The Last Meal

Let’s exercise our brains shall we. Here’s a scenario for you. Your about to be executed for some reason we need not get into. Make your own crazy situation up for that. So the warden comes up to you and asks you to give him a list of food that you want to eat as your last meal. What do you choose? I posed this question to a couple of buddies of mine, and their answers were quite disturbing. However, with their high levels of logic I really can’t argue with what they said. Both of them gave similar answer. They both began ranting about why you would want to eat something terrible to remind yourself of how horrible life was so that you would actually welcome deaths sweet embrace. I guess that would make sense from a person that did something worthy of execution. At the end of it all they were just mad at me for even asking such a question. I think that what you choose tells a lot about the person you are, and I guess I’m spot on with these two bitter people. So Tom’s last meal is as follows:

A piece of excrement with a side of razor blades.

Dans last meal would be his own boiled foot.

I suppose to freak everyone out.  I get their reasoning but when I was thinking of this, it was during a wonderful meal of sushi, so I was leaning toward actually eating good tasting things, and not eating either human waste, or your own foot. To each his own. So that perfect meal for me as I’m about to buy the farm is

Starters
A trio of fatness. foie gras from Victoria and Albert’s, pork belly from Balthazar and marrow on brioche from Prune.
Main
Veal loin from Joel Robuchon, with wild mushroom risotto (preferably matsutake and porcini) with a little shaved summer truffles.
Dessert
Basil cheesecake from Sideburns. (It’s the one dessert that always comes back to me. It’s been at least 5 years since I’ve had it but I will think about it every once and again.)

There’s more I could choose from. From dim sum to duck fat fries or maybe Grimaldi’s pizza, but what jumped in my head first is what I selected.

You might steer toward the negative way to eat your last supper. Or you might just think of the most rich and decadent delicacies like me. Some people lean toward comfort food, but there’s no wrong answer. Not even your own foot.

Logan

The Uni Sashimi Bar at Clio – Boston, MA

Well well, it certainly has been a while since I’ve contributed to this wonderful Eden of food experiences. Don’t you worry though, I’ve always got something tasty hidden up my sleeve to share with you. This restaurant review/wonderfully delicious culinary experience, comes from Boston, MA, at the Uni Bar in the hip neighborhood of Back Bay. My wife sniffed out this 4 table establishment, and somehow managed to get us a table on a Friday night. As far as atmosphere goes, it couldn’t have been any better, there was cool music softly playing in the background, 4 small tables and a sushi bar with a lone chef providing all the fresh sushi for the whole restaurant. There was also a small kitchen in the back for the few hot dishes that were on the menu. So to start, we ordered a nice bottle of sake, Chikurin Junmai Ginjo. It was nice and dry, with an earthy nose, and a slight hint of tropical fruit on the finish. We tried to make it last all the way through the meal, but that proved to be difficult. The menu was set up similar to Nobu, with lots of small dishes to choose from, both cold and hot. While they weren’t as numerous, after sampling some, they were on par as far as quality, which is saying a lot. So I started ordering at a frenzied pace, my eyes wildly darting back and forth between words, blue fin toro, duck liver, broiled eel, fresh uni, osetra caviar, and so on. So to start, I had what was called, an “Uni Spoon”, this wonderful creation consisted of a lone spoon containing a healthy portion of fresh uni (sea urchin), a quail egg yolk, osetra caviar, and chives, needless to say I took the whole thing in one bite. I can’t say enough about the quality of this tiny dish, amuse bouche even. I have had my share of uni, and this was the finest I have tasted outside of Japan. It was sweet and creamy, but you could still taste the ocean in the background, absolutely amazing. It pained me to swallow but there was more to come. Shortly after returning from my uni high, the rock shrimp tempura arrived. It was accompanied by a spicy red pepper aioli and Korean pepper threads. I’ve had a dish like this before at Nobu and Matsuhisa, and I have to say Uni pulled it off. I don’t care who copied who, but it was a delicious take on a classic dish. Each shrimp was nice and tender and the aioli added just the right amount of heat. The Korean pepper threads seemed to be more of an aesthetic addition than a taste choice, but either way it was fantastic. Next was the Yellow fin Chu-Toro sashimi plate (which we ended up ordering a second of!). This was the medium grade fatty tuna belly, and it was dressed with a black truffle vinaigrette, pickled cucumber, and aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chile). As with all of these dishes, it was hard not to just inhale the plate in one shot. We made a special effort to savor each marbled piece of toro, trying to focus on the earthy truffle notes and the crisp, clean cucumber. The flavor combinations in this dish were well balanced, and refreshingly different from the normal flavors paired with toro. On deck after the toro plate was tuna two ways, first was a tuna ceviche with coconut, chiles, scallions, and lemon grass. It had a wonderful Polynesian feel to it, and was curiously cooling and spicy simultaneously. The second was a Yellowfin tuna poke with sweet onions, sesame, seaweed, and pickled mung beans. It was hard to choose a favorite between the two, but I would have to go with the latter. This dish had a wonderful tang to it with the onions and mung beans, and the seaweed added a little taste of the ocean which tied the whole dish together. Our next stop on this fantastical sushi convoy was a sashimi platter with six different fish, dressed in six different ways. First up was a Bronzini (Greek sea bass) with kimchi. I wasn’t too crazy about this one, the fish was a little tough and the kimchee added little to the taste of the fish. Second was two pieces of ultra fresh Scottish salmon with Chinese black bean tapenade and fresh ginger. This…was amazing, another flavor combination that I never would have thought to try. The black beans added almost a rough, earthy texture to the fish and the ginger crisp tang cut through it to highlight the freshness of the salmon, definitely a winner. Next was Japanese octopus with hot oil, soy and ginger. The octopus was still sizzling under the oil as it arrived at our table allowing it to almost caramelize before our eyes. This was a simple dressing that packed a big punch, the octopus was perfectly tender (fresh!) and needed nothing more as the natural flavor of the cephalopod was allowed to shine through. Fourth was a  yellow fin tuna with pickled mung beans, somewhat of a repeat from the ceviche but who am I to turn down another helping of that tasty tuna?! A Hamachi was next with creamy ginger vinaigrette, sour cherry, and seagrape. Another creative combination, the cherries were the real power player here, adding such an interesting flavor to the Hamachi. The tart cherries along with the crisp spice of the ginger brought the taste of the fish out in a whole new way, and seagrapes. which I’ve never had were fantastic. Finally, a pink sea bream with Shiro ponzu, wolfberries (aka goji berries), and shiso, rounded out the platter. And last but so not least, the piéce de résistance, a laquered foie gras and barbequed eel with green apple slivers and kabayaki glaze (sweet soy sauce). If you know me…even a little bit, you know that I have an ongoing love affair with foie gras. I’m sure my colleague here at Eat a Duck would share my sentiment. Even my wife, who never eats foie gras, had to admit that it was one of the tastiest dishes we had that night. The liver was perfectly cooked with a creamy texture. Along with the eel, which fell apart at the touch of our chopsticks, it was a match made in heaven. These two proteins should always be together, ALWAYS! The glaze tied the whole dish together, with the perfect amount of sweetness to just push the dish from good to great. The flavor of the foie gras and eel was not lost in the sweet sauce, and the savory notes of each paired well with it. A dinner of this caliber must be finished right. How else would one do this but to have a dessert worthy of the meal. Ashley chose “Strawberry Fields”, which consisted of a hill of chocolate crumbs, a canelle of vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries perched on top of the hill. My choice was a Japanese yuzu curd with lychee sorbet, coffee crumble, and elderflowers. Definitely one of the top meals I’ve ever had, and I owe the whole experience to my wonderful wife, as this was her present to me for our 3rd anniversary. Thanks Ash! I’d give The Uni Bar a solid 9.5. I’m nitpicking on the half point, but I would have liked a larger selection of dishes, because I would have definitely ordered more.

Here are all the pictures from our wonderful feast. I only had my iPhone so I apologize for the horrible quality, the pictures definitely don’t do the food justice, trust me. Enjoy!

Chikurin Junmai Ginjo Sake Uni Spoon Rock Shrimp Tempura

Yellow Fin Sashimi Tuna Ceviche Tuna Poke

Sashimi Platter Foie Gras and Eel Japanese Yuzu Curd

Strawberry Fields

Clio on Urbanspoon

Beewon Korean Cuisine – Orlando, FL

I’ve been off work for the past few days and been getting a mini cabin fever feeling. So my family spent the day running some errands and buying some groceries, when we starting feeling some rumblings in our. When asked what I wanted for lunch, the first thing the popped into my head was Korean BBQ! And I knew just where to go. Beewon Korean cuisine is located where most great independent restaurants are, a strip mall. Walking into the main dining area looks pretty generic. New, clean, nice, and lots of stone and dark wood, intermingled with little hints of bamboo. Some of the tables have small burners in the middle if the table.Some did not, which is odd to me. Who decides if you’re going to need the burners? Do you figure that out after you order? I really didn’t let it bother me as much as some people have in their reviews. The menu is tiny compared to the many other Korean BBQ places in the area with maybe 20 choices that include starters, soup, meats, noodles, and hotpots. Some of them items weren’t even in English, only Korean . So I guess I wasn’t going to order any of those things. So I went with the safe bets. Fried pork dumpling was better than most dumplings that you get at every Asian eatery. One side is nice and charred, while the other keeps it’s soft steamed exterior. The skin of the dumpling was uniquely creamy and smooth. Definitely and delicately made in house. Great beginning to a bit of a shaky start.  But the food is what counts right? Not the pomp and circumstance. The waitress then brought out the banchan which is the condiments for the entrees.  They consisted of traditional daikon kimchee, pickled daikon strips, pickled seaweed, sticky rice and strangely, potato salad. Have I been out of the Korean BBQ game so long that I was unaware of the use of a southern picnic staple as a topping? Whatever the case, it worked. And whoever made it really did it justice. Creamy cubes of red potato, diced green  apple and cucumber, boiled egg, and a 80/20 mayo/mustard dressing impressed me. And then came out the main course. A smoke trail from the kitchen to the table as our beef bulgogi was presented. It was as expected. Paper thin slices of Ribeye on a bed of green and white onions. Smothered with a Ginger, garlic and sweet wine sauce. You can tell that it was marinated in the same vein because the meat was packed with flavor. Then it’s grilled at an extremely high temperature and for just enough time to get some char. Sprinkled with sesame seeds and you are in business pal. The waitress was very nice and attentive. However she didn’t have much to do since they was only one other couple in the room. But it was 3 in the afternoon so I gave them a break on the emptiness. I was very pleased with everything, the dumplings were great, the kimchees didn’t overpower as they can sometimes taste too fermented, and finally the beef was very tasty. I’m looking forward to my next visit as they have pork belly marinated in wine on the menu.

Beewon Korean Cuisine – 5100 Dr Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819 – 407.601.7788

Bee Won Korean Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Meal of the Week

This weeks best meal comes from what I described earlier in my celebration dinner. I had my parents over for veal t-bones, covered in a sage lemon wine pan sauce, braised turnip greens w/ smoked turkey legs and and pan roasted turnip roots. also my wife made some awesome roasted eggplant and a big salad with some leftover beets and other vegetables. it was really nice being able to eat a nice piece of veal and still feel like your not eating something terrible for you. i have been cutting down on the amount of food i eat but trying not to deprive myself so that i dont go off the deep end. Not to brag but i think you can tell from the pictures, it all looks good enough to eat. speaking of that, my stomach is growling so i better feed it. i hope you enjoy a few photos. Reader meal of the week comes from josh and kristen. Thanks for some great looking food!! By the way James has some great stories to share soon about his trip to boston and some great restaurants he ate at.Our first reviews will be coming before the weeks ends. so keep checking back.

josh brings us avacado gazpachoavacado gazpacho

amy made some homemade waffles with grilled apple and peachesamyswaffle

kristen whipped up Havarti and Cheddar cheese grits with sauteed onions, tomatoes, and fresh sage045