Dear Food Diary:
Wednesday night, one of my favorite chefs David Burke (Fishtail and Townhouse) hosted an amazing eat, drink and be merry event at his Bloomingdale’s location. This was the 3rd of his Beverage Series Dinner, where his yummy food is paired with different adult beverages. Leblon Cachaca (pronounced ka-sha-sa, a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugar cane juice, unlike the rum which is made from molasses) was the partner for the evening.
As soon as you walk into the energetically saturated orange dining room, your welcomed with your first Lebron Cachaca cocktail, a raspberry infused, light and summery drink to start the feast. We had another round for the table, cheers!
Before the 4 course dinner, a series of d’oeuvres come to your table, this was the start of a stomach stretching, palate pleasing, mmmm mmmm mmmm sounding meal. First off, the Shrimp Lollipop (DB must love lollipops, like his famous cheesecake ones), lightly fried fresh shrimp with a kiss of sweetness. Herb rubbed Lamp Chops with cool and creamy mint yogurt sauce, now mind you I don’t eat lamb, but this was different, it had no signs of gamey taste, which is very rare(I can usually sense even a slight hint), soo juicy and tender, I had 2.
The Fried Lobster Ball was excellent, deep fried, with a good crunch, soft filling and a chunk of lobster, very tasty. The Chicken Dumpling paired well with the fruity plum sauce, but I wasn’t blown away. The other 3 were clearly better. Instead of bread, just like Townhouse, you get a round puffy pastry, flaky, super buttery and very eggy, with a cube of butter on the side, what can I say, butter + more butter = yummy goodness.
• FIRST COURSE – Yellowfin Tuna Ribbons, similar to a tartare, but elevated with a light and creamy avocado mixture, notes of sesame, spicy mustard radishes, and baby shrimps that were hidden like a sweet surprise between bites, all sitting in a refreshing and slightly citrusy bed of paper thin english cucumber.
• PAIRED COCKTAIL – Sambazon Francais, lebron cachaca, with st. germain (liqueur made from a blossom of the Elder tree, fresh from the Alps), cranberry and tonic. A little tart, and bitter, but in a good way and very aromatic.
This was my favorite dish and cocktail marriage of the night
• SECOND COURSE – Buttery Lemongrass Lobster, oh yeah baby, more butter, but unlike the pre-dinner puff, this was subtle and very light and refreshing. Fresh poached lobster, naturally sweet but enhanced by the lychee, strings of chinese celery gave a nice crunch and the ice wine verjus (juice made from pressing unripe grapes) brought a good contrast of acidity, everything was so well balanced. Lychee is one of my favorite fruits, and lobster is one of my favorite seafood items, but I would of never thought of them on a same plate. Bravo David, bravo! My palate keep shouting encore! encore! encore!
• PAIRED COCKTAIL – Leblon Caipirinha (aka the official drink of Brazil), this was the perfect match the the lobster, infused with fresh limes and a tad of sugar, very refreshing.
• THIRD COURSE – Triple Peppercorn Rubbed Sirloin, by this point I was very satisfied, and the drinks just brought my fullness to a whole new level. The steak had a nice crust from all the peppercorn and spices, but the meat was a bit dry and tough. Nice side of crispy shoestring potatoes, flavorful red wine sauce, very garlicky spinach and a little sweet red onion jam. My friend helped me finish it, can you believe it? me giving on red meat, I grew up in Argentina, where all we need for survival was air, water and red meat, well and soccer of course, so if you know me, you know that I would never do that, but my tummy waved the white flag.
• PAIRED COCKTAIL – Senenity Caipirinha, this I didn’t enjoy, the flavor were totally off, pomegranate, lemon, apple and peach sounded fabulous, but together it was awful, very artificial tasting.
BREAK… I was truly stuffed, thankfully their Citrus Camomile Tea was great to help soothe everything. A light buzz was coming over me from all the alcohol, so this was what I needed.
• DESSERT– Mango & Coconut Creme Parfait, I’m not sure if after such a rich meal, more cream would be the way to end the night, but once you dig pass the cream, it reveals a bottom layer of mango gelee that was very light, and tasted similar to the Haggen Daz mango sorbet, very mangolicious and the coconut topping was a good texture contrast, I liked it.
• PAIRED COCKTAIL – Peanut Banana Batida, stand alone, if would of been a great dessert drink, strong banana flavor, with thick condensed milk, citrus, peanut rum, maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon, very sweet and yummy, but it competed with the dessert, there was creamy overload for me.
The 3 of us in our hidden back table had such a lovely evening, celebrating my college friends birthday. And as if food, friends and drinks weren’t enough to make a wonderful evening, the chef himself came out to greet and chat, making sure our meal was as he intended, very jolly and friendly, so of course I asked for a photo and told him how much I loved his food, a la pre-puberty girls seeing Jonas Brothers style, minus the screaming of course. Now that’s what I call a happy ending.
All this for just $39 per person (+tax and tip), totally worth every penny. I believe he’s having another one next month with Samuel Adams for Oktoberfest, I’m probably going.
150 East 59st
P.S. Chubby’s RATING: