Sunday was day 262 of my No Grocery Store Challenge. My birthday gift to myself was the Seafood Dai Due Dinner at Hotel St. Cecilia with friends. These dinners are held every few months at different venues and are spectacular. Jesse Griffiths, the chef behind Dai Due Butcher Shop and these dinners, uses only locally sourced ingredients, so the dinners focus on what is in season. I didn’t eat breakfast or dinner in preparation for this multi-course meal.
I had such a good time, I left my menu behind, so these descriptions are from my memory. A couple of the courses were served family style, and I didn’t try everything offered, so this is what I had.
The passed appetizer which was paired with Prosecco was a local potato bite, (a halved bite sized potato) with Full Quiver Neufchatel chopped egg, pepper, and caviar. The caviar was from a locally sourced fish that I’d never heard of, and it was really good. This dish was simple, and still the combination was stunning.
The First Course, which was paired with beer was served family style – a light and flavorful Fish Terrine with Neufchatel, Ceviche, a Seafood Escabeche, and pickled vegetables. There were house made crackers provided for the Terrine, which was outstanding and my favorite dish in this course.
Second Course – Shrimp and Long Bean Pot Pie. This dish had a light and lovely pastry crust on top, and was creamy, but not too thick, and very tasty. This was another favorite dish of the evening.
Third Course – Red Snapper en papillote with cherry tomatoes and zucchini This course arrived at the table still wrapped in the paper it was cooked in, which was cut as the dish was served. The snapper was tender, flavorful and had been cooked with tiny cherry tomatoes and it sat on top of thinly sliced zucchini.
Fourth Course – Cheese plate, Pure Luck Hopelessly Blue, House made Farmer’s Cheese with lemon, fig preserves, house made bread. There were several other cheeses provided, but I didn’t try them so I’m not sure what they were. Again, keeping the menu is critical to providing accurate descriptions. Pure Luck Hopelessly Blue, is one of my all time favorite cheeses, so I focused on it.
Fifth Course – Pear Tart with nut and crumb crust and homemade ice cream scoop. This tasted fabulous with fresh market pears and the lightest ice cream I’ve ever had.
This perfect evening ended with coffee and pear liquor.
You can find Dai Due at the SFC Farmer’s Market downtown every Saturday. If you are interested in attending a dinner, which I highly recommend, you’ll need to sign up for the weekly emails or watch the website. We booked our seats at this dinner within half an hour of receiving the email, over a month ago, and it sold out shortly thereafter.
Dai Due – http://www.daidueaustin.net