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The Fighter: Raw Course
Chiogga Beet Tartar, Caviar Moussaline, Mustard Vinaigrette, Sunchoke Chips
The dish we paired with The Fighter was meant to be raw and bloody ~ though the ‘blood’ came from a vibrant beet tartar whose magnificent color was spiked with a bit of vinegar. It was topped with a moussaline of whipped crème fraîche, a dollop of caviar, and a wreath of baby sunchoke chips. Texturally, while the beets and sunchoke chips initially tasted very different, the earthy flavor profiles of both root vegetables played in concert when paired with the creamy moussaline and salty caviar.
Black Swan: Salad Course Butter Lettuce Salad, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon, Virgin Olive Oil, Radish
The idea behind serving a spare green salad to honor a movie about starving ballerinas started as a joke. Then Chef saw Black Swan and was actually incredible moved by Natalie Portman’s beauty and elegance. With it’s ruffle of butter lettuce, sharp crimson edge of radish, and delicate segments of ruby red grapefruit, the salad, finished with champagne vinaigrette and a shower of flowering rapini, was indeed a visual ballet of color and form. Delicious as well.
True Grit: Fire Course Veal Chop, Boulangère Potatoes, Golden Chanterelle Mushroom, Pickled Pearl Onion
Back in the day, when people still cooked on the hearth, small town bakeries were often used by villagers to cook their evening meal in the still warm wood fired ovens once the bread run was finished. There wasn’t a lot of heat left and space was always at a premium ~ but I’m guessing some wonderful rustic recipes came out of this unique and very communal way of cooking. The story behind Boulangère potatoes was simple: meats were put on the top shelf with sliced potatoes beneath them, the better to catch the delicious meat drippings.
Ryan’s homage to the dish couldn’t involve a bread oven. But if you took your eyes away from the screen on Oscar night and closed them, it was easy to taste the inspiration. His savory layer cake of thinly shaved potatoes was saturated in dark stock that dripped down flavoring the potatoes during the baking process. Served alongside big juicy veal chops from milk and grass-fed free range calves, this was haute campfire with True Grit. The veal was sourced from Sonoma Direct, where Ritz Guggiana and his cookbook-writing daughter Marissa (Primal Cuts) find some of the most delicious ethically sustainable animals in the county.
Toy Story 3: Sweet Course 3 flavors of Bon Bons
Opps. While the Journal’s photographer clearly remembers devouring the Toy Story 3 Bon Bon course just as Best Picture was announced, images of it clearly did not make it into the camera. The plate was a riot of color ~ with sprinkles, roasted coconut and almond flakes covering dark, milk and white chocolate Bon Bons filled with passion fruit, vanilla and crème fraîche ice cream. The good news is that the Bon Bons above are equally delicious and better yet, available often on our regular dessert menu.