Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rene's advanced birthday dinner


Dinner last Friday was at Tita B's house for Rene's advanced Birthday dinner (his birthday is actually 2 weeks from now). Every year, I look forward to this birthday dinner, as it is one of the few times we can sample Tita B's cooking at it's finest. Everything is always perfect when we have dinner in her house..the food, service, wines, company, etc...

For starters, they served us Champagne Billecarte Salmon Brut Réserve NV. As Noel mentioned in his blog, this is becoming also one of my favorite NV bubblies, and locally available so you can pick up bottles of this anytime as needed. After a couple or servings (or more) of bubbly, we proceeded with dinner proper.


For the Amuse, they served: Anchovy on Crouton with Smoked Tomato Sorbet. I had this still with some champagne, and I must say I enjoyed this very much. The saltiness of the anchovy was a good contrast with the sweet yet smoky Tomato Sorbet.


Next, we had: Crab Salad, Tuna Tartare, Avocado Mousse, Caviar. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night (I had double servings of this - and my wife who is pregnant and about to give birth, had also even if she was trying to avoid raw food), so simple but yet so delicious. The Avocado mousse gave this dish the balance it needed, plus the caviar put in that kick in the end. Perfect Dish which we had with 2008 Astrolabe Voyage Pinot Gris, which we already had also in the same house, during the last Ian Padilla dinner.


Next, Sauteed Foie Gras, Tomato Tarte Tatin, Creme Fraiche with Port and Balsamic Reduction. The perfectly seared Foie was just the right size, not heart clogging at all...paired with a 2001 Léon Beyer Gewürztraminer Réserve that Noel brought for Rene, it was a perfect match. Many people love pairing Foie with Sauternes, but personally I just find it too sweet and prefer them for dessert than with Foie.




At this point we were just half way there...but heck who is complaining??..Next, we were served the first of the main courses: Spaghetti, Caramelized Onion, Anchovies, Toasted Garlic breadcrumbs, Poached Egg and Truffle Oil. This was also another one of my favorites (I had 2 servings as normally Tita B always has an extra one or two serving in the kitchen). I loved the crunchiness of the Garlic Breadcrumbs and the Poached Egg..delicious. It's normally very hard to pair wine with dishes that have Egg, but I continued drinking the Pinot Gris with it.


At this point, I was getting really full, but like I said, I was not going to complain about it. The main (and last) dish was served: New York Strip Steak,Seaweed Butter, Saffron Garlic Pilaf. Rene then served the reds for the night: 2004 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and a 2000 Château Smith Haut Lafitte. The Lafitte was decanted for almost 2 hours before serving. I enjoyed both wines with my steak, which was thinly cut, medium cooked steak. The Seaweed butter was a good touch and gave it flavor, while the Saffron Pilaf had a great fragrance to it.


Dessert than was served (I personally liked it) but I just had 2 bites to try it and gave the rest to my wife. I was just too full and could not eat anymore. Dessert was Brown Sugar and Brandy Pear Turnovers, Haagen Dazs Ice Cream, Strawberry and Mango Crunch. This Rene paired with 2007 Astrolabe Experience Noble Riesling. Good choice on wine, which I found very light and slight sweet wine, which did not over power the Dessert, which was already sweet enough.



Coffee followed and a few more drinks (to finish offs the reds left). It was a great night and many thanks to Rene. Happy Birthday and may you have many more to come. Another thank you to Tita B, who prepared this dinner. Everything was perfect as usual..I can never get tired of this kind of food.

8 comments:

Rene said...

Glad you enjoyed...thanks also for the wine...until next year's dinner...

Miguel said...

Yup...can't wait for that one to happen haha...

Chinkee said...

My goodness, the food looked incredible! You and Noel are so lucky...

Noel said...

I must make special mention that when I saw the red beet powder that Tita B dusted on the plate with the steak, I figured she must have bought it on one of her travels - but, no - she made it herself. That really blew me away.

I also mention that the "ice cream salt" she sprinkled lightly on the ice cream truly brought out the latter's flavor all the more.

I mentioned to her that I've tried a few renditions of this salt-flecked ice cream dessert, and hers was the only one I've had that I felt really worked.

N

Miguel said...

Chinks - yes lucky to get invited to this house...love the food there.

Miguel said...

I particularly enjoyed the red beet powder with the meat...fantastic talaga...

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