Monday, June 1, 2009

The Dining Alternative

Two Saturday's ago we had the pleasure of dining at the home of Chef Peter Ungár with Richard from The Passionate Foodie and his wife. Several wine and food lovers were also in attendance including Dale Cruse, Mary Reilly, Keri of The Wine Bottega, and Jacqueline Church.

The food was absolutely stunning with more courses than you could shake a fork at. Chef Ungár presented every dish and how it was prepared in detail. Among the most unusual concoctions: A watermelon oyster gelee which served as the base for a blue point oyster topped with salmon roe; the white anchovy tempura on a tiny roasted shallot boat; and a tomato sorbet with aged balsamic and basil oil. (photo courtesy of The Dining Alternative)

It's hard to pick a favorite course because everything was so good, but I probably most enjoyed the way the kobe beef ball crunched like a cadbury mini egg (Thanks Keri for that analogy). I also particularly enjoyed the walnut mustard. If I did have to pick a favorite, it would be the braised bison shortrib with white peach compote. Oh, I almost forgot the amazing trumpet royale mushrooms in the seared tuna dish--they were an epiphany.

Sommelier Scott Weinstein, brought some killer wines to pair with our meal. Top picks for me were the Martinsancho Verdejo 2004 which had a certain understated quaffability combined with a Masamoto finish; the Wakatake "Demon Slayer" Daiginjo sake for the seared tuna and green tea soba noodles, which could only be described as a digital liquid chocolate-dipped banana; and finally the heady South African Sequillo Red 2003 of which Scott brought his last two bottles. What a guy. That was some kind of sacrifice I can assure you.

The whole evening was a treat and Taster A and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We both commented afterward that we felt like we were on an episode of Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie. It just felt like the kind of avant-garde scene they would feature. I think this may actually be the start of a new movement of gourmet in-home dining. Hey, Chef Ungár, when is Gourmet mag showing up? ;)

Being hep to the multi-media social 2.0 scene, The good people at The Dining Alternative put together this little vid showcasing the entire evening's menu. Take a peek, but try not to drool!