We had a smashing dinner last night. Started off with a glass of champagne from Flynn Vineyard in Corvalis, Oregon. The appetizer was a terrine of duck foie gras with a curly endive salad. The terrine was served over diced pears in a semmillon sauce and the entire appetizer was drizzeled with a jurancon souce. Shola makes the foie gras himself. His attention to detail and the care with which he selects his supplies is what sets his meals above the competition.
We matched the appetizer with a Snoqualmie Chardonnay from Washington State. For the soup course we drank a 1999 Clos du Bois Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. This soup was called a lemongrass-infused carrot soup. We realized that it was not our father's carrot and we were right. It turns out Shola imports a special type of carrot from the Pacific Northwest. He says it's short and fat, like a turnip. To provide contrast he poured the soup over blue crabmeat and topped it with lemon mosto oil.
The main course was a rack of new Zealand lamb with a parsnip puree, and a peach chutney (which I found a little too sweet)and sprinkled with a basil vinagrette. We chased this down with a Coppola Vin Rouge.
Dessert, a bitter chocolate almond souffle, topped with pistachio buttermilk sauce, was followed by a Rosenblum Cellars 1994 late Harvest Zinfandel.
We will be fighting for weeks over whether the soup or the souffle was the best morsel ever tasted, although both the terrine and the lamb had their partisans.
Shola, as described on this board, was an affable, knowledgable and thoroughly engaging host, and the Studiokitchen itself was extremely attractive and interesting venue. This is a rare treasure and Philadelphians should take advantage of it while it is available. One cannot hope to find this quality at this price anywhere else.
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