A group of 8 of us had dinner at Via Matta. A friend had booked us the table in the kitchen, where we had the chef's tasting menu: 7 courses, with 2 to 3 dishes per course that we shared family style. On top of that, we had 4 wines.
Highlights of the evening:
* Amazing to sit in the kitchen. Chef Luis stopped by and we were allowed to walk around and visit the stations. Granted, it was a Mon night and so the cooks had time to gab. Amazing stuff. Very serene and business-like. Nothing like the scenes you read about in Kitchen Confidential
* Dishes. I'm sad to say that I cannot remember all of the dishes. Here are the highlights. Bruschetta: grilled bread with a touch of smoke. The eggplant appetizer: very lightly fried pieces of crunchy eggplant. The signature dish of spaghetti, olive oil and tomatoes: very simple, but exploding with flavors. Fish: two separate dishes of sturgeon (very firm and sweet) and halibut baked in parchment paper along with various spices, lentils, etc. Shrimp with beans: tender and sweet shrimp. Cheese course: sublime, directly air-flown from Italy. Deserts: all deserts
Wow! Best of all? A friend paid.... :)