Last night was (maybe) the final 5X5 dinner of the year and the 6 chefs put on an impressive showing. The service was extremely slow, but the food was phenomenal.
The dishes were as follows:
1) Gino Angelini - Scrambled egg with summer truffle, artichoke in casserole & octopus with fava bean puree and squid ink gelatin.
This was a great start to the meal. The artichoke was sweet, the octopus was tender and the scrambled egg with truffles was amazing. The egg and truffle blended perfectly and this was honestly one of my favorite offerings of the night.
2) Walter Manzke - Hamachi crudo, heirloom tomato sorbetto, celery and blood orange oil.
This was another great dish. It was a light, summery salad and the really made the taste buds jump. The dressing was delicious and the fish was amazingly fresh. The contrast of flavors and textures was really impressive.
3) Alain Giraud - Roasted scallops, montbazillac and pistachio emulsion.
This was a very tasty dish. The scallops were perfectly seared and the dish was delicious. The only critique of this dish would be the fact that there really was no pistachio flavor.
4) David LeFevre - Sweet corn agnolotti, cockles, guanciale, rosemary and matsutake mushrooms.
Another great dish. The guanciale was amazing. It just melted in your mouth. the sweet corn agnolotti were so tasty and sweet and the dish was a great balance of flavors.
5) Michael Cimarusti - Wood grilled hawaiian big eye tuna, fresh cranberry beans, squid, basil and munak ranch tomatoes.
Although this was a great dish and Cimarusti is one of my favorite chef's, I thought the prior courses were more exciting and almost felt as though Michael was playing it safe with this dish. Having said that it was very tasty and I would order it again.
6) Josiah Citrin - Lamb loin & shank, eggplant-potato parmesan, lamb jus.
The lamb shank was amazing. It had amazing texture and taste. The lamb loin was average and the eggplant-potato parmesan was just ok. this was probably my least favorite dish (other than dessert...see below)
7) Gino Angelini - Baba with rum and strawberries.
This course was pretty dissapointing. I thought that it was not up to par with the other dishes and it was unfortunate because you leave the meal thinking about the last thing you ate. It felt like the dessert was an afterthought that was slapped together at the last moment. This was my least favorite part of the meal.
I recently read that althouth its been reported that this was the final 5X5 of the year, that there will actually be another one. Hopefully they can get the service to match the food.
In conclusion, food-wise, this was an amazing meal. Probably only second to my dinner at Urasawa.