||[Aug. 19th, 2007|09:04 pm]
The Furry Cooks
This was a restaurant review posted to my journal, and a call for ideas on some of the dishes, like the dessert! :D|
"As promised. So we piled around a table at the Upperline for a 6:30 reservation and started with drinks. I had a glass of sauvignon blanc which was a pretty good sipping wine and we perused the menu. As I'd said, it's "Garlic Fest," so I wanted to sample the garlicky offerings, though my beloved veal grillades with cheese grits were on the regular menu. But I stuck to the garlic prix fixe menu.
I started off with a gazpacho with lump crabmeat and garlic crisps. The soup itself was ice cold and spicy, with wonderful chunks of crab. Not little stringy shit - big pieces of sweet crab meat. And crispy garlic toast. It was a promising appetizer, and it also came garnished with guacamole. Not the processed stuff that's not even made from avocados. This had pieces of avocado in it, too. Mmmm... we're on a roll.
This being upscale dining, there's another drink course before the entrees, but this time we have a Napa Valley pinot grigio. I like pinot grigios, and this is a good example of an inexpensive one - not anything you'd have to mortgage your house for, but very good nonetheless. So as we swill, we get the entrees.
Three of us ordered a petit filet with stilton and balsamic mushrooms, but two (not me) elected not to have the stilton. They secretly went to the waiter and asked that I get the extra stilton, so I was in cheese heaven. The mashed potatoes soaked up the extra balsamic, melted stilton, and garlic sauce like a tasty sponge. The steak was so tender it would fall apart if you looked at it harshly. They seared the steak, then added a layer of cheese, then the freshly-cooked mushrooms to melt the stilton.
Finally, the Pièce de résistance - dessert. And the most exotic dish of all.
Honey-poached garlic ice cream sundae.
It was heaven. The vanilla bean ice cream and honey offset the cooked garlic, which was sweet, but still had a bit of a garlicky edge. It balanced nicely and made for an unusual but damn tasty dessert. I don't know how they did it, but I'll put my covert operatives on it. There weren't chunks of garlic - I think they blended mashed roasted garlic into the honey and maybe thinned it with some sweet wine before pouring it over the ice cream. I had this with a glass of tawny port and was well content. The staff even came out and sang "Happy Birthday" for me, so I was a very happy Raven.
But now - roasted garlic. I own a terra cotta roaster specifically for roasting heads of garlic. I can do four at a time. But since you may not have one, try this. Trim the tops off of heads of garlic - allow one per person. The idea is to expose each clove. Just cut the top right off. Put each trimmed head in a purse of aluminum foil, making sure the sides are bent upwards and they can't leak. Drizzle olive oil over the heads and sprinkle with salt, and a mixture of white and black ground pepper. Seal the foil purses and place in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove, drain, and pour the hot oil back over the heads. Reseal and return to the oven for 30 - 45 minutes. Allow to cool and serve with good French bread or crackers."
What do you think about poaching garlic? I know when you cook it hard it grows sweet, but this was an amzing treat.