This soup was smooth as butter and tasted like the sweet kiss of Autumn. The snow peas were thrown in to balance out the starchy sweetness and interrupt the palate's adjustment to the natural sugars, as well as to add a little crunch.
Pairing: José Dhondt, Champagne, France
Salad Course - Chef John Ponticelli
(Timbale of Dungeness Crab Salad with corn relish, asiago cheese, tarragon, golden pea shoots, baby arugula, red endive, roasted squash, spiral of yucca, asiago dressing)
Talk about a vibrantly, beautiful plate. This dish had a lot going on but seemed less cohesive as some of the other dishes; I greatly appreciated the flavours on their own, they just didn't complement each other per se. Everyone's palate is different though.
Pairing: Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling, Wehlen Mosel, Germany
Fish Course - Chef David Buchanan
(Huckleberry Marinated Salmon Tartare with Juniper Berry Globe)
This tartare was elegant and seemingly the epitome of a West Coast dish with its piney and fresh flavours and health benefits from the salmon and the juniper berry. The huckleberry marinade saturated the salmon with a deeper red/purple colour, and acted as a sweet binder for the mound.
Fun fact: Western American Native Tribes were known to use the juniper berry as an appetite suppressant during periods of famine.
Pairing: Domaine Serene ‘Jerusalem Hill Vineyard’ Pinot Noir’, Dundee Hills, Oregon
Intermezzo - Chef John Jadamec
(Blackberry - Cranberry Granita with Iced Orange Reduction)
Pairing: Brasserie Dubuisson Pêche Mel' Scaldis, Belguim
Main Course - Chef Perry Mascitti
(Pepitas - Chile Lamb with Prickly Pear Demi with cedar, azafran micro greens, warm butternut squash salad with orange reduction)
Chef Mascitti brought his A-game for this dish: two tender lamb chops crusted with nutritious pepitas (a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed) and starchy blue corn tamales made of cotija (hard Mexican goat cheese), bacon and white sage sauce served in a pungent cedar wrap.
Pairing: Betz Family Winery ‘Pere de Famille’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington
Dessert Course - Chef Nikol Nakamura
(Coffee Custard with crushed blackberries, toasted holmquist hazelnuts, honey-chocolate tuile)
This dissected dessert was a unique finish to the meal with coffee in the dish rather than on the side. The crisp and delicate tuile was great for scooping up the other components of the dish while particularly complementing the custard. The crushed blackberries lent themselves to the supple and lingering mouthful of the Zinfandel Port.
Pairing: Charles Krug Lot XIII Zinfandel Port, Napa, California
Also check out my post on "Getting to the Heart of the Craft Beer Craze in Tulalip".