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Around the world in 20 plates

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Verses restaurant decided to try something new: An evening of 20 (twenty) tasting plates. We decided we would go.

The evening began on their patio with prosecco. The first course was served out there, of a single raw oyster topped with jellied Bloody Mary mix. Very nice.

Bubbly on the patio

We then headed inside, where everyone was seated. They explained that:

a) It was sold out, plus had a 45-person waiting list

b) It wasn’t feasible to wine match 20 different small plates, so they would be offering one Chilean Pinot Noir and one Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, for which we could request refills as we chose

c) They had no idea how long this would all take. (We started at 6:0o pm.)

There was a printed menu giving the essence of what was to come, and Jean was pretty excited about the next item: Foie gras. We predicted it would be cold rather than seared.

That proved correct, but it was still amazing. Among the best we’ve had of that style. It was served with figs and jellied ice wine, and topped with fleur de sel.

Foie gras with figs

Halibut was up next, proving that fresh really matters when it comes to fish. This was on forbidden rice with red pepper coulis.

Halibut with rice

Then, tiny pizza, served with a bitty pizza paddle.

This had a sweet taste, thanks to tomato marmalade, and was topped with smoked gouda. Likely my first Verses pizza–very nice.

Tiny pizza

The single seared jumbo shrimp on sugar cane was just fabulous.

Shrimp on sugar cane

We were pretty curious what the “cotton candy” would be. Well, it turned out to be cotton candy. Like, on a stick. Only it was lime and chili flavored. Spicy! Really spicy! But couldn’t stop eating it anyway. (The one cone was for the table, not one per person.)

KF commented it was the first time she’d ever had cotton candy at a restaurant.

Lime and chili cotton candy

For an infusion of veg, we next got an edamame shooter. There were whole edamame included. Love that veg. (Artistic shot of it follows.)

Edamame shooter

We discussed risotto, the next course, which I don’t make because it seems too labor-intensive. KF says it turns out fine sans constant stirring.

I don’t know if this one was constantly stirred or not, but it did have great texture, and the wild mushrooms tasted amazing.

Wild mushroom risotto

Verses always does a great job with scallops, and this evening’s was no exception. But the photographic proof didn’t turn out that well, so you just have to picture that course in your mind.

… And also the next one, the delectable “almond and bacon crusted suckling pork Sammie”, or what non-foodies might pulled pork. It was like a little pork sandwich, with bacon, and was just delicious.

But we did manage a shot of the escargot with squid ink pasta. With the color, squid ink pasta always looks so weird. But it was really good.

Escargot and squid ink pasta

Time for more veg! Now it was beet, carrot, and ginger sorbets. Carrot was the best, beet was good as long as you like beets, and ginger really woke up the palette. (Also, Jean was a little drunk at this point, as reflected in the picture focus.)

Beet, carrot, ginger sorbet

We had really been intrigued by the listing Waygu tartare. What the heck was a Waygu? I was guessing some sort of fish. I was wrong. Turns out that’s like Kobe beef, only not from the Kobe region, so they can’t call it that.

So right, this was raw beef. A first for… All of us, I think. We all tried it. It was OK. I don’t think any of us need to have it again, though. (The quail egg was really good. Also, not raw.)

Waygu tartare and quail egg

Hence was beginning another round of protein / meat items before dessert and we were starting to feel a little… full. Interestingly, Jean was proving to be the real lightweight at this point. We thought we might lose him.

But, onward. Next up was squab on potato. (Squab, of course, is the foodie word for pigeon.) Very good.

Squab on potato

Beet and goat cheese featured caramelized goat cheese over red beets, with yellow beets surrounding. Yummy.

Beet and goat cheese

The duck confit turned out to be served spring roll. I adore duck confit (and generally like spring rolls, for that matter), but didn’t find the texture of mine quite right. Or maybe I was just too full of food.

Duck confit spring roll

The last of the savory courses was bison with green beans. The bison (which tastes somewhat beefy) was nice; the green beans were delicious. There were also cherries involved.

Bison with cherries and beans

The first dessert combined sheep’s milk, rose water, and mead noir pearls. Odd, huh? It was very light, though, which welcome, and really good! Would prove to be the favorite dessert. It seemed to revive Jean, who managed to finish this, when he hadn’t been doing so well with previous courses.

Unusual dessert

Then we got blue cheese ice cream, which tasted a lot like a mild blue cheese. Wasn’t to KF’s taste, but Jean loved it and I liked it. It was surrounded by delicious little meringues and, I think,some form of beets again.

Blue cheese ice cream

And finally… Chocolate palette with banana cream on top. Also a lighter-style, and quite good.

Chocolate and banana

The cooking staff came out at the end, and were given a standing ovation.

Standing ovation at Verses

The whole thing was $140 per person, including wine, tax, and tips.

It was a bit difficult sleep right after, as we didn’t get home until about midnight. So feeling a bit tired today, but not so bad. Didn’t have a very big breakfast, though!

Full gallery here: http://jean-cathy.smugmug.com/Food/Around-the-World-in-20-Plates (Jean’s comments are amusing)

One thought on “Around the world in 20 plates

  1. You are invited to submit an article on the topic “Continental Food”
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