Had to post after a wonderful dinner at James last week (Tuesday). Yes, I have always enjoyed my meals at James but I feel compelled to post because if you have never been you really need to consider going before they close (June).
For appetizers I had the slow roasted beets, foie gras shortbread, grapefruit and leek vinegarette. It was sublime. The baby beets were whole, roasted perfectly and stood around the square of foie gras shortbread - soft and silken - like chess pieces, the richness of the foie gras perfectly accentuated by the slight tang of the grapefruit - leek vinegarette. Chowspouse had the cauliflower in textures with bread rillette and slow cooked egg. Strange order for the more carniverous of the two of us but again cauliflower prepared four ways; fried, pureed oh I cant remember how else, each different each wonderful.
For a pasta course we had the stinging nettle tortelli with spicy chic peas and bagna cauda. I have been trying to get the C-S to eat things with whole chic peas and she often just says "oh. that recipe isnt doing it for me" after this meal I will be using some chic peas! The nettles were nicely seasoned and not overly cooked in their little delicate pasta pouches and the chic peas - crisp from their spin in thebagna cauda were a perfect balance to the smooth texture of the nettles.
For our mains I had miso marinated veal loin (local, humane) with tarbais bean puree, morels and local baby fennel. Spring on a plate! Tender veal, full of flavor, not milky white beautifully accented by the morels and fennel. C-S had the suckling pig roasted in milk, artichokes braised and raw with bearnaise essence and pea tendrils - I'd like to tell you about this dish but I didnt get any - even though we brought home leftovers. Best I can do is share "oh, oh, oh my god this is so good...uuummmm" .
The line on James is that it is expensive - those five dishes cost $107 and were, IMHO worth every penny. We took home leftovers of both mains that were enough to be the centerpiece of a dinner at home. I wont go in to what our total was with wine because we were walking home and took full advantage of that. I will say the cava cocktails are amaxingly good.
So just a thought - consider going to James before Jim Burke stops doing "fine dining" he is truly (IMHO) one of the best chefs in the city. After this meal (well, the next day, see above re: wine) we were discussing Jim vs Marc Vetri and honestly I think Marc Vetri is truly the best chef in the city and beyond but Marc relies alot on tradition and Jim Burke on innovation and creative combinations. I hope Jim and Kristina surface nearby so I can continue to enjoy his meals.
They do offer a chef's tasting menu thuesday thru Thursday (call to reserve) and Sunday Supper - different each week for $40 per person.
no I am not related, but seriously don't miss this guy doing what he does best.