Archive for the ‘Oysters’ Category

Tomales Bay Oyster Company

April 3, 2008

My buddy Ray recently had his birthday gathering at Tomales Bay Oyster Company. It was genius. We headed north from SF over the Golden Gate and about another hour and a half on highway 1 winding through Stenson Beach to Tomales Bay. The place is simple. They sell super fresh oysters from a stand and have grills and picnic tables scattered about overlooking the bay.

Everyone brought great beer, wine, food for the grill, and fixings for the oysters. With an unlimited supply of amazing oysters and a variety of different ingredients lying around people got really creative. It was like a burger bar for oysters. We ate them raw, in many different sauces, wrapped them in bacon and grilled them, bbq’ed them whole on the grill, and the list goes on and on. If I were not busy shucking the whole time I would have more pictures to show for it…

Oysters fresh from the bay:

We all got better at shucking:

Ray shuckin’ his 5000th oyster:

Oysters on a half shell:

Oysters and Ribs on the grill:

Bay and other oyster fans:

It was the perfect day. I never thought I could eat that many oysters in one sitting, but I still didn’t leave without bringing another dozen home. It was such a satisfying day that every time I notice the scars that are still on my hands from shucking, I daydream about oysters, bbq, and beer at Tomales Bay…

– CJ

Tomales Bay Oyster Company

15479 Highway One
Marshall, CA
T: 415.663.1242

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California Soul: Swan Oyster Depot (SF)

March 10, 2008

They say the sun comes up every morning
And if you listen oh so carefully
The winds that ride on the high time
Whistle in melody
And so the people started to sing
And thats how the surf gave birth untold
To California soul, California Soul
– Ashford & Simpson

You know what the surf all along the west coast gave birth to? Absolutely the best oysters in the world, hands down. No joke- I’ve had oysters in many towns, in many countries, and I’m confident that this is true. There’s something in that Ocean, we’ll call it Pacific Soul–when it brushes up against Washington, Oregon and down to California, it creates these divinely luscious slurpable gems.

As soon as I got into San Francisco, Vanessa swooped me up and we headed towards California and Polk for the Swan Oyster Depot. Jim told me about this place, and I’d been dying to go. This seafood joint has been around since 1912 (!), and opens at 8am, closes at 5:30pm- I’m guessing the odd hours is to cater to local fishermen for before or after their shift.
We got there around 12:30pm and there was already a long line out the door. It was a mixed bag of tourists and regulars- the regulars got special treatment and got to drink in line. I want to be a regular!

There’s a fan above the doorway- bizarre but great.

All of the day’s selection displayed in the window. Gorgeous! Look at all those colors. All the guys behind the counter would run back and forth when making your food.

The Depot literally is just one counter, seating maybe 20 people. No frills here, just a lot of history. Men old and young work behind the counter. They were all super knowledgeable about their seafood.
We waited maybe 30-40 minutes in line. Here’s our guy- I think his name was Jeff??? Shame on me for not remembering- he was seriously the sweetest. He’s been there for at least 20 years, which is awesome (on their postcard, they have a pic of him when he still had hair. Aw). He also had a huge crush on V, which meant he showered us with attention. We like that.

He put our purses behind the counter. Seems to be a ritual of sorts.
Alright, the meal. Er, feast. God we ordered too much… you may have noticed that I always over-order. People get really annoyed at me for doing this, but V is the perfect eating partner cause she eats as much as I do, and is experimental. Neither of us have any shame. That’s my kinda girl.

“Jeff” really helped us construct our feast- we just gave him an idea of what we wanted, he suggested, we complied. No one should know what you should be eating better than the guy behind the counter (that goes for any place in general).

First up, OYSTERS! We got a dozen assorted (Drake’s Bay, Kumamoto, Olympia, Miyagi). In practice, I will only eat west coast oysters- there’s such a wide variety of flavors, sizes and textures just from up and down the coast, that is far superior to east coast oysters. I can’t explain what it is, but I think it’s the Pacific Soul.
Next- 1/2 dozen cherry stone clams. I love these cause they’re chewy, juicy, and for their delightful fleshy colors. V was not a fan though.
We got a bowl of the clam chowder to share- it was literally so runny, we were confused. But seriously, this was one of the best clam chowders I’ve ever had. Basically water and clams, and maybe some butter and milk, but mostly just clam juice. It was surprisingly refreshing and flavorful.

Big bowl of oyster crackers- just dig your hands right in!
V wanted scallops, so scallops “Jeff” gave us. He offered them raw sashimi style, or lightly marinated with olive oil, capers and red onions. We opted for the latter. Here he is squeezing lemon over it.

It was such a nice looking dish- and the mushiness of the scallops were perfect with the crisp of the onions. Flavor explosion!

At this point, we were pretty stuffed- “Jeff” kept checking in with us, every time he came back he thought we would be done for sure. NO WAY. He was really good about pacing our meal. He raised his eyebrows when we told him we wanted to finish with the crab salad. And another beer please! They have Stella on tap!

Seriously best crab salad. Their louis dressing is crack in form of a chunky orange cream sauce. Look at these fat pieces of crab!!! It was unreal.
5 courses, 2 beers, 2 hours later, we finally gave up. We surrendered our gluttony-I was sad that it was over. But we had so much fun! Until poor V started having some issues… FYI- Barney’s and Nordstrom downtown have really nice public bathrooms. Note to self- stop while you’re ahead.

V- SORRY!!!! But don’t ever stop eating with me!!!

Swan Oyster Depot
1517 Polk St.
(between California St. & Sacramento St.)
San Francisco, CA
T: 415.673.1101

View of the Bay Bridge on a gorgeous February day. The fog lifted for maybe an hour.

WINTERMARKET

January 21, 2008

Last month there was a gathering of sustainable purveyors in the space that use to occupy the historic Fulton Fish Market in NYC, near South Street Seaport- a place that, until recently, has held outdoor makets for New Yorkers since the 1600’s. An organization called New Amsterdam Public invited a group of local farmers, wild food foragers, producers, and cooks to create a happening called “Wintermarket”. It is hoped to be the 1st of many future outdoor markets held in this famous locale to help promote and support the “locavore” movement in the city. After a $5 donation, we were able to join the locals for tastings of fresh ricotta, organic honey, cranberry cider sorbet, liver pate, pine island oysters, ice wine from the upstate Slyboro Ciderhouse and Lady Apples from New Hampshire…to name a few.



Sheep Cheese from 3-Corner Field Farm


Hot Cider






Local Liver Pate

Scallops and other seafood from Wild Edibles

Local Nuts

Hot Cheese and Pickle Sandwich

Pacific Northwest Road Trip 2007

August 6, 2007

Just got back from a 6 day jaunt around the pristine and spectacular Pacific Northwest, stopping in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. The trip was cloudless, seamless, no accidents, no trip-ups– just good times drinking, eating, discovering, and mellowing with my friend Kristi, who gets a cookie for putting up with me through 2 states, 2 countries, and all that mileage.

My traveling method is really to just go-with-the flow. Especially when you’re traveling with others, I think it’s important not to create any strict expectations about what to do/ where to eat. I did want to eat well, but I had only done a little research going out there, so we ended up getting stuck in a few tourist traps, but whatever, it happens. Here are a few highlights from the trip.

Kristi and I were super stoked when we drove by this Kwik-E-Mart in Seattle. Neither of us knew this was happening to 7-11s all over the country, and it was a very random, very welcome happenstance.

We of course got out of the car, got our Squishee on (the sign really does say Squishee!), and took pictures with Homer, Chief Wiggum, Apu and Ralphie. YES!!!


Seattle is known to be the coffee capital of the US. It is, of course, where Starbucks originated, and I was very looking forward to drinking some hardcore coffee.

My friend Dawn, who lived in Seattle for 3 years, recommended Espresso Vivace, in Capitol Hill, which was my favorite part of town. Look at my cappucino, isn’t it pretty! It was neat to watch the barista make the heart/ leaf design– she basically put the foam on top of the espresso, then with a quick flick of the wrist, created this work of art. And it tasted even better than it looks, really bold but not overpowering, at just the right temperature too.

Kristi’s hot cocoa was gorgeous too, with the whipped cream on one side and the foam with the design on the other. So cool! Watching these hot baristas made me want to master the art of coffee!

We went to Pike Place for their row of veggie, fruit, seafood, cheese, flowers and just-about-everything-else vendors, right alongside the water. Here’s a little clip of this one specific seafood vendor, famous for throwing the customers orders from one end of the counter to the other, and singing all the way through.

Kinda kitchy, but I loved it. It’s sorta hard to tell, but the guy behind the counter really did catch the huge fish! And these fishermen are all so HOT!

In Vancouver, we went to this great indoor market on Granville “Island” (not to be mistaken as a real island, it turned out). Here they house a plethora of local produce, bakeries, butchers, and like Pike Place, just about everything else.

How great are these little pieces seaweed, sold as “sea asparagus”. So cute! I’m sure it would be good in salad and soups.

I had one of these “salmon rolls” which is basically salmon rolled in pastry puff. Since the northwest is especially known for their salmon, this was a great little treat. For $2, it was the best deal ever!

Ironically, the best meal I had throughout the entire trip took place while I was waiting for my flight at the Seattle-Tacoma airport. By then, Kristi was already on her way back to San Diego, so I was all by my lonesome.

I had been saying to Kristi everyday, “let’s go get oysters today”, but for one reason or another, it never happened. Oysters of the northwest are absolutely the best, in my opinion, so I was totally stoked when I got a chance to sample a few before leaving. In the airport, of all places! Thank god for Anthony’s (it turns out it’s a chain!).

Overlooking the tarmac, I ordered a glass of chardonnay at the bar, along with a half dozen, local oysters. I wish I had taken a better picture, but they were all jewel-like creatures of wonder.

There were three different kinds: Baron Points, Snow Creeks, and Bay Waters (I’m pretty sure this is right).

The Baron Point oyster, above, was a luscious, plump beauty, that was milky and briny- just how I like them! The other ones were more subtle, with a little crunch, even, and airy. PERFECT.

After the oysters and another glass of wine, I was pretty wasted and ordered this fresh crab and avocado salad with a bold of clam chowder. The crab was so meaty and delicious! It was truly a fantastic meal, all for myself, to end a memorable journey.

Other good eats/ drinks from the trip that I unfortunately don’t have pictures of, but highly recommend:

– Hot dogs on the streets of Seattle and Vancouver. Best street dogs ever. In Seattle, they smear cream cheese on the bun, which was so good. I had a great dog in downtown Vancouver, from a cart on Robson Street- really good sausage, topped with grilled onions, a slew of various condiments (horseradish mustard and Sriracha, oh my!), on a delish deluxe bun. Yummy!

Linda’s Tavern Bar in Seattle, in Capitol Hill. Great little place. Best martini I’ve had in a while. We went twice!

– The bar Shanghai Tunnel, in Downtown Portland. I hear it’s haunted, as this underground place used to be where locals were lured and kidnapped (or “Shanghaiied”), then sold to ship captains to be slaves. The place was awesome- really seedy, kinda creepy. And you can smoke inside, which I appreciated. Good music too.

– The pho at Ballet, in Seattle was excellent. Large Vietnamese population, I take it. Lots of Vietnamese restaurants all around town. I’ve been super into Vietnamese lately- perfect for summertime!

– The Charlatan for affordable food and drinks in Vancouver. Steamed mussels were yummy, and they had this great, comfortable deck that was perfect for people watching.

Burrata + Oysters: The Reckoning

May 12, 2007

tmonkey lost his mind last night.

I came home from work at 10:30. The apartment was sweltering. tmonkey was walking around, sweaty, shirtless with a small knife. He mumbling something about mozzarella cheese. He had been blogging. I knew there would be trouble.

“Do you know how to shuck oysters?” he asked. I told him no. “This is going to be harder than I thought. These Malpeques are tight.”

There was some blood on the wet paper towels. tmonkey blood. Or maybe it was from the tomato sauce bubbling on the stove. Six perfect green-grey oysters nestled atop a bed of ice, taunting us. I took a knife in hand. That was the beginning of the end…

“Bye, valve.”

That’s what tmonkey kept saying as we pried open the shells. I could almost hear the little soft bodies screaming as we slid the cold blade in and forced open their shells. But I didn’t care. I was possessed. After we had readied them for ritual sacrifice, the grey oyster flesh glistening with lemon juice, we turned our attention to the Burrata. (At this point I couldn’t control myself. I was trying to scrape off the little remaining meat off of an empty shell with my teeth. I offered some oyster juice-laced shell to the little hairless Buster, but he was entirely uninterested.)

I had never seen this before. Inside the plastic container, a plastic bag, and yet another plastic bag, tied up with a mint-green ribbon. Milky liquid collected at the bottom of the bags. The cheese was heavy and white. tmonkey carefully unveiled the Burrata mozzarella and placed it on the cutting board. It looked like a creamy tumescent heart from some unknown mythical creature, about to burst. “Get the camera,” he said. His eyes were bulging. He had a clean knife. We wanted to keep a record of this moment. The first shot was completely washed out. I turned off the flash. The knife pierced the heart and slowly made its way down its surface. Almost immediately, a viscous cream began to ooze out. The engorged cheese-heart, fell open easily against the blade. The flesh inside was not smooth and seamless like the outside. It had the look of delicate sauerkraut, shreds of heavenly string, bleeding cream.

When I saw this, I suddenly realized what we had done, and what we were about to do. It was too much. We had gone too far. But there was no turning back.

The spaghetti was boiling. We had time to kill.

tmonkey took an oyster in his hand. With a fork he jabbed into the Burrata. He wound a long shred around the prongs, and twirling it just so, daintily placed it on top of the oyster. I did the same. We looked at each other, and took the shells to our lips.

Words fail to aptly describe this ineffable experience. How can I write about the texture of the oyster as it swirled around my tongue, escaping the clutches of my teeth? Or the salty firm meat of the Burrata, spreading its flavor into the corners of my mouth? The sensations were overwhelming, totally engrossing, and then, it was over, all too quickly. Leaving only echoes of the salt and sea. Guilt at such pleasure. The remaining oysters were dispatched one after another. It was all over in less than 10 minutes.

I cleaned up the debris. The kitchen towel soaked in oyster juice. Lemon seeds. Knives. The dissected cheese-heart. I saw the bowl of empty oyster shells capsizing amidst melting chunks of ice. In a desperate attempt to cling to the experience that was already now just a lingering memory, I put my right foot in the bowl, imagining myself stepping into the ice-cold Atlantic Ocean. I let the oyster juice soak into my skin, shells digging into my toes. Melancholy sets in, when something is over. But somehow I knew this would not be the last time…

Burrata + Oysters? A Match Made in Puglia (story at 11)

May 12, 2007

*TI went to Murray’s Cheese Shop on the way home from work today and walked out a lot lighter in the wallet. Who knew cheese could do that?

One of the things that caught my eye was the package of “Burrata Di Andria”, apparently the latest import from Italy’s Puglia region that is making gastronomes on both coasts cream. Ha-ha. Heh.

OK, anyways, here’s what the label read:

Burrata Di Andria
Burratina may just be the penultimate organoleptic experience of fresh cheese.

Step one: take a delicate ribbon of pasteurized cow milk curd barely a few minutes old and stretch it into the shape of a coin purse.

Step two: fill coin purse with dairy gold: fresh sweet cream and “stracciatella” or frayed threads of mozzarella-like cheese and seal.

On its journe from Bella Italia to the U.S.A., this creamy mixture continues to acidify, creating an increasingly tart, gamy flavor.

Step three: enjoy with just about anything, oysters are a classic pairing in Puglia.

Oysters? Murray, you are ON.

I went next door to the Lobster Place conveniently located next door and got 6 Malpeques (I also purchased some medium sized shrimps for to make with tomatoes and spaghetti and garlic, for after the burrata/oyster experiment).

Stay tuned! Gotta go cook now! Aya’s almost home!

– tmonkey

Grand Central Oyster Bar

April 15, 2007

I’m the worst and haven’t blogged in a week– my apologies. But to make up for it, I’m going to talk about my absolute favorite restaurant in the city, the Grand Central Oyster Bar.

I was introduced to this place by my dear family friends, the Hashimoto’s, when I first moved here over 4 years ago– we met at Grand Central and stopped off for a wee snack before getting on the 4 train for a Yankee game. It has been a long lustful love affair ever since.

To celebrate the end of my $100/2 Weeks— and actually making it– my wonderful, supportive friends came out to midtown for a raucous oyster fest. It was actually our very first NYC Umami Mart Convention, as W(h)ine-o, Troy Division and Aya came out, as well as a few other close friends.

The jam-packed menu is updated daily and is a seafood-lover’s wet dream. No joke. They always have at least 20 different kinds of oysters, from all over the US, as well as all kinds of fish and shellfish– fried, steamed, grilled, you name is, old school preparations abound.

But me? I pretty much always get the same thing: I order my Kumamotos and Totten Virginicas (both from the North West; Kumamotos are creamy and have a lot of depth and TVs are light and have a very subtle kelp flavor, which is really delightful), a few cherrystone clams (hard, sweet and juicy), a side of fries (they have the BEST fries–thin and crispy), and a beer from the tap. With this, I can eat on $20, if I’m lucky.

Everyone ordered different kinds of oysters. Aren’t they beautiful?



The service is always excellent– they always know what they are talking about when it comes to the oysters. I’ll let our server tell you the kinds of oysters we ordered (sorry it is so dark; also be forewarned that I get really obnoxious when I am excited):

I often also order their Oyster Pan Roast, which is an oyster stew with a tomato-cream based soup, which is really so so tasty and comforting. They add a piece of plain white, Wonder-style bread in the stew, which is the perfect addition to the dish.

The Oyster Bar has been around since 1913, inconspicuously tucked under Grand Central Station. The architecture is really unique, with beautiful pearly white tiles sweeping over the entire restaurant. Overall, the atmosphere is unpretentious and laid back, with a bustling crowd of tourists and locals.

I always sit in the front bar area or the Saloon in the back, just because the dining tables are for people who are there to drop serious cash. You can also dine at the cafeteria style bar, where eat while watching the chefs make lobster bisque and shuck Kumamotos by the dozens. The place is huge and evokes a nostalgic old New York feeling. It’s also a great place for people watching.

What can I say? In my eyes, the Oyster Bar is a truly special establishment, and I feel lucky to be so close to it. Can you feel the love?

*k*

Trivia: Troy informed us that the reason why oysters are considered aphrodisiacs is that the zinc in the oyster is said to heighten male testosterone. I just think they are truly sexy creatures.

Brooklyn Fish Camp

March 28, 2007

I’ve walked by Brooklyn Fish Camp many a time, and the few times I’d tried to just “drop in” I’d been turned away either by the charming hostess or the long lines (or the hours of operation). Last night, I stumbled there, weak from low blood sugar (lunch sushi from Sunrise Mart never seems to pack enough bang for the buck), to meet Aya, who informed me that there would be a 45 minute wait.

These little things can contribute to one’s overall impression of a place, but I would not be deterred. I’m gullible (yes, I know they removed that word from the Wikipedia) and I am often (too) willing to forgive if I know the intentions are not malicious (this morning I got a Twitter update from my friend Kev that read: “becoming unclear on the distinctions between negligence and malice” to which Aya replied: “negligence is a passive form of malice” though now I would revise that to say that malice implies ill will. Negligence is just laziness, which may or may not have any intention behind it).

The place looked not that crowded — I spotted two two-tops in the back corner. Don’t you hate it when the hostess tells you it’ll be an hour wait and you are staring right at two empty two-tops? In this case, the assessment may have been correct, but not due to lack of seating but rather to under-staffing. I was too bleary to walk the extra block to Blue Ribbon, so we plunked down at the stainless steel bar, and ordered a half dozen Malpeques and two glasses of Txacoli (which, in retrospect, turned out to be the highlight of the meal).

Decor-wise, not too much to write home — I mean, blog — about: homey-ish, kraft paper on the tables (implying greasy fry shack), not too much faux nautical crap hanging from the walls, a nice open kitchen manned by three earnest-looking cookers. The patio seating looked nice, though we took what we could get inside to shorten our wait.

Oh, the oysters. What can you say really about oysters? Either they’re fresh or they’re not. (We’ll not talk about when they’re not.) These were damn fresh, well-treated, and seemed to have marinated perfectly in waters of the Prince Edward Islands. The truth is, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a Malpeque and a Kumamoto, but all I know was these ones were right yummy.

But that has more to do with mother nature (and the ability and desire of the chef to get them to our plates post-haste) so hats off to both.

We bypassed the Restaurant Week menu, and went straight for our instinctual choices: for Aya, the Shellfish Bouillabaisse and for me, that would be the Lobster Pot Pie. Ironic that our engrossing dinner conversation had to do with the increasingly ubiquitous sentiment of “Photo/Video or it didn’t happen” because I have no proof that we had either of these dishes.

Unfortunately I cannot say that I failed to photograph them because they were devoured so quickly, that they were so utterly delicious that they made me lose all sense of bloggerly responsibility. No, while the Lobster Pot Pie was well-made and replete with fresh lobster meat and mushrooms and cream, and a butter-rich pastry to cap it off, I found myself searching for a lemon to squeeze into my mouth, a cornichon, anything with acid to cut through the fat bath in my mouth. Yes, there is a point at which cream and butter can become too much. And this crossed that line.

Aya’s Bouillabaisse, while right tasty and, again, full of fresh ingredients, left me slightly less than impressed. My memory latched onto the ridiculously stale piece of bread that was served with the dish. Peasant that I am, the thing about bouillabaisse I look forward to most (after the actual broth itself) is the crusty crouton (garlic rubbed and toasted) with which one mops up the last drops of the soup. There’s something satisfying in pleasing your gullet with flavored starch AND cleaning your plate at the same time. And to this end, we were thwarted as the staleness factor on the bread piece was so old as to be injurious to the teeth (and I have pretty strong ones).

The sides were also middling, we got french fries and broccoli rabe, though I would have expected our entrees would come with some kind of side action (the pot pie surely could have used it). The pile of broccoli rabe was fairly flavorful thanks to the slices of garlic present, but I found myself reaching for some sea salt and olive oil, not finding either. The fries were thin, the shoestring kind, and ultimately became a ketchup-delivery device (especially after the top on the squeeze bottle popped off and splooged ketchup all over the crayon drawings on our kraft-paper. When we alerted our Lynda-Barry-esque waitress to this, she laughed abruptly at it and walked away).

Like I said, it’s the little things that can add up to contribute to one’s overall impression of a place.

なまがきfest Part II: Jackpot

March 23, 2007

Ever since reading Aya’s “なまがき fest: Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar” post, I had been out on a mission to eat oysters. Which has since brought me to Shimokitazawa’s Jackpot Oyster Kitchen twice. There’s something perfect about celebrating pay day (which, by the way, seems to have coincided for those of you in NY and us in Tokyo today) on a Friday with a delicacy like oysters.

And oysters I ate indeed. A complimentary oyster is brought along with drinks – marinated in vinegar. Then we got our 1/2 dozen raw oysters – all from different parts of Japan – labeled with cute little toothpicks with flags declaring their origin. I must admit that one of the key points that brought me back to Jackpot was their woodstone oven. We ordered a four cheese pizza with just the right amount of blue cheese. We also got some vegetable sticks with miso dipping sauce, baked Provence-style oysters, oyster spaghetti, oyster/shrimp pie (pictured) and baked salmon. Coming straight from work on a Friday night, upon ordering I wasn’t sure if this was going to be enough food for the three of us (my mom, her husband Lakshman and I). But this was a lot of food in retrospect.

Overall – the oyster spaghetti was awesome. The pizza is one of the best I’ve had in Tokyo (sadly, Tokyo is not the best place for pizza). I can do without the big screen tv that barfs out MTV Japan endlessly though (thankfully, it’s on mute).

– yoko in tokyo

なまがきfest: Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar

March 9, 2007

“Luxury” being the key word here. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a shift in my life towards decadence that I would have been to JLOB twice now in four months, but I thank the fates for it! \ (‘^ o ^ ‘ ) /* There were only two other parties when we ducked out of the freezing cold into the red-saturated, cozy (what used to be Jewelbako) Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar (2nd Ave @ 5th St. in the East Village — can’t find official website!). There were two gals from the Bay Area at the bar chating up the bartender with excruciatingly annoying, ditzy voices, and a face-sucking couple-monster against the wall — but hey you can’t hold that against the restaurant.

We started off with Oysters six ways. holy shit. I’m not sure exactly what the six ways were, because, honestly, after the first way, I was like fuck, take me ANY WAY — but they did include an oyster with cucumber ice, with blood orange ice, with crème fraîche and caviar… I am seriously about to swoon just thinking about it. I could have just eaten 5 plates of THIS! Then we had a few small plates: Spaetize Macaroni and Cheese with butter bread crumbs and truffle (mmmm!!!); Lobster Profiteroles with caviar cream (basically choux puffs sliced open with the cream-lobster blend and かいわれ大根 radish sprouts); and finally the Braised Short Rib with bone marrow and potato mousse — oh god, can you say heart attack? Delectably soft, melt-in-your-mouth fat. The portions seemed so small, but the meal was surprisingly filling — though of course we had room for dessert: Confit Pear In Phyllo with caramel ice cream and pignoli butter. We were practically licking the plates for all, in fact I think we WERE licking the plates… The flavors were so rich and sophisticated, it’s not something I could do everyday (except for maybe the oysters…) but if you’re into nose-bleed gorgeous feasting, or if you’re looking for a date destination to bed your lady/man friend, this would be a top choice.