-sized and not as sweet as the ones we normally sell, though.

Since there's no in-house pastry chef, there's no house-made amuse bouche. They gave out Valrhona chocolates instead, which are perfectly fine by me.

I wonder how many people were scared to try Citrus Lee because, like my family, they keep hearing about how expensive it is. Well, it can definitely get expensive depending on what you order (like kobe beef), but you can actually have a great meal and be full with one of the less expensive set menus - especially after all the amuse bouche and palate cleansers. There aren't many French restaurants in Surabaya (actually, I think there may only be two), so Surabaya people, why not be adventurous and give it a try?

Citrus Lee 
Jl. Kutai No.12
Surabaya, Indonesia 60241
031-561-5192

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital

TOP