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Old 10-08-2009, 12:35 PM   #31
ehagerty
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Party of the Senses vs V&A

Not that they are mutually exclusive from a scheduling point of view - but from "best value for the dollar" or "best overall food experience for the dollar" I have heard other posters say the same thing..... from allearsnet Food and Wine Festival Review


"The Party for the Senses: I think it's still a lot of fun, but if the price goes any higher than $135, I don't think I'd be interested. The option of paying an additional $75 to be guaranteed a seat in the Wine View Lounge is nice, but it makes the total $210 plus tax. That's an awful lot of money for what's basically a glorified cocktail party. In fact, my family has opted to bypass the Party for the Senses this year and instead will be splurging on an evening at Victoria and Albert's, which probaby cost us about the same amount. I'll be interested to hear if other die-hard Food and Wine Festival-goers do something similar."
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #32
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Herb Bread & Butter







I wish I knew more about bread, so that I could describe it well. For now, let's just say it is commensurate with the meal - flavorful without being intrusive or overpowering, rich without being heavy, moist without being damp - perhaps the highest compliment I can think of is that it complemented and transitioned the dishes without overly drawing attention to itself, adding another essential thread to the tapestry.....



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Old 10-08-2009, 12:49 PM   #33
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I really want to try and eat there next year, your pictures are great!
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #34
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Next course.... Chicken!!

Roasted Poulet Rouge with Salsify, Swiss Chard and Carmelinni Beans

Wine Pairing: Apollo-Falter Spatburgunder Rheinhessen 2007

Presented with a bell jar covering.... (which threw off my focus, so it goes)





without the covering






close-ups










Must break for lunch and head out for corporate pow-wow - followed by Sabres game - followed by checking back in here to see how y'all are doing. Trying to get this done before leaving on Sunday! Only half way there!!


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Old 10-08-2009, 01:21 PM   #35
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I just want to say that you take the most beautiful photos. I have seen many of your reviews. Thank you.

Everything looks so wonderful. I would love to go back!

P.S. - Your hubby is so handsome.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:34 PM   #36
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you know I regret immensely NOT taking picss of our trip to V&A on the 30th..

All I can say is Israel was terrific as a sommalier ESPECIALLY since he chose the Heller Chenin Blanc( one of our FAVORITE Monterey Cty wineries of all time..and they are certified organic and have been seen on White House menus that's how good they are) for your appetizer. the Bottle he chose for us went perfectly with both our main courses( we opted to not do the pairing this time).

and I wholeheartedly agree with your interpretations of the amuse buche.. I dislike tomatoes for the most part and every one of these was amazing.. especially the Octopus( which I adore).

as for the Pastry Chef.. yeah he was this close to being kidnapped... the orange date bread he gave us to take home almost didn't get shared with my husband....

maybe this is incentive to do my own review.....Must hunt down the menus....
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:48 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi View Post
Color me stupid, but as a relatively recent convert to scallop eating I had no idea that they were of the shell. Don't ask me where I thought they came from (other than the ocean) but I didn't know they were shelled. Just because I love food doesn't mean I actually know anything about it.
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Thank you for verifying the shell association. I've seen pictures of shells like that before, and may have surmised the logic of presenting scallops on scallops shells, but as oybolshoi notes further down, my love of food does not automatically translate into knowledge of food. We learn as we go.
I tease because I love. Mostly everything I've learned about food I got from the Food Network. I didn't know what aioli was, once upon a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehagerty View Post
Not that they are mutually exclusive from a scheduling point of view - but from "best value for the dollar" or "best overall food experience for the dollar" I have heard other posters say the same thing..... from allearsnet Food and Wine Festival Review


"The Party for the Senses: I think it's still a lot of fun, but if the price goes any higher than $135, I don't think I'd be interested. The option of paying an additional $75 to be guaranteed a seat in the Wine View Lounge is nice, but it makes the total $210 plus tax. That's an awful lot of money for what's basically a glorified cocktail party. In fact, my family has opted to bypass the Party for the Senses this year and instead will be splurging on an evening at Victoria and Albert's, which probaby cost us about the same amount. I'll be interested to hear if other die-hard Food and Wine Festival-goers do something similar."
Funny that you quoted this. I didn't schedule PFTS this year partly because I thought last year's was oversold and overcrowded, and didn't look forward to doing that this year. I booked V&A directly as a result of that decision, too! But now that I'm hearing that the parties are not crowded, similar to years past, I had a momentary regret. But then I quickly changed my mind because I know my V&A dinner will be fabulous.

Loved the bell jar presentation of the chicken!
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:35 PM   #38
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Anything you want to tell us, we want the hear!!
That's very kind. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos, but we were seated just after we arrived - about 10 minutes early, and offered drinks. We told them we'd be doing the wine pairing, and they brought a glass of champagne to start. We were asked if there were any particular dislikes before the chef started cooking, and we said no. He told us to expect 9-10 courses, and that he wouldn't know what the next course would be until it was ready, that the chef would make it up as he went. We told him that as far as we were concerned, he should prepare what he wanted us to eat, we'll try anything.

The Amuse Bouche was exactly the same as yours. He served me sesame crusted big-eye tuna with tat soi salad and tamari honey foam next. My wife was served smoked colorado buffalo with fennel, olives and artichokes in a sherry vinaigrette.

Next course was a "cold smoked" lobster (with the flashy fog effect) with apple-curry vinaigrette and radishes.

Next was diver scallops with corn and bamboo rice ragout, monterey abalone with toasted capers and meyer lemon creme, and white king salmon with asparagus, crab and sauce bearnaise.

For the next course I was served duck 3 ways - breast, sausage, and confit with salsify and cherry sauce. My wife had poulet rouge with mushroom-truffle ragout, english peas, and yellow chanterelles.

Next up was pork tenderloin and belly with baby beets, sherry bacon vinaigrette, and 100 yr balsalmic.

Somewhere around here we took a break and walked around the hotel for a bit.

Next was australian kobe tenderloin and japanese wagyu strip loin, followed by the cheese course.

The "pre-dessert" course (yes, she called it that) was blackberry sorbet, vanilla creme brulee and a carmelized banana gateau. Finally dessert - chocolate pyramid, kona chocolate souffle and peruvian chocolate ice cream in a puff pastry.

We left there and grabbed a burger at McDonald's on the way home.

OK, I lied, we barely could move after all of that, but it didn't seem like 3.5 hours had gone by. It was bar none the best meal we've ever had, and we plan to return next year.



Sorry for hijacking your thread, but you asked.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:11 AM   #39
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My wife and I both thought that was the best thing we ever tasted in our lives. Assuming this is the same as what we had back in September.
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:24 AM   #40
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Beautiful pictures and reviews
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:52 AM   #41
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I read this on Deb's site on Wednesday afternoon, I think. I thought it was an interesting comment for her to make because in the past she's always been pretty enthusiastic about PFTS. It's the same conclusion the hubby and I reached after we attended a PFTS last year - that's why we're going to V&A this year with friends instead of PFTS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehagerty View Post
Not that they are mutually exclusive from a scheduling point of view - but from "best value for the dollar" or "best overall food experience for the dollar" I have heard other posters say the same thing..... from allearsnet Food and Wine Festival Review


"The Party for the Senses: I think it's still a lot of fun, but if the price goes any higher than $135, I don't think I'd be interested. The option of paying an additional $75 to be guaranteed a seat in the Wine View Lounge is nice, but it makes the total $210 plus tax. That's an awful lot of money for what's basically a glorified cocktail party. In fact, my family has opted to bypass the Party for the Senses this year and instead will be splurging on an evening at Victoria and Albert's, which probaby cost us about the same amount. I'll be interested to hear if other die-hard Food and Wine Festival-goers do something similar."
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:34 AM   #42
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another one chiming in to say - we've given up on PFTS for all reasons stated - and switching to V&A!
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:58 PM   #43
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Various

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyfav4ever View Post
I really want to try and eat there next year, your pictures are great!
I hope you can add it to your list next year - I can see that you have MANY food reports planned. Welcome back!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizneykid View Post
I just want to say that you take the most beautiful photos. I have seen many of your reviews. Thank you. Everything looks so wonderful. I would love to go back!
Thank you - I appreciate the feedback!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsjvb View Post
(a) you know I regret immensely NOT taking picss of our trip to V&A on the 30th..
(b) All I can say is Israel was terrific as a sommelier ESPECIALLY since he chose the Heller Chenin Blanc (one of our FAVORITE Monterey Cty wineries of all time..and they are certified organic and have been seen on White House menus that's how good they are) for your appetizer. the Bottle he chose for us went perfectly with both our main courses( we opted to not do the pairing this time).
(c) and I wholeheartedly agree with your interpretations of the amuse buche.. I dislike tomatoes for the most part and every one of these was amazing.. especially the Octopus( which I adore).
(d) as for the Pastry Chef.. yeah he was this close to being kidnapped... the orange date bread he gave us to take home almost didn't get shared with my husband....
(e)maybe this is incentive to do my own review.....Must hunt down the menus....
(a) you'll just have to go back....
(b) agreed - I have asked him if he can supply wine notes for those of you who would like have expressed an interest in knowing more. He may not have time, but it never hurts to ask (I think)
(c) agree - totally
(d) he sent "home" a loaf of bread for my son's birthday in May. This visit, I forgot to ask for my menus - they were delivered to my OKW door the next morning, along with a loaf of orange date bread
(e) hopefully!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BriarRosie View Post
(a) I tease because I love. Mostly everything I've learned about food I got from the Food Network. I didn't know what aioli was, once upon a time.
(b) Funny that you quoted this. I didn't schedule PFTS this year partly because I thought last year's was oversold and overcrowded, and didn't look forward to doing that this year. I booked V&A directly as a result of that decision, too! But now that I'm hearing that the parties are not crowded, similar to years past, I had a momentary regret. But then I quickly changed my mind because I know my V&A dinner will be fabulous.
(c) Loved the bell jar presentation of the chicken!
(a) gotta start watching food networks....
(b) seems like you have company (below)
(c) there's always something I haven't seen before
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip View Post
It was bar none the best meal we've ever had, and we plan to return next year. Sorry for hijacking your thread, but you asked.
Not hijacking - sharing!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unca_Scrooge View Post
My wife and I both thought that was the best thing we ever tasted in our lives. Assuming this is the same as what we had back in September.
It was probably the same, as the picture was also taken in Sep - what day were you there?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeminni View Post
Beautiful pictures and reviews
Thank you - and thanks for stopping by - again
Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi View Post
I read this on Deb's site on Wednesday afternoon, I think. I thought it was an interesting comment for her to make because in the past she's always been pretty enthusiastic about PFTS. It's the same conclusion the hubby and I reached after we attended a PFTS last year - that's why we're going to V&A this year with friends instead of PFTS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy321 View Post
another one chiming in to say - we've given up on PFTS for all reasons stated - and switching to V&A!
Just FYI, Chef Scott's wife has a lot to do with the F&W Festival (exactly what, I don't recall - for some reason, I have it in my head that she is in charge of it - but at the executive chef level, I don't know exactly what they means). In any case, you can let him know what you would like to see changed about the PFTS that would entice you back - although, dollar for dollar, I think I'd rather sit down and listen to a harp....

Now, onto more pictures!!


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Old 10-09-2009, 09:17 PM   #44
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Monterey Abalone

Monterey Abalone with Toasted Capers and Meyer Lemon

Wine Pairing: Bisson Bianchetta, Golfo del Tigullio (DOC) Genova 2007







The Meyer Lemon provided fruit and zing - I never thought to toast capers (have always just used them out of the jar - packed in salt). Just looking at this dish made me salivate.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Sidebar - today was the anti-V&A dining day. I had some vintage Gouda and triscuits for breakfast at my desk. That Gouda was the most flavorful thing I ate all day - by far.

Had a work event bowling this afternoon (which I do once every 15 years). With a little coaching, I managed a 91. Lunch was pizza and wings, consisting of precisely two identifiable flavors, yeast and grease. Attempted to anesthetize my palette with a bottle of Guinness - which had all of the satisfaction of a bowl of watery oatmeal. Didn't help. I've only ever had tap Guinness - which is more like some Silver Palette oats, with dates and real maple syrup.

"Dinner" was some free bar snacks at a former employer reunion - pizza (more yeast and grease, despite that fact that I could actually see ham and pineapple on it, it had no flavor - how do they do it?), fried ravioli (who knew there could be something less healthy than fried mozzarella? - also, it was overcooked, and had no sauce), and some form of puffy french fry - the second best food item I had today. Attempted to anesthetize my palette with a glass of house white. I was genuinely concerned that they had left soap in the bar wine glass. Took several sips to accept it was just that bad. I didn't think anyone made wine that bad anymore. I think it is the first glass of wine I just didn't finish, in my life.

So you can see why just the IMAGE of this dish made my mouth tingle today.

Fortunately, DS19 gave me a box of Godiva Dark Assortment for my birthday, and I was able to at least finish with a Dark chocolate mint - yes, just one. I look forward to making my own breakfast tomorrow!! I am happy with a one-egg omelette with some asiago, chervil...

Now that I think of it, DH asked me where we could go for my birthday that would be better than something I could make for myself. I told him I would be happy to wait for as long as it takes to return to V&A!!!
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Last edited by ehagerty; 10-09-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:53 PM   #45
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Veal & Beef

Marcho Farms Veal Tenderloin with Marble Potatoes and Sauce Soubise
Tasking of Australian Kobe Beef Tenderloin and Japanese Wagyu Strip Loin with Oxtail Jus
Wine Pairing: Benziger "Tribute," Sonoma Mountain 2005


The Big Picture









Veal



Nice pyramid of flavor - veal was exceptional, I think there was a bacon-like thingy - and obviously, an onion ring on top - notice the melon continuity in front. I was actually starting to get skilled at cutting my pyramid in sections so that each bite would have the full complement of ingredients.




Beef



So phenomenal that I just assumed chef made it perfectly. Well, he did, but Mike showed us a sample of uncooked Kobe next to a comparable cut on non-Kobe (wish I have taken a picture). It was amazing to see the difference in marbling between the two. I appreciated that the beef was served unattended by any other elements. Distractions would have been a shame.




Veggies



Once again, perfectly cut, color, placement, and flavor. My recollection is that the artichoke on top and a slice of truffle (or is it mushroom? I knew three weeks ago - I promise I WILL starting taking notes). In any case, I enjoyed all the vegetables, but cut up the artichoke/truffle into very small pieces to make it last as long as possible.






Taters, Precious....



Last picture report, I mistakenly thought the topping might be braised shallots - turns out it is braised short ribs - acts as a condiment of sorts. Reminded me of the homemade chili sauce my grandmother used to can every year - a condiment staple on the table for everything from eggs to beans. Hmmm - haven't made it myself in a few years. Sounds like a November project....



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