Nope, I'm not going to be the 3-star potato peeler – I'm going to be the official 3-star sweet pea splitter! Today my family and I splurged on lunch at the 3-star restaurant I will be working at so that they could experience just what all the hoopla is about.
There was one dish that was a Spring ode to petit pois. I believe it consisted of a bright green cold pea gelée with a bed of perfect little sweet peas on top that had been hand cut in half. Our waiter informed us that this was to "double our pleasure". All I could think of was, this is going to double my pain because I'm probably going to be the one pea splitting for hours on end.
On top of the split sweet peas perched a small ball of sweet pea mousse and the softest poached egg you have ever seen, the white barely set and still translucent. Our waiter cut the yolk open with a sharp knife individually at the table and a gash of yellow oozed over the little pond of bright green peas. I almost didn't want to eat it, it was like performance art. (But I was hungry so I gave in to temptation.)
One of the chef's signature dish is his artichoke soup with shaved parmesan & black truffle garnished with a warm piece of brioche that also has truffles baked in and a smear of truffle butter on top. Heaven? Uh, yeah! I love the way he pairs different breads with each of his dishes. Instead of ignoring the bread basket he brings full attention to it and incorporates it with the flavors. So creative!
A tour of the kitchen after lunch
The staff recognized me from my previous two un-announced visits. I wasn't going to say anything like "Hi! I'm the one who came in last week to get my papers signed and couldn't understand anything you said. Remember me?" I didn't want any special treatment, just to observe and taste the food one final time.
However they did remember me, and served our table with grace, humor, and professionalism. Kind of funny because after we were seated, three of the waiters huddled quietly in the hallway discussing something and they kept looking back over at me. My husband whispered to me, "I think they've found you out" and then one waiter finally came over and asked if I was the new stagier (intern). After that I think they made a point to have fun with us.
I won't go on about all the dishes right now because I'm sure I'll be writing more about them in the future. I'm sorry I didn't snap endless photos, but it hardly seemed the time or place to play the amateur food photographer amidst high powered business lunches and ladies who lunch.
Besides how to capture the memory of a delicate translucent egg white opalescent as a liquid opal, or the feeling of warm truffle brioche melting in the mouth, or homemade marshmallows that dissolve instantly leaving a sugary citron flavor to savor? Now who could capture that with a photo?