I think the pre-T-Day timing is keeping many of us busy, but lest you think we didn’t eat VERY well and have a very good time, I figured I’d (re)start this party.
First off, a huge thank you to Chef MD and our (very own!) bartender Artie for having us in their corner of the world…we were downstairs in the Speakeasy, sitting at a bar for 10 – and we decided 12 would have been too tight, so thanks for those who cancelled at the last minute! The space gave us easy access to the chef and vice-versa, which really added to the fun, as he was able to pop in/out throughout the night.
We already knew that our entree would be porchetta, so we ordered a mess 'o appetizers, and thankfully, we were all of the same mindset and just passed them up and down the bar. We had:
Falafel (VERY VERY good)
General Tso’s Brussels Sprouts
Bacon Sriracha Cashews
*You had me at Lamb Taquitos, Chef. Those were on my must-try, and I believe I declared that I’d be dropping my arse on a bar stool with an order of those again and soon. DAYUM.
Everything else was delicious and I esp loved the presentation of the rillettes, which were served in a jar with cherry mostarda. If there was one minor disappointment for me, it was the dates; I just didn’t get chorizo flavor or texture or anything in the one that I had.
Chef MD started us off with a Negroni foam and blood orange intermezzo and then presented the halved (okay, quartered–it was HUGE) porchetta before invididual plates were brought out. Portions were enormous and we all got quiet rather quickly…a good sign! The roasted fingerlings and royal king trumpet mushrooms were stunning accompaniments and gave us a way to mop up the brightest of salsa verdes. And a note on those mushrooms–they looked like lobes of foie, partially because of their meatiness, and partially because they’d been scored and seared (in butter AND olive oil, sez the chef)…just wonderful. My leftovers were put to good use the next morning, as you can see from the pictures posted above. I think I was squeezing the box to get all of the sauce out…
Dessert. Insane. That’s the only way to describe it. There’s a reason it’s called the WTF sundae, and while I have to admit that I never would have ordered it (I’m really not a big sweet eater and it SOUNDED like it would be overly sweet), the balance of flavors and lack of cavity-inducing sweetness made it worth every calorie. Thanks to Seal for insisting we get a few of them! And thanks again to Seal for organizing. I now see why you’re a regular and plan to join you in that effort.
As always, it’s lots of fun putting faces with screen names–hopefully this was the first of many HO gatherings to come in Central NJ!