Thursday, September 2, 2010

Alinea: 10-09-09


Shortly after my first meal at Alinea, in which I was very ill, I had the fortunate opportunity to dine there again.  With my sense of smell and taste firing on all cylinders, this meal was undoubtedly better than my previous experience.  Here you’ll find courses not found in my previous meal at Alinea.


CENTERPIECE – rosemary

I embarrassingly forgot to turn off my flash and was promptly and kindly told that flashes were not allowed by the articulate server with the bow tie.  He served us several courses during my first meal and his delivery and style were unforgettable.



PEAR – eucalyptus, olive oil, black pepper

I honestly can’t remember much about this bite, but I do remember enjoying it more than the oxalis from the first meal.



BROOK TROUT– monseigneur

This by far was the best dish of the night for me.  The fish was cooked perfectly and literally melted in my mouth.  I’d also never had roe that was so vibrant before.  Sadly, the table next to us took one bite of the fish and didn’t care for it.  They perceived their fish to be vastly undercooked, but I find that a bit hard to believe.



PHEASANT – apple, shallot, burning leaves

The preparation and presentation was not unlike the sweet potato from my first meal.  In place of a smoldering cinnamon stick was a twig with burning leaves to give the sense of autumn.



DUCK – chestnut, mace, orange

The lilac kudzu pillows that I had in the lilac/shellfish dish from my first meal at Alinea made their return in the  form of chestnut kudzu pillows.  Unsurprisingly, they were smooth and pillowy.  The duck in the dish consisted of foie gras and duck breast.



THAI BANANA – beer, mustard, pecans

Another bite in which I can’t remember what it tasted like in detail, but I do remember enjoying this more than the mustard bite, which came in the same preparation, from my first meal.  This time around, I made sure to eat this quickly since it was a “time sensitive” bite.



PEANUT BUTTER – dried and spicy

Of all the terse descriptions, this one was probably the most accurate and justified.  It tasted like really good peanut butter with a little bit of heat.



SEA URCHIN – aloe, yuzu, chili

This dish definitely challenged me.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, but the flavor combinations perplexed me as I’d never tasted anything like this before.  When it was presented as sea urchin, I was expecting a huge briny punch to my taste buds, but I don’t recall one.



LAMB – pumpkin, eggplant, rosemary aroma

The centerpiece came into play for this course.  Three pieces of lamb, all with different garnishes and flavor profiles, were served on hot piece of metal that seared the outside of the meat.  The rosemary was placed on the end of the hot metal which released the aroma and oils from the rosemary.



BLACKBERRY – goat milk, onion, lavender

This bite was suspended on the end of an antenna and was very similar to the rhubarb/goat milk/onion/lavender air dish from my first meal in flavor: essentially an onion cheesecake from what I recall.

IMG_4003 IMG_4004


HAY – burnt sugar, coffee, huckleberry

This dish was presented as “hay brulee,” and Chef de Cuisine Dave Beran noted that it was the first night of putting out this dish.  I can’t imagine what it eventually evolved to after several iterations because what we had was simply incredible.  Hands down, this was the best sweet dish or bite of the night.  The aroma of hay instantly reminded me of autumn just as the burning leaves on the pheasant did.


No comments:

Post a Comment