I’m actually puttering away on a serious, wordy post that many of you won’t read (because wordy and serious), but in the meantime… We ate fancy food! And I have pictures!
(To complete the shallow-ness, I also got my hair done and bought an adorable new dress. Hair featured in the photos; dress is not.)
There was no “occasion” for it, but a friend of mine organized a “Chef’s Table” night at Verses, and we were among the invitees. This is when you get the restaurant sous chef to prepare a six-course menu surprise just for you, optionally with matching wines. It ain’t cheap, but it is a nice experience.
The amuse was a seared scallop topped with pepper and a side coulis of what looks like corn and red pepper, perhaps? (I’m afraid I didn’t take notes.) They always do well with scallops.
Next up was our first wine, a glass of Sauternes, which kind of gave away what the next course would be: Seared foie gras on toast served with hollandaise sauce, quail egg, and orange. (Hey, I remembered that one not bad.) Both newcomers to and veterans of this item were happy with the very rich take on it.
A dry California rosé followed. It tasted somewhat like a Tavel, and led to a discussion of how we’d probably be getting something light next.
This turned out to frog legs and escargot, with bacon, tomato, and… Well, whatever that green sauce in the picture is (peas, maybe?). Frogs are actually one of those animals I prefer not to eat, as they are a species at risk. But I didn’t think to mention that in advance, so didn’t kick up a fuss. These ones, as they say, taste rather like chicken. And it was nice to get plainer escargot, instead of the usual cheese and garlic-soaked ones. And a touch of bacon is always appreciated.
Next up was a French Gewurtz, slightly off-dry. That made us guess we’d be getting something spicy or Asian. But it was neither, really, but rather a local delicacy: Lake Erie pickerel with delicious beets on—I think that was rice? And greens atop (as you can see for yourself).
The Pinot Noir that came out next had most of us, me included, raving. One person, though, traded it in for something else. I guess it’s fair to say it was a distinctive wine?
The dish with that was rabbit three ways: a small rack of rabbit, something else, and tiny rabbit kidneys. Those were amongst mushrooms, and were actually just fine. We got other rabbit food with it, too: carrots and greens.
Thanks to a photo (not included here), I can be more definitive that our main course wine was California Redemption Zin Zinfandel. It accompanied a meat none of us had ever had before: Camel. From Australia. Served on lentils with pomegranate and… possibly Jerusalem artichoke.
Camel does not taste like chicken. It does not really taste like beef, either. It has something of a spicy quality to it. Tastes like itself, I guess. Really not bad…
The dessert wine caused some squeals of excitement (you know how Jean is—kidding!) as it was a sparkling sweet Italian Moscato D’Asti. Don’t know that I’d had that before, but it is quite nice.
Dessert itself was something of a work of art, a deconstructed apple crumble with sorbet, ice cream, cookie, cranberry, tapioca pearls (I think?), melon, edible flowers… As lovely to look at as to eat.
The portions and pacing made it such that while I was most definitely not hungry by the end, I didn’t feel uncomfortably stuffed, either. We concluded the meal variously with tea, decaf, and port (not for us, though). Cheers!