Work of Art Menu at Chihuly’s Collections Café This Feb. 14th
With Valentine’s Day only a couple of days away, it’s time to think of something … romantic. If you’re a foodie who fosters an appreciation of the arts – say, glass art – then have I the place for you.
It’s Dale Chihuly’s Collections Café – available this Valentine’s Day (that’s Thursday, February 14th, 2013) only. (Your Hedonista had the opportunity to media taste through this amazing menu not too long ago.)
What you get: a fab 4-course collection of edible works of art by Chef Ivan Szilak in the Glasshouse, which is decorated with 1,340 whirling Persians in firelight hues. A jazz band will set the romancin’ aural backdrop.
For the amuse bouche, Chef Ivan will prepare hors d’oeuvres to be passed – along with some Champy/sparkling wine – in the Collections Café: Oyster in the Half Shell and Watercress Blini. The former consists of a Kumamoto oyster with horseradish granita made with Kung Fu Girl Riesling; the latter is made with a Rogue Creamery Bleu Cheese Mousse and topped with a roasted grape.
Next, the first course options are two: either the Seared Mini Lobster Tail or the Snake River Farms Pork Belly. I didn’t try the latter, but the former hails from Chef Ivan’s days at the Sorrento Hotel and Hunt Club. In chef’s own words, it’s the “citrus salad with mint from the Sorrento, taken up a notch.” Beets and vanilla.
Vanilla and beets?
Says Chef Ivan: “What I’ve figured out over the past decade [is that] you find these little epiphanies every once in a while: [e.g.,] foie gras and Sauturnes. Mine is beets and vanilla. I tried it once … it made more sense than any other pairing that I’ve ever had in my life and so I’ve consistently put it together over most of my career.”
Designed to resemble the Persians in the Glasshouse and tastes as good as it looks: served up with a vanilla vinaigrette (the vanilla is infused into Champagne vinegar and extra virgin olive oil) put on the beet and citrus salad and fresh marjoram on the lobster, this is one piece of tail that you definitely will not regret.
For the second course, a selection of three options exist: Seared Scallops, Snake River Farms Wagyu Eye of Rib, or Roasted Red Pepper Risotto. I tasted all three, and all were delicious, but if I had to pick a #1 it would be the scallops. Pistachio gremolata, yam purée, and a blood orange vinaigrette. Pure evolution, if you get my drift, dear hedonists.
My #2 would have to be the risotto: Carnaroli Rice, fresh chèvre from Cypress Grove and arugula. The red pepper in the risotto added a pop of both bright color and flavor that complimented the lush creaminess of the chèvre.
Now, that makes the rib eye my #3, but only because the other two were so … interesting. The ribeye was melt-in-your-mouth meaty goodness served on a bed of house-cured pork and saffron potato hash, sautéed artichoke hearts, and topped with Fresno Pepper jelly (that also uses Kung Fu Girl Riesling). An excitingly different take on good ol’ meat ‘n’ potatoes, for sure.
Lastly, there are two dessert options: S’more and Pear Goat Cheese Tart with seasonal fruit and fruit coulis. Admittedly, I only tried the S’more, which Chef Ivan and Chef Jason Wilson (Crush on Capitol Hill) have been working on for the past six months or so: consisting of frozen chocolate custard, burnt marshmallow, and graham cracker cake (inspired by the graham cracker cake recipe from Chef Ivan’s Grandmother, which she has yet to share with him) with a smear of banana crème anglaise, this s’more is nowhere near a traditional one: it’s not at all cloyingly sweet and thus more of a foodie s’more for the mature palate. (Yum!)
There will also be mignardises to be passed throughout galleries 5, 6, and 7 that will consist of chocolate truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries.
The inspiration for all of this?
Why, Chihuly’s artwork, of course.
In addition to this multi-course, glass artwork-inspired edible extravaganza, this dinner for two includes a bottle of wine from their chosen menu, valet for one vehicle, admission to both the galleries and garden (which look other-wordly at night) and a commemorative keepsake from The Bookstore, the museum’s retail gift shop.
The cost for this double delectable delight: $275 per couple – a great value considering the “wow factor” is so very high.
Reservations are available on V-Day from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.