Days 97 and 98: The end of Level 5 and more good dining out

16 Nov

I can’t believe there are less than 5 weeks left of school.  Yikes! Where did this 6 months go?  I knew it would go fast, but please.  This flew.

I’m not ready to be done.  No doubt there’s a big bad (good) world of chefs and restaurants I’m looking forward to learning from in 2012, but I’m just not ready to be done with the formal instruction.  I know I’m a goofball for loving school so much.  But, I have always loved school.  And, I’m even more of a goofball because now I’m attached to different instructors and my classmates and I know I’m going to be sad when I don’t see them anymore.  Yes, I’m a super geek.  But, I have to give FCI, the instructors and my class, especially, the props for making it such a fantastic time (even on the days when I want to smack somebody with a pan – a small one, of course).

Okay, enough of the waxing nostalgic before there’s even time for nostalgia.  Onto food….

First, I’m flattered that people read my blog and mimic the recipes I post, even when the recipes aren’t mine.  Last night my dad made the lemon curd with berries and chantilly. It looked beautiful. Way to go, Papa!

Speaking of mimicking, I want to be able to mimic La Quercia’s prosciutto. It is die for.  Bobbie, Mark and I had a small plate of it last night at Locanda.  It was so “clean”, with beautiful fat (which, if you know me, sounds totally ridiculous coming from the “no fat” girl).  Definitely, the best I’ve tasted.   We also had a smoked white fish, horseradish and dill pizzeta and some deep fried olives – both decent but nothing I need to eat again.   We noticed that all 3 line cooks in the open kitchen space consistently kept towels in their left hands, handled the pans with their left hands, and used their right hands for plating and saucing.  Can’t wait to get to that point. I’m still a two hander at this point which = too slow.

After Locanda, we went to Serpentine, which is one of my favorite restaurants to go for dinner, just whenever. I love the ambiance and decor – warehousey, with vaulted ceilings and lots of wood and steel, with a wall of brick and windows.  Simple, rustic, yet modern and not a bunch of frills.  And, the food is consistency delicious. We started out with the homemade pickles, which were excellent.  We also had some oysters from British Columbia and some sweetbreads with a celery root puree and roasted artichokes.  That probably seems like a weird mix of starters, but it worked.  And, I can’t believe I’m going to post this, but the sweetbreads were the highlight. It was all about the sauce and the artichokes, of course. But, the sweetbreads were expertly prepared  – pillowy with a nice crunch on the outside.

We moved onto the Prather Ranch burger with gruyere, the duck, and the hanger steak.  All delicious, and yes, when I go out with Bobbie and Mark, I’m a HUGE meat eater.  But, I figured the red wine counter acts that, right?  😉  Not really, so tonight, it’s salad night for dinner!  Speaking of, I need to get pickling my watermelon radishes which are the size of my fist.  And, I need to start reading the Spain and Portugal Michelin Guide to see what restaurants I’m going to bug to see if they’ll let me play in their kitchens next year.   So, short blog post tonight.  Happy Eating!

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