Thank you all for helping us to choose the tasting menu at Spago. We died and went to heaven!
I'm not real good at describing food, so I'll just list the 15 or so courses and 9 wines in the tasting menu ($150 with wine, $95 without), my friend Julie and I had last night. The tasting menu was not officially on the menu last night (don't know why) but when the waitress saw how disappointed we looked, she asked the chef and he okayed it! Was I glad!
The dishes are listed from memory, the wine list, Bonnie the striking sommelier, was so kind to email us afterwards!
15 COURSES (about 4hrs for dinner)?
Started with a Tuna Tartar in a cocoa carmelized hand roll (fireworks in the mouth, just the right amount of sweetness)
Mousse of Foie gras on Sliced Figs (va va voom!)
Smoked salmon and salmon roe on spongy bread (w/ mayonnaise?)
"Pastrami" Spiced Foie Gras on Toast (Genius!)
Bruschetta on perfectly toasted bread (plus a large slice of Reggiano cheese?) (these first five starters were absolutely amazing -- bursting with flavors and textures that can not be described!)
Tomato sorbet in Tomato water
Tuna sashimi with citrus ponzu sauce
Mascarpone Filled Tortellini with Roasted Corn Beurre Blanc
Soft shell crab with dabs of green sauce (cilantro?) (Julie's favorite)
Sliced Duck and Sauteed Foie Gras (only so so dish of the night, maybe it was just a bit too rich and heavy at this point we were getting quite full) In some kind of sweetened reduction sauce.
Dover Filet on Puree of Zucchini
Proscuitto on Figs in Olive oil and Basalmic Vinegar (divine!)
A Bite-sized Bacon filled Puff Pastry
Plate of Cheeses (your choice of as many as you like from a choice of about 16!)
Artisan Breads throughout meal
Peach Sorbet with fresh white peach slices and rasberries (sublime in its simplicity)
Dried Apricot with Chocolate Cake and 50 bean vanilla ice cream
Tasting Menu Wines 8.7.03 (and these were not tiny 1oz pours, we got at least 3-5oz of each!)
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé
(Champagne, France, NV)
Riesling Grand Cru, Rosenberg de Wetolsheim, Domaine Buecher
(Alsace, France, 2000)
Rosé, Cuvée Marie-Estelle, Château Peyrassol (a bit fruity for me, but really brought out the Tuna Sashimi)
(Provence, France, 2002)
Château Malartic-Lagravière (Incredible with the softshell crab.)
(Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France, 1998)
Bonaccorsi Chardonnay ("exclusive" from Puck's longtime ex-sommelier's vineyard)
(Santa Barbara, CA, 2001)
Savigny-Les-Beaune, Les Lavières,
Domaine Chandon de Briailles
(Burgundy, France, 2000)
Turley Zinfandel, Old Vines
Quarts des Chaume, Domaine Fontanel
(Loire Valley, France, 1999))
Moscato dAsti, Gatti Piero
(Piemonte, Italy, 2002)
I thought that the price would be a big issue, but afterwards I started thinking that the dinner at Spago's is actually quite a BARGAIN! Hear me out. For $150 you get 15 courses and 9 wines, all perfectly paired in a rich atmosphere with excellent service. That's just $10 a course with wine. Where else can you get that kind of a deal?? :)
I haven't had such a food experience since the first time I went to Shiro (still my favorite? but hanging on by a nail...). Thanks again!