Last night, I had a truly remarkable experience: one of my friends took us to the restaurant where he recently started as the pastry chef (Genoa, on Portland's SE Belmont St). It's the first time I have ever enjoyed a multi-course, prix fixe dinner, and we spent *4* hours working our way through the magnificent experience. Each course was a jewel of flavor and visual appeal. It was lovely.
Today, my stomach is in rebellion, since we enjoyed the cheese course heartily--and then the guys in the kitchen brought out dessert. All the desserts, just for fun. It was the first time Daniel (the pastry chef) had gotten to see his work in action, and he was just so very happy. We had to try all seven of them, and then nibble on our favorites. Which was probably a little too much dessert, but what the heck! After a couple glasses of wine and some port, what's a little too much dessert?
The best thing was seeing this incredible staff working together with such enjoyment and respect. Since we were with Daniel, we got to meet everybody, and they were all really nice guys, and all very proud of their work. It just made me smile.
What was the best? Hmmn. . . the melon & mint sorbet amuse bouche was perfection, the carrot soup with cumin and creme fraiche was stellar, the morel mushroom risotto took speech away (and the fennel salad garnish with that dish was particularly breath-taking), but the clear winners were the carmelized onion and gorgonzola ravioli (WOW!) and the basil and black pepper tartoufe. (Daniel helped make both of those dishes.) Wow. Wow. Wow!