Saturday, November 7, 2009

French Laundry Oct 2009

Halloween lunch at French Laundry.  A beautiful sunny day, perfect day to take a walk in Yountville from Bouchon bakery where we pre-ordered a half dozen pumpkin cupcake and a dozen of macaroons.   After s short walk through a well trimmed Yountville park next to the road, we sat by French Laundry's vegetable garden across examing various vegetables while waiting for our party to drive up from south bay.  Three different of Japanese eggplants, variety of tomato, and plenty of herbs.  Of course, a small patch of pumpkin garden.  A great start.

Corey Lee has left.  Chef designed a special menu for our table, and Keller left George a hand-written note.  
Each course is still perfectly executed but the same excitement of 90s hardly satisfy the short attention span dinners like us who have been damaged by the constant e-mail by world of Blackberry and iPhone.  When I see the whole troupe of staff made way for me from stairs to the table, I feel the best 3-star service ever.

Gruyère cheese puffs

Salmon Cornets
salmon tartare, sweet red onion, crème fraîche

Cream of chestnut soup

2007 Sauzet Montrachet, young and reserved.  Mineral and high acidity but very closed.  Interesting to try it now.  We jointly decided to save the rest for 3~5 years later, or I should said 'The whole table decided have Milton watch me not to open anymore 2007 Sauzet Montrachet'

Oysters and Pearls
“Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters
and White Sturgeon Caviar

Beautiful dish with two kinds of pearls, caviar and tapioca.  I liked the concept of tapioca as pearl 10 years ago but still think the custard cream would have best texture and taste without it.

Parwn with Califlower

White truffle oil-infused custard with black truffle ragout

Mixed cream and egg york cook in a constant temperature water bath to create a wonderful creamy texture that boasts the perfumed silky truffle sauce on top is the best truffle dish.

Butter role from Bouchon Bakery, exclusive for French Laundary

2000 LeFlaive Cheavalier Montrachet, aged perfectly in George's 55F cellar, is showing great.  Ripe fruit without the typical LeFlaive sulfites which helps LeFlaive ages well than others. 

White truffle 
size of a fist

White truffle risotto 
with drizzle of butter

The aroma and fresh soft texture of the truffle combined with the well executed creamy risotto made this the best white truffle dish we ever had.

Halibet poached in olive oil
celery, pine nut ,pine nut foam, olive paste

leek, potato chip

Everyone think the lobster is executed well.   I am not a fan of lobster's firm texture except Legal Seafood at Boston Logan airport.  Maybe the excitement of having a good oyster and lobster meal 30 minutes before plane taking off gives me the illusion of great lobster.

93 George Roumier Clos Vougeot earthy brett with rounded tannin

96 Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses wonder flower perfume, herbal, great length with aroma last till last second

Variety of salt for foie gras
French sea salt, a pink salt from copper mines in Montana, 
Japanese sea salt, Maui red rock salt,  Hawaii black rock salt

Hawaii red rock salt, Hawaii black rock salt are my favorate.  The most expensive Japanese salt has the least flavor but the most salty.

Moulard duck “foie gras au torchon”
cranberries jam, pecans, frisée and toasted brioche

The texture of foie gras is a bit too soft for us.  Brioche is light, probably use 4 sticks of butter for Californian instead of 8 sticks in the traditional recipe.

90 RSV DRC Chinese spices with hint of incense. Sweet cassis and stem flavor keep the wine fresh.  Length last over 12 seconds.

Pork belly

Another perfect dish.  Chinese favorite cut of pork sous vide then seared that yields tender juicy pork belly with Chinese mustard and berry sauce.  We all agreed that this is a best contemporary translation of famous Pork Belly with Pickled Plume Vegetable 梅菜扣肉.

Lamb tenderloin
short bread, baby spinich, mushroom

90 MM GE

Creme fresh sorbet

Cream fresh sorbet!  Cream gives it the creamy ice-cream texture.  If this is sorbet, it would be creamiest sorbet.

Coffee and Donut

a walk after full meal to Bouchon Bakery.  Picked up our pumpkin cupcake.

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