Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Serious Eating And Drinking

With only a few navigational snags (I can't believe how patient Dave was with "Maggie" and her snippy "recalculating route" nonsense as she tried to take us down a wrong way street and dump us in a reservoir, and then took us across town TWICE during rush hour) we made it back, ditched the rental car, napped, showered and headed out to our Big Dinner at Michelin-starred CincSentits. We walked in and it was then I realized my mistake with 24 hour time. The place was almost empty. Our hostess Amelia Artal (one of the two owners, along with her brother chef Jordi) was super kind and accommodating despite my missing our reservation by TWO HOURS. Duh. The entire meal was perfection--flawless service, expert wine pairings, and the food...oh, the food! They prepare modern Catalunyan cuisine with a perfect balance of local ingredients, molecular gastronomy, and traditional flavors. We opted for the house selected wine pairings which were spot on. Here's my bad handwriting version of the menu. I'm hoping we get an emailed copy soon!

Amuse: the "CS Shot" which was layers of maple and cream in suspension, with little salt crystals at the bottom that hit your tongue last once the shot glass was upended. Shiver...
Aperitif: La Bota Manzanilla
Appetizer: marinated olives with citrus and fennel, crusty bread with olives and fantastic local olive oil and sea salt
Appetizer: (Dave) Foie Gras "coca" with leek confit, burnt-sugar crust, chive "arrope" (Julia) mini "canalons" chicken and black truffle, cèp bechamel, roasted chicken skin
Wines: Christoffel Erber Auslese QBA Mosel/Zarate Albarino
Seafood: diver scallops, sunchoke purée, onion "escalivada" sauce, and "jamón" chip
Seafood: "Pearls" of herring roe over cauliflower puree and white chocolate
Fish: Mediterranean tuna with smoked tomato water, lemon peel confit, black olive salt
Wine: Astrales Ribera del Duero
Meat: Iberian suckling pig sous vide with apple in two textures, "ratafía"
Wine: Enrique Mendoza La Marina DO Alicante (handwriting a little rough here)
Cheese: local, unpronounceable funky blue with truffle honey
Dessert: (see picture above) passionfruit, clementine and orange blossom "air" with cardamom crumble
Wine: Jorge Ordonez Malaga "1"
Dessert: Grand Cru chocolate 67% with olive oil ice cream, shattered bread, macadamia, sea salt
Wine: Mataro Dolce DO Alella (the name is lost forever..)

We were tickled. Thoroughly. We presented the owners with a bottle of Barboursville Octagon 8th as a thank you for such a perfect experience.

Of course, being the TOTAL GLUTTONS that we are, that just got us started for the evening (it was after all only midnight), so we asked the wine steward for a good after dinner drink location. He recommended "Dry Martini" a few blocks up. Talk about a gin joint--old school white-suited bar chefs with homemade bitters and unshakable (har) professionalism. I opted for the classics (different classic martinis with different small batch gins--one Brit London Dry that I LOVED ("Bulldog"), and one from Philly ("Blue Coat"). The former was more citrusy and floral but not delicate, the latter spicier and aromatic but balanced like Plymouth. Dave went all out and got a Singapore sling and something else I lost track of, maybe more Orujo from Pazo de Senorans, since there is a random picture of that in my iPhone...