Restaurants & Bars 1

NYE at Spring

wizzy | Jan 7, 2006 10:48 AM

My wife and I decided to go out for a very nice dinner rather than finding a party to go to. We'd been to Spring once before and really enjoyed it, so it was our first choice. Like most restaurants, Spring required a credit card authorization when making the NYE reservation, and allowed a grace period up until 3 days prior to cancel with no fee.

We decided to go for a 9:30 seating, as we wanted this to be our NYE celebration, figuring that 2.5 hours would give us enough time to be finishing up dinner shortly before midnight, just in time for the champagne toast.

We arrived about 9:25, and were almost immediately seated. One of our favorite things about Spring is that while the dining room was full, the tables aren't on top of one another, allowing for private conversation.

We didn't know the menu going in, just that it was a 6-7 course set menu($125/person, including champagne toast and jazz trio playing in the bar area), with an optional wine pairing($45/person).

Course 1: Dungeness crab cake and cucumber creme fraiche (2000 Cava Rose Gran Cuvee, Gramona, Penedes, Spain). This came server on a large soup spoon. I was a little disappointed that the amuse was also one of the courses, but quickly got over it. Very tasty.

Course 2: Bluefin Tuna Tataki w/ toasted sesame oil, marinated heart of palm (2003 Gewurztraminer Spatlese, Fitz-Ritter, Pfalz, Germany). One of the best pieces of tuna I've ever had. Lightly seared and so delicious.

Course 3: Butternut Squash and Lobster Soup w/ Fuji apples and winter truffle (2000 "Engelgarten" (Riesling/Pinot Gris), Deiss, Alsace, France). Without a doubt, my favorite course. I hung my head over the bowl and inhaled the truffle smell for a moment before devouring the bowl. We overheard another table ask if they could skip the rest of the courses, and just keep receiving bowls of this soup.

Course 4: Roasted Turbot w/ braised escargots, artichokes, caper vinaigrette (2004 Saint-Veran, Domaine de Vignemont, Burgundy, France). Our least favorite dish. While not listed as an ingredient, peppers overwhelmed the dish. My wife wasn't able to finish the course.

Course 5: Maine sea scallops and short rib dumplings w/ black trumpet mushrooms, sunchoke puree (1998 Chateau Jura-Plaisance, Montagne St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France). Two pieces of each atop a mound of mushrooms. My wife's favorite (she's a scallop fantatic), my third (behind the soup and the tuna).

Course 6: Baked Alaska w/ lavender-candied kumquat ice cream, espresso-chocolate wontons (2004 Saracco, Moscato D'Asti, Piedmonte, Italy). Yummy! We didn't really taste the lavender-candied piece, but the wontons were crispy shells with a thicker-than-molten chocolate sauce inside. We only wished that it hadn't had the espresso flavor, as neither of us are coffee drinkers.

Course 7(?) Lime-tea cookies/mocha brownies. They brought a little plate of these out after dessert and before the bill. I think the intention was that we had something else to much on while waiting for midnight.

Midnight: Shortly before midnight, they brought out bags of noisemakers to each table, and a 1/2 bottle of Joseph Perrier champagne. Actually, the noisemakers came about about 11:30 and were immediately broken in to.

Service: Excellent overall, although we felt rushed at the beginning of the night. We finished our dessert around 11:25, which left us with 35 minutes before midnight. They could have spaced things out a little more. We were one of the first tables being served with each course, so that undoubtedly had something to do with it.

Overall, we highly enjoyed the experience. It was the most expensive dinner the two of us had ever had, but well worth it.


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