Tonight we will be dining at The Kitchen restaurant with neighbors and friends Jeff and Kelli. The Kitchen is a favorite of David and mine and Jeff and Kelli will be going for their first experience. And it is an experience! It is a demonstration dinner cooked by Chef Randell Selland and his trusty side-kick Josh. Both are funny and delightful. We are sitting at the counter around the demonstration kitchen so we can watch and interact during the cooking and meal.
Below is the menu at The Kitchen for the month of February. They do one dinner a night Wednesday through Sunday and the restaurant only seats 50 people. It takes a while to get reservations, especially if you want to sit at the counter but it is well worth the wait. It is a total dining and entertainment experience you will never forget. I will be taking pictures! You can check out more about The kitchen here. We can't wait!
The Kitchen: February Menu 2009-
First Course -Dungeness Crab Bisque with Marieke Gouda,Crème Fraiche, Ricotta, Scallions and Trout Caviar
This is a rich, silky smooth bisque thickened with Arborio rice and flavored with crab shells for deep and complex layers of flavor. We take our fresh, crisp Dungeness crabs from Crescent City up north and mix them with Marieke Gouda cheese, a fresh, farmstead made Gouda that is slightly sweet and nutty and which has earned numerous first place awards for cheese making. The crab and Marieke Gouda together form a bread pudding that we place in the center of the bisque, and then top it all with house made crème fraiche, Ricotta cheese, and scallions. As a final finishing touch, trout roe from local producer Tsar Nicolai lends a hint of salty, decadent flavor.-
Second Course -Fresh House Made Pasta Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese,Black Truffle, Frisée, Meyer Lemon,and a Tempura Egg Yolk
One of my favorite things we do at The Kitchen is fresh pasta, and it’s been a while since we’ve done one, so I’m understandably pretty excited. This month, we’re doing our version of the rich, crescent shaped egg pasta called agnolotti, folded over and stuffed with Nicolau Farms fresh goat cheese. This is the best goat cheese we’ve ever tasted – light, tart, creamy, smooth and delicious. It’s made to order on the dairy and shipped straight to The Kitchen from Modesto. On top of the pasta, we serve a little salad of crisp frisee mixed with our vinaigrette of meyer lemon and real Perigord black truffle. The best part of this dish – and I admit I am biased as an egg lover – is the tempura battered, fried egg yolk on top. Break it open on top and the whole dish comes alive. Simply heaven.-
Third Course -A Vol-au-Vent of Butter Poached Maine Lobster,Local Crayfish, Baby Artichoke and Pancettawith Creole-Bouillabaisse Broth
We’re fond of lobster at The Kitchen. We’re especially fond of sinfully rich butter-poached real Maine lobster meat poached in creamy Plugra butter and served in a light, flakey puff pastry shell. So before winter ends, we have to offer one more version of our lobster pot pie. This time, it’s in a vol-au-vent, or “windblown” airy house made puff pastry that is also filled with local crayfish caught by our friend Kelly in the San Joaquin River. These crayfish are larger than normal and are full of meaty, robust flavor. With the vol-au-vent, we have a bouillabaisse style broth made from the cooked down lobster shells filled with fried baby artichokes from Watsonville and our own house cured pancetta lardoons flavored with our house cure of juniper berries, bay leaf, salt, and telecherry cracked black peppercorns. This dish is chock full of good things, and the richness of the lobster filling is balanced nicely with the soothing bouillabaisse broth. A lovely winter dish.
- Sushi - Sashimi - Crudo --
Fourth Course -Natural Piedmontese Beef Tenderloin and Mushroom Tartwith Liberty Farms Duck Bolognese,Zinfandel and Thyme
The breed of cattle known as Piedmontese Beef is an extraordinary variety. While lean, it is still incredible tender, and the marbling it does have is low in saturated fat and very high in the good poly-unsaturated fats. So, you could say this deliciously tender full-flavored beef is good for you - but don’t worry, we won’t tell. We are serving tenderloins this month, simply grilled and sliced to rest alongside our creamy, earthy mushroom tart. For the tart, our house made flakey shells are filled first with a porcini mushroom cream cooked down with port wine and thyme, then with a variety of earthy mushrooms procured for us by Connie Green in Napa, most likely yellow foots, shiitakes, and black trumpets. And we couldn’t resist incorporating some of our favorite ducks from Liberty Farms in Sonoma, this time in the form of a Bolognese style meat sauce that we cook down into a broth with little bits of the duck meat. Enjoy! -
Dessert Course -Orange-Chocolate-Macadamia Custard Cakewith Kitchen Sorbets, Crème Anglaiseand Blood Orange Jus
For dessert, we take the lovely winter combo of chocolate and orange to a whole new level. Individual creamy, custardy Scharffenberger chocolate cakes layered with white cake soaked in fresh orange juice made from Twin Peak oranges grown up in Nevada City are served with a silky crème anglaise and a sauce of sweet blood orange. Alongside, we bring you a variety of house made wild berry sorbets made of fresh fruits from the Farmer’s Markets and house frozen winter and late fall fruits procured from the markets over the past couple of months to bring you a taste of the best of the season in the dead of winter.
There is going to be decadent food and wine tonight without a guilty thought!