Sunday, January 10, 2010

Little Kitchen: scrumptious dinner @skemsley's!

Oh, what a delicious over-the top evening. Sandy won a dinner for 4, prepared in her home, by Little Kitchen chef Matt Kantor. We had a great time.

Betty and I arrived at Sandy's a little on the early side, but Betty, being the wise sister that she is, had a bottle of prosecco in hand, so Sandy, Damir, Betty and I all toasted the evening-to-come. Sandy, feel free to comment about what the different wines were that we had with these courses!

Shortly after 6, Matt Kantor, proprietor of Little Kitchen, phoned up, and Damir helped him carry goodies and cooking items upstairs.

Although I took this photo at the end of the night, I thought I'd place it here as the first picture, so you know who Sandy is, and get to know Matt, too.


It was time for the festivities to begin!


First dish of the night was Beet and Orange a la Heston.
The beet gelée, surprise, surprise, is the orange-colored one. And the red gelée comes from blood oranges. Blumenthal, eat your heart out :-)



It was followed by properly toothsome Gulf Shrimp that gently yielded to a deliciously moist flesh once past the exterior, served with an excellent charmoula sauce. We didn't leave any on the plate. The charmoula recipe is on Little Kitchen's website. We started fantasizing about all the possible uses of charmoula...



Sun chokes (Jerusalem artichokes). Pretty much one of the best soups we've ever ever had. So lovely, rich, flavourful, and creamy that it made us swoon. The topping of double-smoked bacon lardons and perfectly cooked shiitake mushrooms added contrasting flavours and textures. Really excellent, excellent soup.



How do you follow something like that? In Matt Kantor's universe, you serve something even more outrageous. In this case, it was a perfectly seared scallop with a round of apple and some purée, and a side of raw scallop, fennel and purple potato. It's called batting 1000, folks.



The standard for multiple course meals is that one goes from light to heavier and richer dishes. The next one really knocked our socks off. I had only thought of cocoa pasta being served as a dessert: wow, was I limiting things! Matt combined a cocoa Fazoletti with a wild boar ragu for this stunning dish.



The next course brought more richness: braised lamb that had been cooked in a tagine, moulded in a cabbage leaf, served atop an eggplant puree, and a cucumber and citrus salad to the side. Wow. Extremely tasty. Taste of some traditional Moroccan spices in with the lamb really took us to North Africa. I loved the way the cabbage leaf translucently covered the lamb. It was glorious.



Ah, and on to the finale: French toast with an ice cream of banana and white chocolate, topped with toasted hazelnuts, and a caramel drizzle. Can life get any better?



Not much; really, this was so fine.

I ate for the first time today at 3pm: was still full from last night. Oh my, that was a fine meal, in the best possible epiglutton tradition.

2 comments:

  1. The wines were:
    - Val D'Oca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene to start
    - Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling "Wood Post Vineyard" 2008 with the seafood and soup courses
    - Fontanafredda Barbera "Briccotondo" 2008 with the cocoa/wild boar pasta
    - Heath "100 Year Old Vine" Shiraz 2003 with the lamb
    - Taylor Fladgate 20 year old Tawny Port with the chocolate/hazelnut french toast

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  2. Damn; I'm hungry all over again!

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