Victoria & Alberts - Join me in my Dining Scheherazade (Night #3 Sep 17, 2009)

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by ehagerty, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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

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    .....and his charming and elegant staff

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    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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  3. kbmaggs

    kbmaggs Mouseketeer

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    oooh.... I can't wait!!!!! :yay:
     
  4. BriarRosie

    BriarRosie <font color=blue>Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:<br>Cl

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    I like how you incorporated the Arabian Nights references. :goodvibes

    Since I know your food porn is epic, I can't wait. :banana:
    Oh, and see you in a couple weeks... from today!
     
  5. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    The table

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    The harpist

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    The roses

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    A toast to wine pairings

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    .
     
  6. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    ... in response to your enthusiasm

    ..... so I am ready for the next!! - look forward to meeting you, two weeks from NOW
     
  7. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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    Count me in!
     
  8. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    The big picture

    Wine Pairing: Vueve Cliquot Ponsardin NY

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    Deviled Quail Egg with American Caviar

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    Tomato Fennel Custard Baked in the Shell

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    Heirloom Tomato Sorbet with Olive Oil Powder


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    Italian Buffalo Mozzarella with Pine Nuts


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    Tomato Carpaccio, Octopus

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    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.....

    .
     
  9. Symans3honeybees

    Symans3honeybees DIS Veteran

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    Amazing food pictures. Thank you for sharing :thumbsup2
     
  10. kabuki

    kabuki <font color=green>It's free if you pass out in the

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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! :cutie:
     
  11. donaldtutter

    donaldtutter DIS Veteran

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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!!
     
  12. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  13. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    You're Welcome!! Hope you had time to check out the first two reports!
    Enjoy your upcoming visit - I am hoping to be there Oct 17th (early) - what day are you going?
    Enjoy!!
    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?
     
  14. Miffy2003

    Miffy2003 <font color=orange>I've got Saratoga Springs - mak

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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 :)
     
  15. BriarRosie

    BriarRosie <font color=blue>Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:<br>Cl

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    Kabuki and I (and a couple others who post here) are going the following night...October 18.
     
  16. engle

    engle DIS Veteran

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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!!
     
  17. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Fresh Baguette & Vermont Butter

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    It is easy to overlook the perfect simplicity of this delight-between-courses.

    The Vermont butter is very rich and creamy, incrementally pushing the upper limit of the balance of flavor and texture - salt, sweet, etc.. Many specialty stores come very close - this is just a little bit beyond that.

    The bread, however, you simply cannot get anywhere else unless you make it yourself. To crack open a perfect baguette, and see steam emerge, is the pinnacle of baguette-perfection. The fact that is it also perfectly shaped and cooked to a perfect crust is, again, just another degree of mastery.

    As with the tomato sorbet flashback, watching the moist tendrils escape this bread - a mini-Zen experience all by itself - immediately brought to mind an article I read awhile ago.
    How long ago, I did not realize until I checked out the publishers web page - for the first time - looks like about 12 years ago.​

    Visually watching the "perfect experience" reminded me that this writer had verbally described it in writing - and now, I was there.

    Only at V&A.

    According to the writer, you can hardly even find it in Parisian Bakery, as the bread can only hold the moisture so long, before it dissipates.


    Major Kudos to Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek

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    I am including reference to that article / magazine here for the people who are into bread (I am not selling or promoting - think of it as a library thing).

    "The Art of Eating" (artofeating.com)
    no. 29 “A Well-Crafted White Loaf (Cream-Colored Flours, Gentle Mixers, Hand-Shaping, and Really Flavorful Bread)” — that rarest of breads: great white bread — a visit to Acme Bread Co. in Berkeley, California, and interview with Steve Sullivan — the views of Professor Calvel of Paris — recipe for great white bread. 18 pp.

    I think of Edward Behr as kind of the Pauline Kael of food...... For that reference, you'll have to google......
     
  18. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for joining me on the journey!!
    I think I knew that from another thread - well, at least we have the 16th!!
    How was Chef's Table?
     
  19. engle

    engle DIS Veteran

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    The Chef's Table? Indescribable. For someone like you, a must do. DH and I did it the year after we did the dining room. It is a different experience...I wouldn't say romantic or serene. Not the same feeling as the dining room for sure. But as a culinary experience, phenomenal. The service of course is superb. And more relaxed. Really a great, fun night. Getting to talk directly with the chef was awesome. It was personal and informative all at the same time. You must do it and report back like this!!!
     
  20. D&R love Disney

    D&R love Disney DIS Veteran

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    I'm so looking forward to enjoying another one of your reviews!
     
  21. lindsey clare

    lindsey clare Mouseketeer

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    ehagerty, i think i love you. :lovestruc :lmao:

    you seem as utterly obsessed with food as i am. and with great photos to boot. :worship: i look forward to reading more of your posts!
     

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