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(IN) L'Explorateur - ohmygosh


Restaurants & Bars Great Lakes

(IN) L'Explorateur - ohmygosh

Cookiefiend | | Jun 29, 2008 01:13 PM

Once again L'Ex has gone above and beyond.

Mr CF and I had our 7 Course Chef Tasting Menu. We were the winning bid on this for a local fundraiser and we are so glad we won. Chef Neal Brown did an incredible job with our menu and the wine pairings. Everything on the menu was unique and delicious. Neal also took the time to accommodate my food allergy, but still made it appear as if I were having what everyone else had.

Here's the run down, including the wines:

Reception - Lobster, apples, Russian River Blue Cheese. Chunks of Lobster on a toasted baguette with a smear of the blue cheese and an apple slice. Mr CF said that this lobster restored his faith in lobster. I had a morel mushroom in place of the lobster - still delish. Served with 2001 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes - this tastes just like d'Yquem to me!

First - One Solitary Oyster. Everyone seemed to enjoy this... I dunno anything about it. I had something else marvelous - a spot of Traders Point Cottage Cheese with tuna sashimi, a slice of a big white truffle, little bits of egg yolk, all sprinked with a bit of salt. Oh my! This was served with the 1990 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame - a big yeasty champagne.

Mini note here - you've got to try the fried green tomatoes with the tuna and cottage cheese. It sounds dreadful but it's really really good!

Second - Seared Scallop Sashimi with Lobster Sour Crema, Sage and Verbena. Seemed as if everyone also enjoyed this. I had slices of Hamachi on a sour cream sauce with the verbena and what I thought was green fish roe. Whatever it was and at any rate, this was great, I love the Hamchi here. A 2004 Paul Hobbs Richard Dinner Chardonnay was served with this course.

Another mini note - I wish I could describe wine (you're probably thinking "lets start with the food" but anyway) but the best I can do is to say that I liked it - or not - and maybe pull out a flavor note here and there. So thank you for your patience!

Third - Roasted Halibut and Salmon Terrine, with Duck Fat Brandade and piperade. Delicious. The fish were layered one on top of the other - 4 layers in all - and prompted a big discussion on how Neal had done it. He used an enzyme that 'unraveled the proteins and then glued them back together', I said 'Uh huh' and kept eating. A marvelous white Burgundy was served with this, Domaine Bonneau du Martray, 2000 Corton-Charlemagne. An amazing color, and a lovely light wine.

Fourth - Morel Risotto topped with Hoch Ybrig Mountain Cheese. Everyone liked this too, I really liked the mushrooms and the cheese. The wine was fabulous, a 2000 Marcassin Pinot Noir.

Fifth - Weinerschnitzel (!!) with Beets and cherries. This was fabulous. Who knew Neal could do weinerschnitzel? Incredible. The wine made the sauce sing, a 1999 Leroy Volnay. It accented the cherry flavor - more proof that French wines are made to go with food.

Sixth - Colorado Lamb loin on mint mashed potatoes. I love lamb, this was so good and so tender.

We had both of the big reds poured, a 2005 Scarecrow and a 2003 Sassicaia, I tried both with the lamb and I preferred the Scarecrow - this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me - but the Sassicaia was very good too.

Seventh - Confit Chicken Thigh with dates and currents on Lentils with Dijon mustard. There should be a song to sing for this one - well confit in general - this was so good. There was a fabulous spice in the dish, one of our guests is a chef and his wife picked it out, it was orange water. I also preferred the Scarecrow with this dish, surprise!

By this time I'm starting to feel the effects of both wine and food... I soldiered on though.

Eighth (and last) - A slice of seared Foie Gras with Peach ice cream. 1990 Chateau d'Yquem. 'Nuff said.

Mr CF and I waddled home, stuffed to the gills and totally happy.

Thank you Chef Brown, Mike, Brian and Mitchell, and to everyone in the kitchen. Thank you to the fine fine wine Dr, and Thank you to the Local Fund Raiser Event.


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