Wednesday, October 25, 2006

PER SE MENUS.......FINALLY!



It seems I have finally got a copy of our exact menu from our per se dinner. So here it is, the meal of a lifetime. Drool Away!


MY MEAL

September 27, 2006



YUKON GOLD POTATO "VICHYSSOISE"
Truffled Potatoes

"OYSTERS AND PEARLS"
"Sabayon" of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Russian Sevruga Caviar

CITRUS CURED HAMACHI
Ginger "Aigre-Doux" and Cilantro Shoots

HALIBUT "GOUJONETTES"
with Yuzu "Aïoli"

ROASTED SALMON "CHOP"
with Black Truffle "Gnocchi"

CODDLED ARAUCANA HEN EGG
with "Ragoût" of Périgord Truffles

BRAISED BERKSHIRE PORK BELLY
with "Lentilles de Puy" and Maple-Pork "Jus"

SALAD OF SHAVED FENNEL BULB
Pluots "Cuits et Crus," Grilled Young Fennel
and Fennel-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

"TERRINE" OF HUDSON VALLEY MOULARD DUCK "FOIE GRAS"
Bartlett Pear Marmalade, Frisée Lettuce, Crystallized Pear "Chip,"
Balsamic Glaze and Toasted "Brioche"

PAN ROASTED CHATHAM BAY COD
Black Winter Truffle "Panade," Tokyo Turnips, Brussels Sprouts,
Matsutake Mushrooms, Pearl Onions and "Sauce Blanquette"

"MACARONI N’ CHEESE"
Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster
Parmesan "Crisp," Creamy Lobster Broth and Mascarpone-Enriched Orzo

THOMAS FARM’S SQUAB "RÔTI À LA BROCHE"
Poached Nectarines, Shaved Fennel Bulb and Squab "Jus"

SNAKE RIVER FARM’S AUSTRALIAN "WAGYU" BEEF SIRLOIN
Forty Eight Hour Braised "Wagyu" Beef Brisket
"Duxelles" of Forest Mushrooms, Yukon Gold Potato "Gratin,"
Romano Beans and "Sauce Bordelaise"

"TOMME DE LA CHÂTAIGNERAIE"
Black Mission Fig, Blue Moon Acres Mezza Arugula,
Celery Branch and Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette

RED WINE POACHED PEAR SORBET
Walnut "Frangipane," Caramel "Twist"
and Red Wine Syrup

"COFFEE AND DOUGHNUTS"
Cinnamon-Sugared Doughnuts with Cappuccino Semifreddo

"SNICKERS BAR"
Milk Chocolate "Crémeux," Chocolate "Sacher"
and Salted Caramel "Gelée" with Spanish Peanut "Nougatine" and Nougat Ice Cream





HAMILTONS MEAL

September 27, 2006
_____________________________________________ ______________

RED PEPPER SOUP
Snipped Chives

CAULIFLOWER "PANNA COTTA"
with Island Creek Oyster Glaze and Russian Sevruga Caviar

SEARED HAMACHI BELLY
Ginger "Aigre-Doux" and Cilantro Shoots

SKATE "GOUJONETTES"
Orange Water and Coriander

GRILLED "CHIPÉRONS"
with "Ratataouille" and Garden Basil

WHITE TRUFFLE OIL-INFUSED CUSTARD
with "Ragoût" of Périgord Truffles

SAUTÉED LAMB BREAST
Plumped Sultanas and Cauliflower with Lamb’s Tongue Vinaigrette

SALAD OF CARAMELIZED BELGIAN ENDIVE
Roasted Heirloom Beets, Bulls Blood Greens
and Black Winter Truffle "Coulis"

"PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY"
Sautéed Hudson Valley Moulard Duck "Foie Gras"
Candied Virginia Peanuts, Concord Grape Glaze and Milk "Tuile"

PAN ROASTED CHATHAM BAY COD
Black Winter Truffle "Panade," Tokyo Turnips, Brussels Sprouts,
Matsutake Mushrooms, Pearl Onions and "Sauce Blanquette"

"SURF AND TURF"
Sautéed "Médaillon de Ris de Veau," Nova Scotia Lobster "Knuckles,"
Lobster Mushrooms and Truffle Emulsion

THOMAS FARM’S SQUAB "RÔTI À LA BROCHE"
Poached Nectarines, Shaved Fennel Bulb and Squab "Jus"

SNAKE RIVER FARM’S AUSTRALIAN "WAGYU" BEEF SIRLOIN
Forty Eight Hour Braised "Wagyu" Beef Brisket
"Duxelles" of Forest Mushrooms, Yukon Gold Potato "Gratin,"
Romano Beans and "Sauce Bordelaise"

"VERMONT SHEPHERD"
Granny Smith Apples "Cuites Sous Vide," New Crop Potatoes,
Garden Mâche and Pickled Mustard Seed Vinaigrette

PINEAPPLE SORBET
Hibiscus "Foam, " Pineapple Reduction and "Compressed" Pineapple

"COFFEE AND DOUGHNUTS"
Cinnamon-Sugared Doughnuts with Cappuccino Semifreddo

CHOCOLATE "S’MORES"
Graham Cracker "Crunch" with Chocolate "Crémeux,"
Valrhona "Hot Chocolate," Creamy Fluff
and Toasted Marshmallow

SQUASH SALAD

















As a part of my school project I am required to create a dish at work, and to have chef Benno/Keller critique it. Seeing how fall has come and the air is getting nice and crisp I decided to do a salad of Fall squashes. The dish consists of carmalized butternut, acorn squash chutney, pumpkin seed brittle, vanilla salt, a pumkin seed oil creme Fraiche and a little Mezza Arugala. All in all the dish was to sweet, but I am happy with the direction it is going in. I plan on tweaking this one a little and recreating it, I will keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WD-50

So my first dining experience in New York was none other then WD-50, Wylie Dufresne’s lower east side restaurant. We were lucky enough to eat dinner on Sam Masons last night, so basically we had the chance to sample desserts from Mason and Stupak. Going in I really wanted to experience the food, not the fact that Wylie is using different and more forward thinking techniques. I wanted to taste the food, experience the flavors and see….does all this work, or is it just hype, hype that someone is doing something new and avant-garde. All the restaurants press basically just went on and on about all this “weird” food that Dufresne was compiling. Now I myself have always been a huge fan of Wylie’s food, I think it is open minded, creative, and in the end really seems to work. So dinner for me was really going to be the moment of truth!

Amazing, this was by far on my top list of dining experiences. We had nothing short of spectacular service. Anything we wanted to know in regards to food, wine, or the restaurant in general our server new. There was no sign of snootiness, or that the wait staff was too good for us, they were super friendly and personable. Basically they made it comfortable for the guests to be there, which in my mind is one of the most important rolls of a server! Unlike most restaurants we were started off with a sesame “cracker”, as opposed to the traditional bread and butter service. Now I love bread, anybody that knows me will tell you this, but the one thing I can not stand about bread is the fact that by the time your meal comes you are already full! The sesame “crackers” are thin as can be and are pretty much guaranteed not to fill you up. Our first course was a plate of Rabbit Confit, Popcorn, Sage, Ginger. This was a great little first bite, the flavors all rounded out in the end to taste like Thanksgiving on a plate. I would say that’s not the best way to critique that beautiful plate, but some things are what they are. The popcorn was not “popcorn” but a small little moist cake composed pulverized popcorn (stuffing!), then of course the moist and tender rabbit confit, with a sweet sage syrup. Foie Gras, It was a perfect circle with a sweet beet juice interior and the green pea soil. The pea soil was a great contrast in texture, offering a coarse crunchy texture against the buttery foie. Overall the dish was a pretty salty one, though the beet juice did offer some sweetness; it still left you reaching for your water. The miso soup was brought out in a simple white bowl sitting on an underliner with a little squeeze bottle. Our server instructed us to squeeze the bottle over the soup and that the liquid would set up into sesame flavored “noodles”. The noodles set up and had a similar texture to nice udon noodle. We had a spring lamb dish with carob, honeydew, and fava beans. The Lamb was cooked perfect and oh so tender, balanced out with the sweetness of the carob* and compressed honeydew.

Once we were about two desserts in we asked our server if we could possible trouble Stupak and Mason for a couple extra desserts. We figured it was the last night Mason was going to be there and that when would we ever get a chance to have desserts compiled from both of there minds! Our server came back asked us if we had room, our answer of course was yes, He told us to sit back because we were going to be there for a while! One dessert that really caught my attention was Stupak’s rendition of a Irish Coffee. The main component of this dessert was a frozen cylinder of coffee with a liquid chocolate interior. How he did this I really have no clue, but none the less it was very impressive. Nevertheless my favorite dessert as far as flavors would go (I am not a coffee fan) would be the “peach puree, soy milk, strawberries, buckwheat ice cream”. Everything about this dessert was great, the peach puree was semi set and would melt in your mouth, the buckwheat ice cream added a little bit of nuttiness, the sweet wild strawberries, and then a simple garnish of fresh cilantro shoots added a bit of a savory element.

August 12, 2006

Dinner

Rabbit confit, popcorn, sage, giner
Vouvray Brut ‘Methode Traditionnelle’ Champalous NV (Loire, France)

Carrot-coconut “sunny-side up”
Vouvray Brut ‘Methode Traditionnelle’ Champalous NV (Loire, France)

Foie gras, candied olives, green peas, beet juice
Riesling ‘Wehlener sonnenuhr’ Spatlese Meulenhof 2004 (Mosel, Germany)

Crab “roll,” black bean, mint, pickled ginger
Falset Rose 2005 (Monsant, Spain)

Beef tongue, fried mayo, tomato molasses
Falset Rose 2005 (Monsant, Spain)

Miso Soup Sesame “noodles”
Justino’s Madeira “Rainwater” (Madeira, Portugal)

Smoked eel, peanuts, snow peas, whipped caramel
Fiulot Barbera D’Asti Prunotto 2004 (Piedmont, Italy)

Spring lamb, carob, honeydew, fava beans
Fiulot Barbera D’Asti Prunotto 2004 (Piedmont, Italy)

Peach puree, soy milk, strawberries, buckwheat ice cream

Shortbread, jasmine ice cream, banana, saffron
Pineau des Charentes Ferrand NV (Cognac, France)

Soft Chocolate, Sesame ice cream, ancho caramel, peanut powder
Comanderia St. John NV (Lemesos, Cyprus)

Red Pepper Jellies

This is our basic menu, it does not include the 4-5 extra desserts we had

*Carob comes from the carob tree in the form of pods, and is often used as a chocolate substitute. It has the flavor of a bittersweet chocolate but is much sweeter. The leaves of the carob tree can also be used.

Katz Delicatessen


Just thought I would give you a glimpse of this ginormus Pastrami Reuben. katz delicatessen has been serving up their famous sandwhiches since the late 80s, the place to this day is jam packed. Its a mob of people a zoo! Only complaints I would have would be the fact that the bread was not toasted, and the price, $14 for a single sandwhich!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Wagyu

Way back when, around the second century A.D. a breed of "Wagyu" cattle were brought from their home on the asian mainland to the Japanese region of Kobe. Here over hundreds of generations the breeds were refined and pampered. Techniques such as massage and beer feeding were used to refine the texture and fat content (marbling) through out the wagyu. All this has since to become the well known Kobe Beef.

Often in the states we see various forms of the original Kobe. Menus may list the beef as "American Style Kobe" or "American Wagyu Beef." The difference in the end really depends on the breeder, but for the most part the Beef is wagyu cattle which has been imported and raised in the states, and or mixed with another breed or slottered as is (can not truly call it Kobe unless it is fully broken down in Japan). The French Laundry and Per Se are very fond of Snake River Farms Ranch products. Snake River Farms beef is a combination of top quality wagyu with the best American Black Angus. These cattle are raised on an all natural feed without the addition of any growth hormones, this in turn causes this cattle to grow on average of four times slower then the standard hormone feed American cattle cow. The High plain ranch and natural enviornment they are raised in eliminates any need for the beer-feeding or massaging.

Because the wagyu cattle are genetically predisposed to higher percentages of unsaturaded fat the contain more monounsaturaed fats , and actually begin to melt at room temp. Hey they can even work well with a low-cholesterol diet! So basically all the beautiful fat lends to an amazing cut of meat, which if cooked properly can be cut with a butter knife. Wagyu can almost be compared to a fine wine, in the way that it coats the palate with complex flavors, has a subtle sweetness and that lingering finish.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Swiss Chard

Throw it in a pot with a few pigs feet and some chicken stock, stew it down, add a little vinegar and your good right? No! Well back home that is the perfect way to consume greens, whether it be chard, collards, khale, or mustard greens. Bring a case of beautiful rainbow chard into Per Se's kitchen and you can bet a little more attention will be given.

Seeing as how the edible stem of the chard is obviously larger and more dense, it does require a little more time. So as opposed to stewing the whole plant down to mush, we remove the stems and cook them seperately. They can bee simply blanched and sauted or sous vide with a little champagne vinegar, vegetable stock, olive oil and salt. As far as the leaves go, there is nothing wrong with a good braise.

Chard stems are a great component for garnish, they bring great color and earthyness. Hell they even bring amazing health benefits.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Room 4 Dessert

Will Goldfarb made a name for himself at Cru with his avant garde approach to desserts. Now he is up and running with his new gig, Room 4 Dessert. Goldfarbs tiny dessert bar in the village serves just that, desserts and booze! Its a trendy bar, meets fine dining, meets ice cream parlor. Here all the desserts are prepared right in front of you. The menu can be divided up into 3 main categories. "Glass," these desserts are all served in a single glass which can be eatin with a small spoon, $10.50. "Tasting" items are served as indivdual tastings, usually a rectangular plate containing 3-4 different items, $12 each. Then what I like to call the "Booze" section, this can be more tastefully broken down into 5 categories; sweet wine, white wine, red wine, alcholic, and sparkling. All the drinks range in price from $6-$172 depending of course if you want a simple cocktail, a 99' Cru Barrejats Sauternes, or a glass of whiskey. The menu defanetly boasts creativness, some items may leave people scratching their heads just in pure curiosity. Fluid gels, carbonated mousse, clouds, airs, foams, whipped gelees, can all be seen paired next simple classics such as chocolate parfait, housemade marscapone, pralines, and gelatos. Although most of the desserts are amazing, I did expeirence a few dislikes. A meringue which was served in a sous vide bag, apeared as a meringue "chip," the idea seemed very cool...but just that, the idea. It was horrible, chalky in flavor and stuck to my teeth like nothing I have ever experienced. The coconut powder also was a loss, although it does present a perfect coconut flavor it has the texture of raw flour and gives you the feeling of extreme cotton mouth. One of my favorites had to be the "Little Jack Horner" a glass of Litchi cloud, Plum water Air, plum confits, vin santo/red bull jello. Very fresh plum flavor, accented by the super light litchi foam, and the little tid bits of plum confit, all to be rounded out by the red bull jello.


Other Dishes I tried:

Virtuality
Honey Ice Cream, Lime Meringue,
Watermelon Compact, Almond Praline

Giesha
Black Sesame Gelato, Coconut Juice Fluid Gel, Carbonated Raspberry Mousse

Each Peach
White Chocolate Chantilly (in the style of herve this), Cold Roasted Peach, Almond Cake, Aspic with Basil Blossoms.

Scotch Plains
Whipped Cherry Gelee, Housemade Mascarpone, Fennel Confit, Pain ecossais, Little Pieces of Amaretti. Posted by Picasa

THREE STARS

The very well known and respected Michelin Guide is slowly covering the states, first with New York City and now San Fransico Bay Area. Michelin released its rankings monday morning, and out of 28 restaurants recieving stars, only one recieved the covated 3 star rating. Can you guess?? Funny enough its not even in San Fransicso, but in the small town of Yountville in the heart of Napa. The French Laundry is now Kellers second restaurant to have the honor of three stars. We recieved the news Sunday morning ( the day before Michelin released the guide) over the phone from Chef Keller. Everyone is ecstatic, and we couldnt be more proud of the guys of at the Laundry. In celebration of their achievment Chef keller declared yesterday Yountville day, sending out adds in the local newspapers declaring that they would be offering tasting menus for locals at a price of $49.50! Truffles and all!

Three Star: The French Laundry

Two Star: Aqua, Micheal Mina, Manresa, and Cyrus

Three Star: Chez Panisse, Fleur de Lys, La Folie, The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Rubicon, Bushi-Tei, Quince, Range, Acquerello, Masa's, Gary Danko, Boulevard, Fifth Floor, Sushi-Ran, Chez TJ, Auberge du Soleil, La Toque, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, Terra, Dry Creek Kitchen, Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, and K&L Bistro.

Sneak Peak



Ok so we had dinner at Per Se on wednesday the 27th, I have attempted to right the review on it but I am drawing so many blanks. I will go ahead and say that we had over 20 courses and finished up our dinner in a mear 5 hours. It was absolutely amazing. I have posted a few pics from dinner, and once I look over my notes a little more and recieve an itinerary from Per Se for our dinner that night I will get a nice detailed review posted.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

September 25 Chefs Tasting Menu

"OYSTERS AND PEARLS"
"Sabayon" of Pearl Tapioca with Isalnd Creek Oysters
and Russian Sevruga Caviar
.

SALAD OF CARMALIZED HEARTS OF ROMAINE
Heirloom Radishes "Cuits et Crus," Garden Mache
and Black Winter Truffle Vinaigrette
or
"TERRINE" OF HUDSON VALLEY MOULARD DUCK "FOIE GRAS"
Bartlett Pear Marmalade, Frisee Lettuce, Crystallized Pear "Chip,"
Balsamic Glaze and Toasted "Brioche"
(30.00 supplement)
.

CRISPY SKIN FILET OF BARAMUNDI
Piquillo Peppers, "Chorizo Iberico," "Confit" of Fennel Bulb,
Cilantro Shoots and Chorizo Emulsion
.

"MINESTRONE"
Sweet Butter Poached Nova scotia Lobster
Fall Pole Beans, Sauteed Squash, Hand Rolled "Cavatelli"
and Lobster "Consomme"
.

"AIGUILLETTE" OF LIBERTY VALLEY PEKIN DUCK BREAST
Granny Smith Apple "Parisienne," Honey Crisp Apple "Coulis,"
Wilted Arugula and Duck "Jus"
.

SNAKE RIVER FARM'S "CALOTTE DE BOEUF GRILLEE"
"rissolee" of Red Thumb Potatoes, Golden Chanterelle Mushrooms,
Young Brussels Sprouts, "Puree de Girolles"
and " Sauce Bordelaise"
.

"TOMME DE LA CHATAIGNAIRIE"
Ficklin Port Poached Fig, Spiced Shortbread, "Petite" Sorrel
and Cassia-Port "Gastrique"
.

PINEAPPLE SORBET
Hibiscus "Foam," Pineapple Reduction
and "Compressed" Pineapple
.

CHOCOLATE "S'MORES"
Graham Cracker "Crunch" with Chocolate "Cremeux,"
Valrhona "Hot Chocolate," Creamy Fluff
and Toasted Marshmallow
.

"MIGNARDISES"

210.00

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Work!

I have much to talk about in terms of work, but for now here is a little sneak peak of the entrance to Per Se.
Behind those doors is what some consider to be one of the best restaurants in the world. Do I agree? Well I just cant say, I have yet to eat there. I can say that it is the most miticulous and intense kitchen environment that I have ever experienced, with some of the most tedious tasks imaginable....... More on this later. Posted by Picasa

Nicks Pizza

So I have been lazy with this whole blog ordeal. The idea was to start on this as soon as I got out here to keep everyone up to date.. None the less here it is and hopefully I will stay on top of things.
Lets start off with a little pizza! Nicks pizza to be exact. A Favorite of some friends of mine, I was prompted to check out this pizza hot spot in Forest Hills. I opted for an 11" with prosciutto, sund dried tomatoes and fresh garlic. AMAZING! Beautiful crisp crust, just the perfect amount of chewyness, very fresh, awesome cheese, and finished with a little bit of fresh basil. Simply just a delicious pizza. For dessert a simple canoli, probably the best canoli I have ever had. Posted by Picasa