Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lovely Dinner

We had the best dinner on Saturday night at the The Carillon ( I had purchased a Groupon for a buy one get one free for their tasting menu so we received a very nice deal. Normally the tasting menu is $60 per person, which is a bit steep but after enjoying our meal I see the value. The restaurant is in the AT&T Executive Conference Center on the UT campus. They had tables that allowed the patrons to see in side of the kitchen, and I would have LOVED to sit there. I enjoy watching the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. I used my new phone to take the pictures (has an 8 mega pixel camera) and my current point and shoot has been crapping out during night pictures. I'm not super happy about the quality of pictures but they turned out okay.

We started off with some bread and butter. I remember Rosemary being in part of the description, but can't remember if it was in the butter or the bread (I hardly tasted it). The softened butter had 2 types of salt on it, one being Hawaiian salt. LOVED the extra salty taste on the bread.

We started off our meal with an Amuse Bouche. The first spoon had a basil panna cotta with some type of citrus, it was a lovely smooth texture and a delicate basil flavor. The second spoon was a tuna ceviche, which was equally as good. I wanted a few more spoons of each :)

Nairagi Napoleon

Smoked Chevre - Texas Grapefruit - Cucumber - Lemon Zest

Our appetizer was fresh Nairagi chopped up and layered between sliced cucumbers. Next to the cucumber stack was a slice of grapefruit and a few crumbles of the chevre. My first bite was of the cucumber and the fish, and it was so delicate. The lemon zest was a nice zing to the delicate fish and cucumber. Next I added a little grapefruit bite along with the cheese. It was all quite good, light, and a perfect way to start the dish.

Sea Scallop

Sumac - Cauliflower - Asparagus - Vanilla Citrus

I had to look up what Sumac is... "A sprinkling of this pretty purple spice adds a tangy lemony flavour to meat and salads". Can I just say that sumac and scallops go hand in hand, and I loved every single bite. the cauliflower puree was so creamy and was perfect because it was only a light flavor. The grilled asparagus was also a nice flavor to the dish. the vanilla citrus sauce was not a big player on the dish but I did get a hint of the sauce with every other bite. Might be the best damn scallop I have had.


Chanterelle Mushroom - Blueberry - Pistachios

This dish was supposed to be white tuna but they said they ran out so they substituted the escolar. We have only had escolar raw (sushi) so it was nice to try it cooked. This fish is very hearty and was delicious. When I read the description and saw blueberry on there I was very curious. The blueberry sauce was just enough flavor but definitely not overpowering. The pistachios crumbled on top were so delicious, loved the crunch it added to the fish. There was not one thing wrong with this dish... I totally wanted more.

Olive Oil Poached Prime Beef Tenderloin

Potato Puree - Frito Misto- Peppercorn Sauce

I have not had an olive oil poached meat before. The meat was so tender with a wonderful pepper flavor. The Frito Misto consisted of fried artichokes, onions, garlic and fennel. This part of the dish was my least favorite... tasted to much like oil and not the vegetables.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Vanilla Sweet Potato - Caramelized onions - Chanterelle Mushrooms

When we eat out at restaurants I tend to order the short ribs because it is a dish that I have not conquered yet. I have come close, but not quite. Out of all of the dishes, this was not my favorite. The meat was tasty but just didn't have the wow factor that the other dishes had. The vanilla sweet potato puree was tasty but pretty sweet.

Guanaja Chocolate Terrine

Coriander Ice Cream - Crystallized Cilantro

Our dessert was slightly different than the menu. We had a fried mint leaf on top as well as a sour orange reduction. If you even remotely like chocolate, you will LOVE this 100000% chocolate terrine. to me, it was similar to fudge, but not quite as thick. The ice cream was a nice way to cut through the sweetness, but it was the sour orange reduction that struck a cord with me. Such a delicious combination of flavors.

After our lovely meal, we were both stuffed. I looked over at Jim to find him taking a cat nap ;)

I couldn't let Jim be in the post without me.... self portrait in the ladies room

No comments: