Auros (auros) wrote,
Auros
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foodpr0n: Mehtaphor birthday dinner

We'd originally planned to go to Graffiti, Chef Jehangir Mehta's original restaurant, but due to vagaries of planning we couldn't get a reservation there for tonight. (So we're going there tomorrow. *g*) We had a reservation for five at the brand new place, Mehtaphor, which ended up falling down to three by this evening, after one friend I'd thought might be able to come couldn't, and another who'd said he was coming had to bail due to some family emergency. I ended up going with just Xta and Dan (my best friend from growing up).

Chef Mehta was sitting at a desk reviewing some kind of paperwork when we came in, and was talking to patrons when we were on our way out, so I got to say hi, express my admiration, and get my copy of his book signed. So, yay. I also mentioned that it seems like I have a taste for the work of chefs who started out working on pastries and desserts, with Elizabeth Falkner being another chef whose style I really enjoy; he seemed to be pleased with the comparison.



Cocktails:

Lychee Martini, which wasn't particularly martini-ish, but served in a martini glass. Mostly prosecco and lychee granita. May've had a touch of sweet vermouth.

Coconut Chili Fizz: Vodka, fizzy water, coconut-chili sorbet, shredded Thai basil. This was really good; the touch of heat, with the smoothness and coldness, was wonderful.

Lime Twist: Pure agave tequila, lime sherbet, fresh mint. I think the sherbet may've been sweetened with agave nectar. The word for this drink is cheerful. I'm not a tequila fan (I usually think it could be beneficially replaced with rhum agricole or cachaça), but this was really nice. Cool and refreshing.



Appetizers:

Cheese plate: Tête de Moine (which turns out to be Swiss -- I had the sense from the flavor and texture that despite the name it just wasn't quite French; I'd been thinking maybe northern Italian or Basque), Midnight Moon goat gouda (which I've had before, and love), and some kind of soft cheese that I let Dan and Xta eat, because I don't generally like soft cheeses. Served with delicious buttery toast, candied figs, and toasted walnuts.

Beef tartare: minced beef seasoned with finely diced thai dragon chili and a touch of citrus, guacamole sorbet (!), and caramelized-onion flatbread. This was really excellent -- the three elements complemented each other wonderfully, with the meat quite spicy and lightly citrusy (which made its overall character bright, rather than heavy), the sorbet cooling and unctuous, and the flatbread earthy and palate-cleansing. The flatbread reminded me of one of the Indian flatbreads, maybe chapati.



Entrées:

Cinnamon-Tomato Eggs on Cocotte: Poached eggs, yolks still runny, served on a bed of Persian-spiced tomato-eggplant stew. Yummy. The spicing is quite similar to what I do with my fesenjan, though with a touch more peppery heat.

Spiced lamb shank (Moroccan-style spicing), braised over 4-5 hours, served with garlic sweet potato fries. I'm not sure what all was in the braising sauce for this; I suspect some onion, but everything had kind of turned into mush. (Delicious, wonderful mush!) We scraped the bone clean getting all the meat off -- waste not, want not... The fries were quite nice, too.

Slider-sized burgers, on toasted buns, with garlic fries (regular potato, this time), chipotle mayo, and house-made ketchup. (I suspect the ketchup may've contained a touch of balsamic vinegar.)



Desserts:

Mehtaphor Sundae: three scoops of ice cream (rum-raisin, chocolate-chicory, kahlua), house-made marshmallow, and "chocolate pearls", which I was expecting to mean molecular-gastrony type liquid-in-a-jelly-membrane pearls (also sometimes described as "caviar"), but actually turned out to be something like tiny chocolate malt balls, which were nicely crunchy.

Tres Leches cake with coconut-pineapple broth (really more of a foamy sauce than a broth) and pineapple (grilled and then chopped into little bits) and finely shredded coconut compressed into a sort of cookie stick thing.

Hazelnut soufflé, served with another scoop of the rum-raisin ice cream. This was probably the stand-out among the desserts, though the others were certainly good. The center was beautifully fluffy, while the bits right around the edge of the ramekin were a bit crispy, a bit sticky, and oh-so-yummy.



I guess I should've gotten Xta to take some photos, but we were too focused on, you know, eating. :-I *nom*

ETA: I should also mention, last night we went to Khyber Pass, a nice little Afghan restaurant on Saint Mark's Place, where I used to eat before going clubbing when I was an intern at IBM Research over summer '98, and I'd just started getting into the goth scene. I was really pleased to find it still there. :-)
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