atelier crenn....part two of the non-stop food parade
I think it is still the same night, right? The last course of bread really put me in a tizzy and, of course, that butter made from beef fat! But there is more to come so let's get started!!
That is a variety of mushrooms, foie gras and broth. It was also totally yummy and the second best thing I had. It was earthy, warm and comforting. Between this and the bread (and maybe a glass of wine) I could be fine. It is a nice way to start things off on the second leg of this long journey, I mean dinner.
Here we have wagyu beef, parsnip puree, fried spinach leaf and truffle gravy. Things are definitely on the upswing. Granted, it is a two bite one, but still. Pretty sure this was sous vide steak with a bit of grill on the outside. The texture was right on the edge of being too un-meat like, but still tasty. The meat was as smooth as butter and you could cut through it with a fork or a spoon or any other dull instrument. And this was where I could have used some more of that bread to soak up the truffle gravy. Yes, I'm an old school meat and sort of like potatoes person.
This is the cheese course we added, because, you know, that all in thing. A soft cheese (yep, forgot what kind!) grilled in banana leaf with a house made crouton and some quince. Basically cheese, fruit and bread. Apart, I'm not gonna say they were much, but these were bites meant to be together and that is how they worked best, together. Though not sure it was totally worth the addition to what we were already getting.
This is where Chef Crenn likes to play with things that look one way but taste another. It looks like and olive but is a pistachio sorbet, sitting in a pool of olive oil. It was very light, and like a palate cleanser to me. Interesting, but, the more interesting thing, the chef made her second round of table visits. When she hit ours, her first question was "how is everything?" Yowza, loaded question. The SO was all it's really good and then my initial reaction was more of a shrug, and a well....? That is when the SO shot daggers at me and Chef Crenn looked and me and was like "what is it?" The SO decided to just jump right in and bring up the Netflix series and work really hard at distracting her. Of course, I was more than ready to mention a few salty dishes and what not but, I decided to hold my tongue (shocking!) because it wasn't my birthday dinner and they were enjoying it so much.
Tiny gold sprayed chocolate eggs with the flavor of chestnut and sage. Only the eggs were edible, that is real wood and stuff underneath. At least I was pretty sure it was and we didn't eat it. Who knows, maybe it was edible and we missed out.
On the left is yogurt wrapped in phyllo dough with apple jam and fennel pollen, sitting on top of a fake log, that is actually made of wood. Swing back the lid and on the right is what is inside--sparkling blood lime and mint ice. Yes, there is a lot stuff going on here, much like a forest! And the phyllo dough is like bark. And the apple jam is like sap. And the fennel pollen is like, well, pollen I guess. But you get it right? Didn't get much on the fennel end, which was good, not the biggest fennel fan. The yogurt and apple was nice and light. The shaved ice was rather tangy and refreshing, like the healthy version of an Icee.
Surprise! This wasn't part of the poem, but was a palate cleanser of sorts before the real "desserts" made their appearance. This is part show too. You have a eucalyptus leaf with a dollop of pear essence foam that is dipped in a that white bowl of liquid nitrogen turning the foam into something akin to a hardened meringue. Then it is sprinkled with shaved meyer lemon zest. You basically stick the tip of the leaf in your mouth and then pull the get the flavor of the eucalyptus leaf along with the foam lemon pear thing. It is like a bright burst on your tongue. Fortunately, they told us not to eat the leaf which was good as we were about to. Evidently it would give you a severe stomach ache if you did. Something that will be good to know next time I'm foraging in the forest.
I guess this is like dirt on the floor of the of the forest and then whatever falls from the trees to the ground. Yes, I'm just going with it. It is a a mix of fresh and frozen berries with crumbled cookie and a couple of things that were powered. Yes, we were nearing the end of the meal and my focus was gone, as was my note taking. It was like a fruit crumble, with a woods theme, in a bowl made of wood. I'm not gonna call it a dessert, a little tart, a little sweet, some crunch. It was nice, but still, not a dessert.
Well, it was definitely the biggest thing they served all night! Though, it wasn't all edible. The beehive thing on top was like a meringue (another one!) meets some cotton candy. You put it in your mouth and it kind of melts. Sweet, but not overly so and, honestly, I can't remember what the flavor on this was. The squares, the only other edible things on here, were like little fruit jelly candy things. Somewhere between a jam and a gel with a light dusting of powdered sugar. A pleasant small bite, but we all know this isn't what I would call dessert.
And this is how it all ended, with some different types of chocolate. Okay, well then, looks like there isn't any cake in my dessert future. We all know how I feel about chocolate, it is fine, but much better as frosting on some cake or a donut. While these were a lovely combo of dark and milk chocolate squares and truffles, for me it wasn't exactly a satisfying meal ender. I mean, I spent three years selling chocolate for a local chocolatier, I'm pretty much over chocolate, no matter how single origin, hand dipped, rolled or whatever it has been.
That's it! Three hours and like 50 courses later we are done and out of there! At the end of it all, the SO loooovveed it! The show, the food, the molecular gastronomy, the heightened sense of self important ingredients, than fanciness of it all, you name it, this was totally their element and that was great. It was their birthday and I achieved my goal of taking them out for a dinner to remember. Though, we will remember it in different ways.
Now, I didn't hate it, there were some very good things I liked a lot. Bread, butter, mushroom soup, but overall, some of the flash and flare was lost on me since a number of the dishes came off as too salty. Something I had a chance to share with the chef but was thwarted!! But seriously, I understood the goal of what Chef Crenn was trying to do in creating an overall experience. From the service, to the tableware, to the music, to the food and what it looked like. And while the SO was amazed and reveled in it, I wish all, or at least more than half of the dishes had hit a great taste spot for me.
That being said, everyone is different and this might be the kind of experience you are looking for, and for others, it may not. I think much will depend on what you want from your food and your restaurant. I mean, in the end, I'm glad I went and that the SO really super enjoyed the whole thing. Of course, I was also glad I went skydiving, but it isn't something I plan on doing again either.
I just do this for fun and eating and make no money from it. Trust me, it would be great if I could write this dinner off as a business expense like some of those other folk who do this for a living. It is why I'm showing you the actual bill I got.
Yaasss, I just kept repeating to myself, birthday surprise gift, over and over and over..........