Well, that was a great birthday dinner, and one of the most enjoyable meals of my life (due to food, atmosphere, and company). Almost five casual hours in The Dough Room at flour+ water with a dozen friends, eating, drinking wine, and chatting. Amazing food, a classy-yet-casual and not too stuffy setting (white tablecloth… on the butcher block table they prepare pasta on, with a meat slicer, a pig-shaped boom box, and a walk-in refrigerator along the edges of the room), and the buzz of conversation without the noise of a big restaurant in the background. Life is good.
They put together a special eight-course meal for us, incorporating some flavors I like (fennel/anise, citrus, pork, rabbit, mushrooms, peas, pine-y vermouth) and whatever was in season.
Sliced-thin porcini mushrooms, greens/herbs from the rooftop garden, porcini broth:
Veal carpaccio with salt-cured egg yolk:
Carrot-whey-coriander filled pasta. Almost everyone’s favorite dish:
Just a whole lamb, hanging out behind the door (they buy all whole animals and break them down and cook from them):
I don’t even normally like white chocolate, but decided to be open-minded and not ask for a change. It was great. And the crunchy/airy pink wafers of hibiscus made us think of astronaut ice cream. The spruce-y vermouth with dessert was the only specific drink I requested, and is fascinating.
Quite an evening. I’d say “once in a lifetime”, but I hope to do something similar some day… maybe for my next multiple-of-5 birthday.