Tuesday, June 19, 2012

annual Flag Day: 4th edition

every year Helen and i choose a fancy pants restaurant to go to for Flag Day. if you at all are inquiring why we chose the day of our flag to be the day of our annual occasion, you can read that here (Cyrus 3rd edition). we invite a few foodie friends (up to 6 people) to join us each year and we're pretty selective about who we invite as it's only fun eating pretentious food with people who will actually enjoy it and appreciate the intricacies of the dishes. anyhow, we've known we were going to eat at the Restaurant at Meadowood for a solid year now. Helen made reservations three months to the day in advance. because they only serve dinner, we decided to make a day out of it and go to Redd for lunch.

Paul, Helen, myself, Marjie and Erich

at Redd. me, Marjie and Helen

i shared everything with Marjie because i like to do things tapas style whenever possible.

tasting of cold foie gras. i did not love the terrine to the left. it was too gamy for my taste. but the two other preparations were on point for me. served with some toasted brioche, it was a nice way to say goodbye to foie, as you all know at the end of this month it'll be banned from California. insert sad face. 

yellowfin tuna tartar with apples(?) or asian pear(?) and fried rice. light, crisp.

short rib sandwich with onion rings. sort of sweet but very good.

myself and Marjimer in the hot hot heat. this day it got up to nearly 105!!

strawberry tart with strawberry sorbet and pistachios. light, flaky, a good way to end a solid meal. though dessert was probably overkill. we were crazy stuffed.

butterscotch pudding with toffee and pretzel. the foamy stuff they put on top gave the pudding a more liquefied feel, which i didn't care for. if i'm going to eat pudding i expect thick and creamy.

Erich and i waiting in line at Bouchon for macarons and such

off to our dinner reservations at the Restaurant Meadowood

we don't look very excited, but trust me, we absolutely were.

$225/person for an 8 course meal, which really turns out to be a lot more if you count all of the amuse bouche and extra little things here and there. 100% worth it if you ask me. the service was outstanding and the food was perfect. there wasn't one dish that i didn't like.

flight of amuse bouche:
pillow filled with fromage blanc. a very delicate crisp exterior encapsulating a rich, creamy cheese. this tasted much like a white cheddar cheez-it, but like way better.

baby radish and carrots immersed in a cool (as in cold, not awesome...though it was pretty awesome too!) concoction that i cannot remember. it was hellsa good though. i would have preferred a spoon so that i could  eat every little bit of that, but it was meant to be eaten with the veggies and the leaves of the veggies.

lime and elderflower mocktail. refreshing and friggin $14!!!!

geoduck and clam puff. this thing sort of bursts in your mouth. i likes.

shrimp roll 

brown butter balls. slippery little suckers. and they're right, it's super brown buttery.

yogurt with shiso, black sesame and some other things i can't remember.this dish was surprisingly really damn good. it was my second favorite dish of the night. super texturally appealing. creamy, crunchy, stringy. sweet, salty, excellent.

cuttlefish with black beans, maitake mushrooms and avocado puree. this was my least favorite dish, but it was still a very good dish. they do such a great job of balancing the dishes and adding tons of texture to it. 

shrimp with caviar. the flower was also stuffed with a shrimp paste type thing. fantastic!

abalone with abalone mushrooms and farro. i don't typically like abalone but this was a very good version of it. so earthy.  i would love it if every bowl of ramen i ate from now on came with that clam broth.

bread to accompany the next dish

sturgeon wrapped in leek. i can't understand the addition of the bread but i liked it nonetheless. a solid piece of fish.

this is what our guinea hen looked like before it was cooked. it was encased in a salted dough for who knows how long.

this is a meat broth. first the dish came out with little flakes of something in it. turns out it was very fine shavings of fat. then they poured a broth over it to melt the fat. a great way to introduce the meat courses.

this is the guinea hen we had. it is so simple, but this was my favorite dish of the night. super earthy, super flavorful and juicy. crisp skin and just perfect. plus, i think i got a piece near the butt of the hen, which is the most flavorful part. you think i'm making a joke, but i'm not. that part is the best!

a blurry picture of red wine bread.

some kinda steak with morels. super tender and quite lovely.

i forget what the green sauce is but it was really fresh. it complimented the meat like mint jelly (though i could never understand the jelly component. grosstastic!) compliments lamb.

bread to accompany the cheese course

goats milk cheese course. spreadable cheese to the left, goats milk butter with nori to the right and a very thin goats milk cheese

i really enjoyed the butter with nori. inventive. i would have never thought think to put goats anything with nori.

so i won't go into detail, but something was wrong with my cheese course and i had to send it back. the server felt really badly and came out to apologize. she also offered us an extra cheese course for my troubles and look what we got! 

tallegio cheese donut with rhubarb. paired with a beer. 
very nice of them, dontcha think?

palate cleanser

chocolate mousse with a creme fraiche ice cream and crystallized beets

after the meal they brought out a box of random deliciousness. honeycomb with green tea, some pleasantly chewy thing covered in crushed cocoa nibs, etc. looks unappealing but it totally wasn't. it was unique and kept with their earthy theme.

afterward we got a tour of their very clean, very organized new kitchen. it was just remodeled less than a few months ago. 

this had to be the second best day of my life. the first being when we went to French Laundry for our first Flag Day. of course i haven't had kids or gotten married yet, but as far as right now goes, these two rank as day 1 and 2. i would hope that a wedding or a child's birth would surpass the best meals of my life but man is this meal a hard one to beat! 

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