Tuesday, July 6, 2010


My first Thomas Keller meal - and I have nothing but savory remembrances. After a day of wine tasting and absorbing as much of the 90+ degree heat as possible, we made our way to Ad Hoc, Keller's establishment offering a four-course, $48 prix-fixe menu.

As our first course we were presented with a very straightforward salad with a melange of squash and endive accompanied by little sugar-bomb tomatoes. It was laid atop a luscious lemon cream dressing.

The salad was fresh and the vegetables were just cooked - celebrating them at the height of the season. For the main course, I had the pleasure of eating the most tender veal ever known. It was served in a cast iron pan alongside sous vide purple potatoes (finished under the broiler with a generous pat of butter), turnips (from the French Laundry's own garden), and morel mushrooms (oozing earthiness). and snagged bar seats at Keller's restaurant offering a four-course, $48 prix-fixe menu.

A delicious companion to the cheese (capra valtellina, an aged goat cheese) - local apricots with toasted almonds and a fig agrodolce. Everything worked together beautifully and when all taken in one bite it was exquisite. To close the meal we had a chocolate cake (imagine a moist dense instensely flavorful brownie) with a small piece of salted almond brittle and coconut ice cream (which we learned was made by the pastry chef who, for lack of an ice cream machine at the restaurant, had to run back and forth to Bouchon - Keller's bakery down the street - to make the dessert).

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