Maybe the best “fragment” song I know . . . I wish they had made it to the winter months but it’s the more unique for being incomplete. October is half done, the restaurant is still steaming ahead, Michelin announcements come out in two weeks.
Coupla things–we have an intriguing wine dinner coming up with Brian Fleury on November 2d. He’ll be pouring some rare stuff, should be a big night. Call us at 707 226 0850 if interested. Deal of the century at $130 inclusive of food, wine, tax, and service.
The dinner menu continues to evolve . . . the latest addition (as of 1:50pm PST) is red curry poached shrimp with hearts of palm, tapioca, and fresh water chestnuts. This one has been percolating in Ryder’s brain for about 5 months, so it’s kind of the end of an era to actually see it on the menu.
Something big going down in our bar in January of 2013 . . . don’t touch that dial.
When we opened the resort in July of 2007, one of the patriarchs of the Auberge Resorts group told me that we should be doing a thousand covers a day. According to our point-of-sale system, we did 1,024 yesterday.
Not sure if that was the biggest day in our history or not, but after participating in a screaming busy brunch, a relentless late afternoon push in the grill/pool kitchen, and a full-tilt first turn for dinner service, all I can say for sure that the cold Modelo in my fridge at home went down easy.
From L Fignon: ”Sometimes . . . we simply have to go out to meet the Man with the Hammer.” I don’t know if that’s translated from the French. Anyhow, no need to do that many covers again.
Here are a couple of new salads. We are getting Adriatic figs from the big tree at Rutherford Gardens. The smoked salmon features some of the first apples of the season (pink pearls); we’re also using Gravensteins.
< . . . waving phone around to try and get a signal . . . >
The iPhone is tired from yesterday and won’t send the pix to my laptop. I’ll post them soon.
That’s how much this–
–will cost when white truffle season rolls around in six to eight weeks. Right now it’s a big plate of crispy fries showered with 24-month-old Parmigiano-Reggiano, seasoned with Yakima applewood smoked seat salt, and topped with a soft egg. Which is nothing to sneeze at.
And which paralyzes me with confusion over whether to pair vintage Champagne or Barolo with this dish. White truffles won’t make that choice easier, they’ll just up the risk/reward quotient by about TEN MILLION.
But we always have cold beer with
There is plenty of granola to go around. Bluefin tuna is almost gone. How much longer can beef last? The way we’re raising cattle these days can’t last, though it won’t be the first thing to go. All this sunny info brought on by cooking a REALLY BIG COWBOY STEAK or three the other day. I stared with the last three ribs of a whole 109 export, which is a bone-in ribeye with sawed-down bones.
The iphone can’t do time lapse, but if you scroll down real fast, maybe you’ll get the effect.
I just figured out why I’m so tired. It’s not the high-season business levels, it’s the d*&n prime-time coverage of the Olympics by Costas & Co.–yes I am apparently on the NBC bashwagon. Don’t they know that one of the benefits of west-coast life is that SPORTS ARE EARLY? 10AM kickoff for NFC East football coverage? I didn’t even make it to the prelims of the men’s 200m last night before I crashed. Where is the Sports Czar on this one?
A few stages left, and the most boring TdF I can remember watching is winding down, fitting that the Brits have got it salted away in first and second place. I miss the days of the Postal Express freight train, and the Wild West years that followed . . . . Maybe next year Tejay will take on Froome and we’ll have an American on the podium again.
As for food . . . we’re ripping through the summer cornucopia, stonefruit in every direction, grouper, wild shrimp, coon stripe shrimp, sand dabs, cranberry bean agnolotti, bumblebee bean ragout, melon with nam pla and coconut clouds, on and on. I’m not saying it’s Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage circa 1975 but there are some very cool ideas and flavors bouncing around in our kitchen. And I bet you ten large ones it smells better than Jobs and Woz did in that garage.
Chef D_____ was in for dinner last night on a big table. Ryder worked up a mozzarella panna cotta to line the bottom of this big wild glass bowls that look like Snoddys and garnished it with four types of basil flower (opal, lime, fino verde, genovese) and some charred and peeled sun sugar tomatoes that grow next to the basils in our garden. The server drizzled gaspatxo de catalunya over it all tableside.
Bartender says, “Where’d you get that?”
Parrot says, “France. They got millions of ‘em.”
That’s called in media res. I think. Vergil used it. Better than I did. Less name-droppy, too.
Such is the state of things during a busy summer, though. We put on a great wine dinner with Charnu Winery and Dancing Hares Winery; the theme was surf and turf because I was cooking for six different Napa Cabs, all fairly young, and I couldn’t think of what other concept could match that weight course after course and still proceed in a manner that made sense on the palate.
Long sentences are a fact of life when I just cooked for 166 lunch guests in a 94 degree kitchen. I don’t know if it’s the oxygen supply that’s missing necessarily but something has me dizzy. And adverbs are firing repeatedly, unwantedly, and uncontrollably. Anyway here goes
Pan-roasting veal tenderloins with thyme and butter
In the time since I last posted, melting icebergs have caused eastern Canadian sea levels to rise 4.875 feet; my good old state of NC, former home of southern Democrats, has voted to invest its remaining budget surplus in paper drachmas (turns out I might not be as ironic as I thought . . . ) and Manny Pacquiao’s next fight; better just post the pictures, actually.
We have a new first course on the menu–wild texas shrimp wrapped in our house recipe pancetta, seared on the plancha and served with a deconstructed romesco sauce, baby leeks, and potato-roasted garlic mousseline out of the thermal isi gun.
Needless to say–flying off the line. Wash it down with cava or a cold beer, better yet some Basquaise hard cider.
And then there are the sardines . . . I swear it’s such a good feeling to have every dish we put on the menu be my new favorite. When that goes away, time to hang up the apron. Better be a while yet.
Those are involtini of Monterey Bay sardines with an olive farce, sitting on a swipe of saffron rouille and garnished with baby fennel, dried olive, and a calasparra rice fritter. Get on the fast boat around the Med . . .