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Old 10-02-2009, 10:01 AM   #1
ehagerty
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Victoria & Alberts - Join me in my Dining Scheherazade (Night #3 Sep 17, 2009)

Tonight's story begin with a gracious welcome by Israel Perez, Maitre d'Hotel.......






.....and his charming and elegant staff






I had many mini-missions for this meal (in no particular order)
  • re-introduce DH to the wonders of V&A (his last visit = 1997)
  • experiment with my Canon D10, to see if I could migrate from the SLR
  • simply enjoy, as DH put it, "the best meal of my life" - and that was two days after Palo's (Wonder - DVC member cruise)
  • listen to the harp music
  • relax in the hushed tones of V&A
  • enjoy the many nuances of the fine wine pairing



The reporting pace will probably be as leisurely as the meal - partially due to time constraints, partially to make the reliving last longer....


For those who may not already be aware, there are previous nights to this story..
Night #1 - Victoria & Alberts - Picture Trip Report (January, 2009)
Night #2 - Victoria & Albert - A Once-in-a-Decade Dinner, for the second time in 2009 (May, 2009)
Night #3 - Victoria & Albert - My Dining Scheherazade(September, 2009) - THIS REPORT
Night #4 - Victoria & Albert - Dining Scheherazade Night #4 - "Table for One" - 17 OCT 09
Night #5 - Victoria & Albert - Dining Scheherazade Night #5 - "Table for One - Again" 23 FEB 10 (February, 2010)
Night #6 - Victoria & Albert - Dining Scheherazade Night #6&7 - "I could die happy, and I am only 20" (May, 2010) (February, 2010)
Clickable Table of Contents 17 SEP 09 for this report
A Sense of Place
Amuse Bouche
Fresh Baguette & Vermont Butter
Poached Scallop
Herb Bread & Butter
Poulet Rouge
Monterey Abalone
Grain Bread and Butter
Veal and Beef
Cheese Plate
Dessert
After Dinner Treats
Kitchen Visit
.
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Last edited by ehagerty; 08-08-2010 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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oooh.... I can't wait!!!!!
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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I like how you incorporated the Arabian Nights references.

Since I know your food porn is epic, I can't wait.
Oh, and see you in a couple weeks... from today!
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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A sense of place...

The table






The harpist







The roses








A toast to wine pairings









.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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I'll try to get this report done......

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbmaggs View Post
oooh.... I can't wait!!!!!
... in response to your enthusiasm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BriarRosie View Post
I like how you incorporated the Arabian Nights references.

Since I know your food porn is epic, I can't wait.
Oh, and see you in a couple weeks... from today!
..... so I am ready for the next!! - look forward to meeting you, two weeks from NOW
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:41 PM   #6
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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Amuse Bouche

The big picture

Wine Pairing: Vueve Cliquot Ponsardin NY








Deviled Quail Egg with American Caviar







Tomato Fennel Custard Baked in the Shell








Heirloom Tomato Sorbet with Olive Oil Powder










Italian Buffalo Mozzarella with Pine Nuts









Tomato Carpaccio, Octopus






The combination and permutations of tomato were phenomenal (oh dear, if I use that superlative on the first post, what will I have left for all the others?!?!). Each quadrant had its own story line and character, and the collection coalesced into wonderful, well, amuse bouche! I liked how the tomato-fennel soup from last dinner was transformed into a custard this time. I really liked how I could take a small sample of one, sip of wine, sample of another, etc. until they were all gone. One played off the other, then built on the next. Hard to describe - perhaps a sidebar story....

A few years ago, we took my parents to a local restaurant for dinner before a Christmas concert at the Philharmonic. The place was convenient, very cute - definitely had the flair of one of those small Parisian restaurants that only have 6 tables. The chef was CIA-educated. The food was - dish for dish, quite good. I had a sorbet-sampler for dessert - rosemary-this, sage-that, and tomato-something (could even have been this one). However, I remember thinking as I was leaving that the meal was incoherent. I liked the sorbets - but would have preferred them as an appetizer, or transition dish. Too many vegetables in my dessert doesn't satisfy the way cheese or fruit sorbet might have. Sadly, the restaurant closed shortly after that.

My point - sometimes we are inarticulate when we sense something is wrong, we don't have the concepts and words to explain WHAT is wrong. However, when you see something done well, you know in an instant that THIS is an example of how it is done correctly. This amuse bouche provided that Eureka moment - seeing the tomato sorbet in its right context and juxtaposition to all the other elements reminded me immediately of that one dish from 5-6 years ago - and helped me appreciate, if not fully grasp, the level of creativity, art and coherence that is a V&A dining experience.

As for Scheherazade, I can only hope for 1,001 dishes at V&A;
  • a thousand and one NIGHTS is beyond imagination - that would have to be some kind of lottery!!
  • a thousand and one INGREDIENTS seems achievable - given the complexity of the dishes
Ultimately, it is more a "gradual unfolding of an entertaining and satisfying sensual experience."

Next visit, I will ask the harpist to play passage from Rimsky-Korsakov - and make it my special V&A theme.....

.
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Last edited by ehagerty; 10-03-2009 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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Amazing food pictures. Thank you for sharing
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:41 PM   #9
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We go in a couple weeks and I have to say I really hope the whole tomato amuse is still being served! It just is amazing but your photos are as beautiful as the food! Thank you for posting this!
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:53 PM   #10
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I am so excited to hear and see your review!! We are going for the first time in December and cannot wait!!
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:38 PM   #11
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Great start. I can't wait to read the rest. DH and I are thinking of going to Vand A when we go back in June.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symans3honeybees View Post
Amazing food pictures. Thank you for sharing
You're Welcome!! Hope you had time to check out the first two reports!
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Originally Posted by kabuki View Post
We go in a couple weeks and I have to say I really hope the whole tomato amuse is still being served! It just is amazing but your photos are as beautiful as the food! Thank you for posting this!
Enjoy your upcoming visit - I am hoping to be there Oct 17th (early) - what day are you going?
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I am so excited to hear and see your review!! We are going for the first time in December and cannot wait!!
Enjoy!!
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Great start. I can't wait to read the rest. DH and I are thinking of going to Vand A when we go back in June.
I just starting reading through your trip report links in your signature - sounds like you will be leaving today - didn't see CaliGrill in hubby's report - did your change you mind?
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:40 PM   #13
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I am so pleased to see this as I have thoroughly enjoyed all your other reviews. I am looking forward to reading more
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:08 PM   #14
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Kabuki and I (and a couple others who post here) are going the following night...October 18.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:14 PM   #15
engle
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BRING IT!!! Your words perfectly describe my own feelings of V&A. Can't wait to read more. I have been there 3 times...once at the Chef's table. NEXT VISIT in February for my sister's 40th bday!! Can't wait!!
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