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Rockenwagner Special Wednesday Night Tasting Menu

Jeff Falls | Sep 5, 2002 01:56 AM

We hadn't been to Rockenwagner in a while...

Wednesday night, 8:00 p.m., less than half full. We were all set to order when our waitress informed us that they now have a special thing on Wednesdays where you can order anything on the menu for $8.00, as long as you order at least three and they will bring you out a tasting-sized portion. We decided to go for it.

My wife had a Maryland crab salad, then a diver's scallop with diao mieu and shiitake and finally, the black cod with a kind of vermicelli-filled wonton.

I had foie gras, then the veal cheek ravioli and finally a pork tenderloin with a spaetzle cake.

The portions were miniscule - and perfect. The presentations were spectacular. The foic gras for example was prepared in two ways, one portion (the size of a quarter) lightly seared and served on some kind of (I'm guessing polenta?) cracker and then another portion served with some kind of fruit compote, arranged on a large rectangular plate with additional garnishes of crushed peanuts and applesauce. It resembled a Mondrian painting in its abstract spareness and it was absolutely sublime.

It seems to me that Hans Rockenwagner has found the perfect way to keep the kitchen staff busy on a slow night (or to torture them, depending on your point of view).

These were perfect little Dutch (ok, Austrian) miniatures of plates, and a great way to explore their menu. Coupled with the very nice (and fairly priced) wine list, it made for a very pleasant and leisurely dinner. We were there for 2 1/2 hours.

I can't help but notice that the menu has even more asian influences than usual, but they were all outstanding. And at $8.00 a taste, a great bargain too.

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