Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's All About the Food

Just got back from dinner at Tang at the hotel and it is possibly one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The description they give at the restaurant is focusing on molecular flavors. I found that much more intriguing than Italian and since this may be the last night I am eating alone here I figured I would give it a try. It's rare that when I'm eating alone I will spend more than an hour in a restaurant but I was there for 2 - that tell's you something right there about the place.

The menu offers two prices one for sharing plates and one for tasting plates. The server recommended 3 plates if sharing and 6 if tasting. I knew I wasn't going to be sharing and 6 sounded like a lot so I opted for 3 tasting plates and I'm glad I did. For wine I went with a Chilean Chardonnay, it was a very good compliment to all of the courses I ordered.
To start off with they bring an amuse buche which is fairly standard at finer dining places. My first course is a raw blue fine tuna marinated in a lime dressing on top of a sesame cracker - very tasty. While I was still eating this I am brought a treat from the bar for after the course. A little spoon of some soybean creation unfortunately at this time I don't remember everything that was in it. Very sweet and a nice ending to my first course. The second course was scallop, tagliatelle and white truffle oil, by far my favorite of the evening. After this a palate cleanser sorbet was brought out of baileys and fruit. It did a very good job of cleaning my palate.
For my final dish I went with a duck and foie gras dish. Unfortunately this was my least favorite dish of the evening. While duck and foie gras are usually on the top of my list the preparation just wasn't doing it for me. I say final dish but I did get talked into a dessert a black forest concotion that was prepared with liquid nitrogen instead of baked. Anything prepared with liquid nitrogen has to be tried at least once. While waiting for dessert to come out I was presented with a pre-dessert desert. Now this was a new one for me. I'm used to all of the other in-between courses but I had never heard of this one before. Just a quick little bite of something sweet to whet the appetite. Shortly after this was taken away I was told that my main desert would be out soon, the first attempt didn't work. I guess liquid nitrogen can be finicky at times. The wait was well worth it. A dome of chocolate that when broken into lets out a rush of cold air is not to be missed.

After dessert was taken away I was expecting the bill instead I was presented with 3 homemade marshmellow bites. Not too surpised by this as I have seen truffles or other sweets presented with the bill at other restaurants. What surprised me however was after this they brought out another plate of sweets to be eaten in order from right to left as the ones on the right were sweeter and the final one was a peppermint palate cleanser. When given the descriptions of the items I was told that the chocolate one should just be placed in the mouth and let it dissolve do not chew or bite it, intriguing. I was anxious to try it but I went in the proper order. Once I finally got to the chocolate I popped it in my mouth and at first thought "yeah ok the chocolate is good." But then the chocolate started to melt and I only have 2 words for you "Pop Rocks."
For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of experiencing pop rocks as a child, or an adult for that matter, as the chocolate started to melt there was cryastallized sugar inside which exploded as it melted. An absolutely amazing sensation and one I haven't experienced since, well the last time I had pop rocks.

I'm not sure if this was the most expensive meal I've eaten alone. I can't recall how much my dinner at Nobu was but it's close and I would have to say it is certainly better. As is typically the case though the wine accounted for half the cost of the bill and I only had 2 glasses. If I only had 1 glass it definitely would have been cheaper. On a final note I can only say with 4 desserts I'm glad I went to the gym today before going to dinner.


Melissa said...

MMMM.. Pop Rocks! I haven't seen them around here in ages. Now I must go on the search for some good old fashion pop rocks. I will share the wealth if found. :)

Amy said...

Wow, that sounds completely excessive. Good for you! I can't wait to see the pictures too! I can't eat fois gras anymore, it makes me too sad. Sounds like an amazing meal, although the buffet last night sounds like more fun. Yummy regional cuisine! Makes me think of those yummy restaurants we went to in Puerto Rico