On Sunday, day 311, I woke up way too early, still suffering from a self-diagnosed pinched sciatic nerve. Yikes, this thing is painful. I have way too much to do to be down with a bad back, and how cliche that seems. I made some garden migas for brunch, with Vital Farms eggs, garden peppers, farmer’s market tomatoes and onions, and garden cilantro. I mixed in exactly 2 crack tortilla chips from the Barton Creek Farmer’s market, and topped the whole plate with Crack dona sauce from Taco Deli. I skipped lunch to save room for the Uchiko Wine Dinner that my dear friend Michelle invited me to.
Uchiko called this dinner the Sunday Wine Project. It was amazing. It took place in the back private room, and knowing that I might not be able to sit the whole time and might need to walk around, I sat at the end of the table. I was surprised when the server opened up the wall, to reveal the kitchen and Paul Qui, our chef for the evening. It was dramatic and fun. The menu looked to be very light and I was glad for that – little did I know of the surprises to come.
First Course – wild salmon roe, charred yuzu meringue
Second – coho salmon, wild huckleberries, meyer lemon, thyme
Third – black trumpet mushrooms, dungeness crab, uni. Chef Paul, having already said that he uses these dinners to experiment on dishes, told us this was his take on pasta. I didn’t buy it, until I tasted these black mushrooms, sliced to resemble pasta, and with similar texture, and amazing flavor. Win.
Fourth – dungeness crab, thai chili, sunchokes. This dish was hard to eat, because the crab was still in the shell and no cracking devices were provided, but it was delicious. We all wanted to drink the thai chili sauce, or have something to sop up every bit of its deliciousness. The sunchokes were sliced thinly and fried like potato chips. So good.
First off menu surprise – Toasted rice sorbet with shaved truffles. A delicious palate cleanser.
Second off menu surprise – A whole grilled sockeye salmon with pickled vegetables. This was de-boned at the table and was delicious.
Fifth – Sauteed hedgehog mushrooms, Oregon truffle puree. Another delicious mushroom dish, and we were hard pressed to eat all of the truffle puree with chop sticks, but we tried.
After this dish, Chef Paul broke out some hoagie rolls and I got scared. After all of this, he was going to make sandwiches? That’s crazy! But no, he took an ever slight break to make food for his staff. I thought that was awesome.
Sixth – foie gras, licorice, cashew, balsamic with candied almonds and candied garlic. I was stuffed by this point, but hey it’s foie. There wash hardly a trace of the licorce, for which I was glad. It was wonderful.
Seventh – Pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling sorbets – I was full, and these were tasty, thoughtful and a bit sweet. I am a huge fan of the corn sorbet, so after tasting each of these, I called it a night. A night like no other.
This was so much more than dinner, it was an interactive experience with the chef, and it was fabulous. I would highly recommend it. Thank you Michelle for a wonderful evening!