Best Dinner Party Evar.
And I didn't even host it! *sob* A few weeks ago I met up with Josh and some of his co-workers at a bar, where I met his friend Jason, a recruiter from HR. We got to talking and he casually mentioned that he happens to also be a classically trained French chef. Whaaaa? I fully thought he was tormenting me but it's true!! He also invited us over for dinner for the next night but seeing that he was half in the bag by then we just laughed at him and told him to call us over for another time.
So it was last night! And fortuitously he and his wife live like five blocks from us. Armed with a bottle of red and white, we show up, not knowing what to expect because he's kept it all sooper seekrit from Josh. And oh my gosh...every single meal I'll ever made has been put to SHAME!
We started with a glass of Prosecco and spiced olives. That's cool, something I'd likely do. Then we are called to a beautifully laid out table, poured a glass of white and the first course comes out!! It was a beautiful little portion of goat cheese nestled in puff pastry, surrounded by mache lettuce, roasted grape tomatoes and minced black olives. It was so perfectly flavoured and portioned, and just so beautiful on an oversized white plate. Already I'm thinking, shit!! I can't serve this guy butternut squash lasagna when he comes over! :)
People...he served a five course dinner!! By himself!! His wife just entertained us while Jason popped in and out of the kitchen. Truly amazing. The next course was a gorgeous little espresso cup presentation of polenta, fricasse of wild mushrooms (with the most adorable little baby enokis!), topped with more goat cheese. Incredible!! Then we had stunning little portions of seared tuna with an aromatic crust, pea shoots and this amazing spiced oil. Everything was so perfectly portioned that you could eat the whole course and not feel entirely stuffed. The final savory course was paparadelle with braised short ribs and fresh chives...aaah. By this point, though, I was fading and couldn't finish, and damn it hurt to have to leave anything on the plate. Even dessert, despite my valiant efforts, went largely uneaten by me...it was a strawberry-rhubarb clafoutis with vanilla ice cream with one of the best crusts I've ever tasted.
Suffice to say...this is the best meal I've ever had at someone's house. He clearly has the advantage of the French training but it's totally inspired to step up my own game! I'm already plotting the amazing things I'll have to make when he and his wife come over! *off to stalk RBM's food blog*