Friday, September 21, 2007
I always harbor a little guilt when I eat bunny, but the next course -- a rabbit daube with basil surrounded by a tomato vinaigrette and garnishes of new zealand spinach -- was so good that I banished mental pictures of Peter Rabbit and Thumper. The following dish was the only one I didn't love:a deconstucted "ratatouille" and sheep's milk rictotta with sheep's milk as a sauce. The ingredients were impeccably fresh and certainly each was delicious; I just didn't see the scattering of ingredients across the plate as "ratatouille" -- even with the qualifying quotation marks.
Following this slight disappointment, came a suprise course that at first rang my HO-HUM bell: three tomato wedges -- a red, a yellow and a pink-- drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. OMG, it was fabulous. The olive oil was French; the salt was seaweed based and the combination with the tomatoes had us hailing the bus boy for yet more bread. Not a one of our plates went back to the kitchen with a drop of olive oil or tomato essence remaining.
And the food kept coming.
Roast duck and foie gras with caponata was simply magnificent, as was the dessert: caramelized brioche and a slow confiture of tomatoes plus vanilla olive oil ice cream. (Our friend, a sophistacted and long-time owner of numerous restaurants, was softly chanting "More brioche; more brioche")
Lovely LeRoy wines throughout the meal, exquisite Numi teas at the end and Manresa's marvelous little black olive madeleines: What's not to LOVE?