Pineapple and Pearls 5th Visit — Washington DC (4/2019)

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Since my visit to Pineapple and Pearls just over a year ago, the dining options changed. In the past, I could sit at the bar and prepay for the full tasting menu with beverages optional. Currently, sitting at the bar comes with a different, bar-specific menu, with some items form the tasting menu and some just for the bar. However, they did allow me to book a solo (or odd-numbered party seats) at the Chef’s Counter, where you pre-pay for the menu and the beverage pairings option of your choice (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). So, this ended up being the first time I was able to sit at the Chef’s Counter overlooking the kitchen. While waiting to be seated, we were offered a glass of champagne or white tea.

I generally don’t do wine pairings, so I went with the non-alcoholic beverage pairing.

The first beverage was made using an elaborate drip coffee technique. What resulted was a hibiscus tea and fruit-blend with orange juice, apple juice, yuzu-honey syrup, lemon, thyme, and lemon zest. A different mixture was prepared for those who selected the wine pairings.

The first dish arrived soon and consisted of a slice of wagyu beef tallow pie made with smoked A5 wagyu rendered fat and a red onion gelée on a rosemary pastry crust. The other item was a vol au vent of flavors of escargot – creamed parsley, creamed beurre blanc, sautéed American snails.
The next course was scallops crudo prepared in a mille-feuilles style with white asparagus and fermented kohlrabi (providing a nice texture contrast).

At the table, they poured a brown butter and sudachi hollandaise sauce.
This was paired with a celery and green pepper soda.

At the beginning, I had asked if I could order a glass of wine (in addition to having the non-alcoholic beverage pairings). They said they do not normally have a by-the-glass wine menu. But she asked what I was interested in trying. I had said that in the past, (when I sat at the bar), they offered some interesting wines, like a French Chardonnay from a magnum bottle. She said they would bring me something to have. It came with the next course and was a 2006 Puligny-Montrachet that was very good.

For the full write-up, click here.

Eden Hill 4th Visit — Seattle (4/2019)

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This visit to Eden Hill completed the cycle for me regarding trying the menus for all four seasons. Up front, we were told there would be 24 courses. So, with the warmer weather of springtime, I was anticipating smaller and lighter courses, rather than the larger and heartier courses from winter.
As expected, the wine list had some changes, with a few interesting-looking wines by the glass.

To start off, I selected the 1996 Spanish Rioja. I also picked the rosemary tattoo this time.
The first bite offered was a tartare of Shikoku oyster and wintergreen scallop. This was mixed with a kosho vinaigrette (yuzu-kosho is a blend of chilis fermented with salt and yuzu juice and zest. The liquid nitrogen kept things cool and made for an attention-getting opening.

In the rear was a puffed salmon skin chicharrons with salmon tartare, sorrel and . Up front was a scallop chip with scallops, caviar, crème fraiche and madrone bark.
The next presentation was a sweet tuile in a cone shape with oxalis daisy salad at the bottom, Anderson Ranch lamb tartare, and garden flowers at the top.

Next was a one-bite play on a Cubano sandwich, served as a croquet and made with shoulder bacon.
This was followed by a tasty fried quail leg, served on empty quail eggs.

The next bite was a piece of fresh focaccia fried and served with Chilean shrimp tartare made with fresh lemon and soy sauce infused with the roasted shrimp heads. The mayonnaise on the bottom was made from a demi-glace of the shrimp bodies. Frying the bread provided a nice texture contrast.
The next plate featured a halibut ceviche served with local white asparagus and lemon segments poached in lemon syrup.

For the full write-up, click here.