This is a bit late as I was off last week for vacation and avoided the computer as much as possible, however a good friend and I had a lovely evening at Perigee on August 18th.
To start, we had walked around the distillery district for a while and made a stop at Soma for some Mayan Hot Chocolate and picked up some of their heavenly truffles...by all means try their 12-year old balsamic vinegar truffle - they are fantastic and the hot chocolate is incredible...
As our reservation was early (6pm), we were promptly seated at the central table, facing the kitchen and we watched the chef and rest of the staff finish their prep...
We ordered sparkling water to drink and I had one of their signature cocktails which included mango juice, coconut rum and mint liqueur, my guest had a glass of pinot grigio (2003). After discussing any dietary restrictions (I'm allergic to raw tomatoes) and dislikes, we both ordered the 6 course meal. Our drinks were brought along with an amuse bouche.
The amuse bouche consisted of a calamari tart (tiny and perfectly cooked), deep fried mozzarella tortellini (crisp coating with an al dente bite), a crab taco with avocado (too rich for my liking) and a wild mushroom strudel (flaky phyllo with woodsy mushrooms - very nice).
After the amuse we were given a plate of breads and spreads, including a lavash flatbread, sourdough and the tiniest rosemary panini (paninini?) I've ever seen. The spreads included a truffle white bean puree (kind of gritty texture with strong truffle flavour), a peppery olive oil and fresh churned butter (pure heaven).
After swooning over the fresh butter, our first course arrived, as you know, no one at the table gets the same item. My guest received tuna two ways - one as a tartare (sweet and delicate) and one cooked in a radicchio slaw. I was served striped bass with pears and radishes. The bass was buttery and delicate with a crisp seared side, very nice indeed.
For the second course, my guest received a grilled lobster tail served on a wild mushroom tart. This was a fantastic tasting item and the smoky flavour blended well with the woodsy mushrooms. I received two seared diver scallops with carrot ginger puree, sugar peas and an onion ring. The scallops were perfectly cooked (almost raw inside) and the carrot ginger puree was sweet and smooth.
For the third course, my guest was served sweetbreads poached in cabernet grape and raisin sauce served over a beet salad. I'm not usually a big fan of sweetbreads, but these were good, however they paled in comparison to the dish I got: peach cobbler served with seared foie gras. The foie gras was crisply seared on the outside and just melting inside. The combination of the foie and the sweet peach cobbler had my guest moaning with delight.
The chef, noting our enjoyment of some of the "nasty bits" came by with an interlude for us to try: foie gras mousse cheesecake featuring a foie grais mousse over foie gras pate in a parmesean crust made with melted foie gras instead of butter. This incredibly rich item would have been over the top (and quite possibly indeed made us sick from the richness) if it weren't served with a sour cherry compote and a pink grapefruit salsa. Beautiful and we both asked for a cake to take home...
We were then thankfully served a palate cleanser of a lychee sorbet (my guest) and a lemon sorbet (myself) both were astringent and refreshing.
The main course was served next, with my guest getting a smoked bison tenderloin served with vegetable ratatouille and roasted red pearl onions. The chef delivered my meal with a michievous gleam in his eye. I was served what was probably the best damn deli-style roast beef sandwich EVER. It consisted of rye crisps fried in duck fat with rare venison tenderloin, cabbage dill slaw with cornichons and dijon mustard sauce. This item was the standout of the meal and the flavours paired nicely.
For the cheese course, my guest was served a belgian hard cows milk cheese (sorry I forget the name) with an olive crisp and radicchio salad, I was served a blue cheese with white peaches and walnut oil. Both cheeses were strong and earthy and complimented their garnishes well.
We were then given a "pre-dessert" to ease our way from savoury to sweet. My guest was given a tiny scoop of sweet corn sorbet served on crisp corn bread and cilantro oil. I was served a banana fritter with chocolate ganache and yuzu juice. The combination of the rich chocolate and sour yuzu juice was fantastic!
For dessert, my guest received a hot chocolate custard with marshmallow whipped cream and sour cherry coulis. I received a lemon citrus napoleon with lemon poppyseed melba toast and wild blueberries. I love citrus and blueberries and enjoyed every morsel of this dish. The chocolate custard was not overly rich or sweet and was a nice combination of flavours.
When the bill was presented, we were given a dish which had a homemade marshmallow (tiny, perfect and delicate), a piece of candied ginger and a lemon biscuit.
Throughout the evening, the servers were attentive without being intrusive and took care of our every needs. The chefs were pleasant and detailed in their descriptions and made the evening a very enjoyable experience. Both of us agreed that we would go back to Perigee for a special meal in an instant!
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