Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Our first year together

I can't believe it's been a year since that most special day that Deb and I were married. In that year we've moved house, moved to another country, and moved again. To celebrate we booked a table for two at a modern french restaurant called Tocqueville on the recommendation of the concierge at our apartment. Walking in, we were sweetly greeted with a "happy anniversary!" by the lady that showed us to our table. It was a cozy little restaurant, dimly lit and with decor that was very stylish, with what looked to be upper level seating too, but it was a sunday night so it was quiet. If you followed that link, we were off to the right in the curve of a small J shaped booth.

All the menu items were very enticing, and there were at least 3 or 4 appetisers and entrees each that we wanted to try, eventually after much discussion we made up our minds and ordered.

Meyer lemon marinated tartare and sashimi of japanese red snapper, with green apple, hearts of palm, american sturgeon caviar, chamomile and meyer lemon soy broth

As the waiter had asked us whether or not we were sharing, they very kindly split each dish for us to save us fighting over our share of the plate. The tartare was delicious, and the caviar was decadent indeed. The lemon dressing was a little too sour for my taste, however the apple's tartness was softer so it was a refreshing complement.

Seared diver sea scallops with foie gras, with wild mushrooms, braised artichoke and cider vinegar gastrique

Deb chose the scallops with foie gras. The scallops were expertly cooked, seared for a crispy crunch on the surface, but the inside so tender and melty, with no fishiness. To describe the foie gras as melty on the other hand would be an understatement. They were like the piece of pork fat on some delicious BBQ Pork that you know you shouldn't eat, but did anyway, and felt so guilty about afterwards, but without regret.

Dry-aged prime sirloin of beef and braised beef cheek duo with confit potatos, roasted royale trumpet mushroom, steamed spinach puree and red wine jus

My steak on the other hand was a bit more of a mixed experience. Don't get me wrong, it was good. But the few preceding steaks I had were heavily seasoned, although well cooked. So I wasn't expecting something that was just well-cooked. This was the good part though, as that is always how I've enjoyed my steaks, I prefer the flavour of the meat to shine instead of all the seasoning. The beef cheek on the other hand was a return to American form being overly seasoned, although once again, cooked very well, with the meat just melting in your mouth. The confit potatos were much more lightly flavoured, matched well with the roasted musrhoom that was juicy and crisp, they were a good companion to the much stronger flavours of the beef.

After a meal like that we could just squeeze in dessert. We made our order and waited patiently. Then came a surprise,

 Complements of the Chef, Dark Chocolate Bon Bon

We thought this was very, well, thoughtful. A very simple touch on their behalf easily helping to make it a special night. It was a rich mud cake with a crispy almost wafer like base, paired with an espresso ice cream. A mouthful of both together made it one of those desserts that you wish would never run out.

Now, not so sure if we can fit in all the dessert...

Then came the blood orange, with "why didn't I think of that" cheesecake, which was what we ordered. The cheesecake was fluffy and sweet, but living in Manhattan we are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to cheesecake, so it was hard for it to stand out. The blood orange sorbet seems impossible to mess up. If the place wasn't so decorous we could have easily found ourselves banging the tables with knife and spoon for more. We were also surprised with another complement of petit fours for our enjoyment, unfortunately we weren't paying too much attention as to what was on the plate. We were still in awe of all the rest of the dessert. If I'm not mistaken they were a madeleine-like short bread, hazelnut fudge dark chocolate-thing, a chocolate crackle, and a green, sweet, citrussy- "I don't know exactly what flavor that is"- macaroon. As you can see it was hard to take it all in, as we were already so spoiled with dessert.

And with that came the end of the meal, here's to another year filled with ups and downs, the ride of our lives.

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