It started with a lovely Langdon Maple Martini upon entering Billy's apartment. It tasted like lime without being too tart and packed a wallop. We schmoozed around for a little while and then Billy was kind enough to take us on a tour of his fabulous collectibles.
The Chef for the evening was the lovely and charming Victor DeGuzman from the CAA/AAA Five Diamond, Mobile 4 Star, Relais & Chateaux; Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa. He works there under Executive Chef and Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Jonathan Gushue.
Towards the end of the tour, we had hors d’oeuvres of bison done three ways: jerky, satays and steamed buns. I missed the jerky which was upsetting because I love jerky dearly, but I was very pleased with the delicious satay.
After that we enjoyed the oysters depicted on my previous post. They were light, citrusy and delicious with the lovely lemongrass and shallot mignonette. And I've already discussed the butter. Simply heavenly.
Next came the marinated scallops and charred octopus accompanied by a mango, tamarind and red chili salsa fresca. The flavour was more sweet than hot and the scallops melted in my mouth like butter. The octopus has great flavour. I always love it for its chew. This course was accompanied by and Italian 2006 Pinot Grigio (IGT, CANDONI, Delle Venezie), which was light and fresh, the mildest of the wines we would enjoy.
Next came the duck course. This egg was imported from the Philippines and took three weeks to arrive in Canada. Chez DeGuzman told us he knew Charlie's Burgers diners were infamously adventurous so he thought we would enjoy it. It's a "mature" egg, containing a small baby duck inside.
I tried it because I'll try anything, but I didn't eat much. Maybe it was the richness of the flavour or, more likely, biting into a small bone that rocked my culinary conceptual framework. My boyfriend happily ate all of his, recounting his experience eating similar things while visiting Hanoi, Vietnam. In that case, he said the bird had been even further developed so he was pulling feathers out of his mouth.
Along with the egg for the duck course was the cured and roasted breast served with glutinous rice that had been infused with lotus root and was served on top of a grape leaf. I think the reduction we ate with it was made from leg and gizzard confit. Another Italian wine accompanied this course: 2006 Barbera D'Alba DOC, "Piani" Pelissero, Piemonte. It was a light red, with very few tannins and I loved it.
Here is the source of much contention: the Itoham Kobe beef striploin course. Just yesterday, I got into a feud on Chowhound about whether or not the Kobe beef was real. I can only go on what Chef DeGuzman told us. It had taken four weeks for the loin to be delivered from Japan. Our waiter, Franco, spread his arms wide to describe the size of it. He said he had never seen anything that size.
The seared, tenderly-bloody loin was served with braised cheeks so succulent that they melted in my mouth like butter. I drank every drop of the kaffir lime consommé like a barbarian. It was so flavourful and perfectly seasoned. *sigh* The red Italian wine that accompanied this course was a 2005 Langhe Rosso DOC, "Long Now" Pelissero, Super Piemonte. My boyfriend, who knows more about wine than I do, whispered to me that it was very, very expensive. It had a prominent flavor that met the richness of the beef.
One last thing...