A few months ago, I wrote about Komi being one of the places I had hoped to visit. It wasn’t just a want, it was a strong desire, almost to the point of obsession. So with all the expectations surrounding this meal, I actually started to worry that I would be disappointed. One course into the meal, and I realized those expectations were well deserved.
The meal was laid out in 3 sections. The first section was advertised as their Mezze. In reality, it was a 11 course tasting menu. The section section was an entree course where 2 entrees were presented, along with a condiment tray. The third section was a series of 5 small desserts.
Everything was really good. Variances of flavor, texture, color, styles made everything seem new and inventive. The entrees were fantastic, and yet they lack the punch of the tasting menu. It may be the first time in my life where the protein felt like the filler. The desserts ended up being a similar journey to the mezze- 5 luscious bites.
My favorite course was their take on the traditional gyro- feta salad, a 15 layer stack of waygu beef tongue, and fois. In so many ways it captured the essence of the gyro, but then again it went so much further, Another course was a take on the DC favorite half smoke. There was so much to capture and yet all I can remember was that I really enjoyed the meal. Oh, and that one of the desserts had cheddar cheese ice cream, which reminds me that this world needs more cheddar cheese ice cream.
I think the essence of the evening was captured by my friend Marlon. After each course, he would tastefully say, “Damn you, Matt!” To which I would reply, “What?” And he would say, “This is too damn good. I want more.”
………… And just so your wondering, they ask that you refrain from taking pics. So that is why I don’t have anything to show other than the menu the handed out at the end of the night.
I am excited to let you know that I have now picked up another technology, Tumblr. Truth is that Tumblr allows for me to provide content much easier and quicker than a traditional blog. I have been updating Tumblr more frequently as such. I will still be using this site for more substantive content and event announcements. Tumblr will keep track of some of those items, but mostly it will be a quick view into what food related items strike my fancy on a given day.
So, I hope to see you on both sites, and I look forward to discussing and eating food with you in the future.
In preparation for the upcoming Marinara Dinner at Amour Wine Bistro, I thought it would be cool to get to know the owner, Paul Heitz.
1) At a very high level, tell us the story about how/why you got into the restaurant business?
I always wanted to open a restaurant, I like to share my passion about food, wine and everything that goes with french gastronomy. When I was 16 I had to choose between high-school and French Ecole Hoteliere (4 years of culinary and restaurant/hotel management) My parents push me to pick the safest orientation.
With my jobs, traveling all over the world, I had the opportunity to taste and enjoy multiple cultures with their food and gastronomic experience. Growing up in France, the focus is on food. Every morning or other day, I would go to the market, like most French, get fresh ingredients form the season from local farmers. It makes you learn to work with what is in season. The pleasure of walking around the market is a unique experience with unique flavors, colors, taste. You learn to pick ripe fruits and choose vegetables depending on when you want to cook them. When I was teenager, I spent my time on the French Riviera helping a neighbor farmer pick asparagus, melons, tomatoes, and peaches in September; we harvested the vines for the wine as well. In all my extensive traveling I would find myself in restaurant 2-3 times every day. READ MORE
Here is my take on RichmondMagazine.com RE: attending the Bourdain/Ripert show in C’Ville on Sunday.
If there is any question about whether or not “foodies” make up a real subculture, one only had to head to the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville on Sunday to see a packed house for chef extraordinaire Eric Ripert and famed food author and television host Anthony Bourdain. This was one tough ticket. Tickets have been sold out for months. There was a growing wait list. Resale tickets on Craigslist and eBay were nowhere to be found. The only way to get one was to know people who know people. (No, I’m not giving away my secrets.)
This dinner will be hosted by Amour’s owner Paul Heitz and will be prepared by the talented Chef Rob Hamlin. Heitz, who hails from Alsace, is excited to show the hospitality and cuisine that was afforded to him as a child in France. This meal will be different than some of the other meals in that it will not be served family style. Heitz assures me that a true Alsatian meal would involve a high level of service from the hosts. So as guests, we are to come and enjoy a pleasant dinner amongst friends.
The meal will consist of 3 courses along with 2 Amuse Bouche. The dinner will have an optional wine pairing that will include wines from the region. If wine is not your thing, the bar will be open.
The price of the meal with the pairings is $59 and without $44 (not including tax and tip). Reservations can be made through constant contact and payment will be handled on the day of the event.
A Holiday Dinner in Alsace-
- Where: Amour Wine Bistro (3129 West Cary Street)
- When: 7 Pm on December 4, 2011
- Cost: $59 with wine, $44 without