Saturday, February 02, 2008

Eye-bee-thuh not Eye-bee-za

I want to tell you about a dinner we had. I don't have any pictures of it, I don't know exactly how it was made and I certainly won't be able to give you an entire ingredient list or link to a recipe. The dinner consisted of drinks and a few appetizers at a well-known local restaurant. I want to record it here so I never forget, so I can look back on this writing and drool, so that one day maybe I could try to make something like them myself.


Tuna Tartar - I don't even normally eat raw tuna. The tiny, perfectly sized cubes of tomato tricked me. Come to think of it, I don't even normally eat raw tomatoes! But where did the tuna stop and the tomato begin? You've got me. Their perfectly similar texture and shape was balanced by sweet tuna vs sharp tomato. With chopped fresh onion, bits of other unidentifiable goodness and perfectly simmered lentils on the side, this tuna tartar was delicious, creamy, and way more than the sum of its parts.

Seared Scallops with Corn Flour Tetilla - Seared scallops are always good, but what made this special was its side: a creamy, bechemel-ish cheese layer sandwiched between two grilled polenta-type slices. The dense texture and nutty flavor of the polenta contrasted with the creamy smoothness of who-knows-what-kind-of-tantilizing-cheese. The balance of flavor and texture was sublime.

Potato Tortilla - there are potato tortillas (oil+thinly sliced potatoes+oven) and then there's this. No I don't have a clue what was seasoning that oil but it might as well have been pure MSG. Bacon fat? Duck fat? Was it merely the Idiazabal cheese listed on the menu? I probably won't figure it out until I try it at least a few more times...

That's all folks. Oh, here's where you call for reservations.


Unknown said...

the corn flour tortilla/quesadilla thing sounds like a "papusa" --

was that it?

Rachael said...

Christina, I think it is close... what I had was very definitely created from a course grain polenta, and the cheese/bechemel type filling was firm enough to break into pieces even when it was warm. But I think you are right - the restaurant must have been inspired by this traditional dish. Thanks for the heads up!!