tonite we went to cafe zuzu at the valley ho hotel for one of their monday nite chef's table dinners. i guess they have been doing them for about at year, i think, but it was our first trip.
its a gorgeous midcentury hotel, and completed their renovations last year. i'd been to the bar before for drinks, but hadn't yet eaten there.
i have heard that the menu is usually geared towards comfort food, but not for the dinners..we arrived, were seated immediately, and were greeted by the chef, chuck wiley, as soon as our first course was served. this menu was essentially 'duncan farms presents' and focused on their amazing organic produce. the course was more of an amuse bouche. it was house smoked salmon on radish with green apple. the sweetness and tart of the apple stood up to the radishes, one was purple and one was a watermelon radish..it was GOOOOOOD. the wine pairing for this course was the rosenblum 'kathy's cuvee' voignier, 2005. i have to admit, i usually run from the white, but this was great. i'd buy this and store at home.
the second course was the whole reason i went : roasted beet salad with humboldt fog cheese with a sherry honey reduction. not what i expected, but delicious. i could eat the cheese with a fork. good thing, because it was served as a wedge. the beets i were simply prepared, and were served whole. again, a deconstructed salad, which wasn't what i was expecting. but i loved it. i could eat beets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. this was paired with a 1998 moet & chandon millesime brut. perfect match! i love the bubbly, and this was great.
then, herb roasted beef tenderloin with ruby red chard, young carrots, red wine sauce. the tenderloin was fantastic, my chard was cooked perfectly, a suprise potato puree was a good foil to the sauce. i could have licked the plate. ;) this was served with dynamite cabernet sauvignon, north coast 2003. the chef came by after dessert and said he knew the pairing was obvious, but he thought it worked. so did we ;)
the last course lost me ;) hollad rhubarb struedel with rum glaze and chocolate ice cream. it was in a puffed pastry, so i didn't get the streudel part. and altho the chocolate ice cream was great, i didn't think it went with the rhubarb. the rhubarb was just as tart as i remember, and was good...but with chocolate? i dunno. however, the graham's 'six grapes' reserve porto was a great finish.
the service was great. the chef talked to us twice, the guy from duncan farms talked to us about the produce, and it was only 42.50 *tax and tip not included*. i thought the price was more than fair, and the food was good!!
there are some interesting chef's tables coming up - feb 5th is an oyster bar, and feb 26th is winter truffles...oh yeah!!!
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