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Plume at the Jefferson, dinner report

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Haven't seen this high end restaurant reported here, so having just eaten there, thought I would add this brief report.

An elegant, traditional decor, a bit on the dark side, I instead sat in the garden which is brighter and more open.

I opted for the tasting with premium wine.

1. Amuse Bouche
Krug, "Grande Cutre," Reims, Champagne

A small, molded moose with classic, light flavor, lingering and blending well with the champagne. Gripe of mine is that too many domestic pourers go for a head on the champagne, seems American go for that, but a slow pour down the side will allow for more robust, and enduring bubbles.

2. Green Asparagus Soup
Asparagus Marmalade, Smoked Olive Oil, Black Pepper Cream
Nigl, Griiner Veltliner, "Privat," Kremstal, Austria

Simply wonderful bisque of asparagus that changed with each spoonful. Some diced celeriac and shallot (?) gave a balance keeping the bisque interesting while the black pepper grew slowly. The wine is an easy drinking wine too much with vegetable aroma and flavor, kind of faded in the face of the soup, but allowed the soup to shine.

3. English Pea Panna Cotta
Serrano Ham, Pea Tendrils, Lemon Oil, Ricotta
Kistlel~ Chardonnay, "Vine Hill," Russian River Valley

Coming across as a timbale, balanced by cream lemon oil ricotta. A thin sliced ham with the peas, crisped chips of ham with the cheese, the latter lingering nicely on the palate. The tendrils and blanched, not cooked peas, made for a complex of texture, while highlighting the fresh pea quality of these heavily re-processed peas. This was not sweet, but quit fresh and vegetable.(no doubt use of gelatin keeps it technically panna cotta) I would have preferred more contrast or complement of lemon and peach from a dry Jurancon, but understand why the tie in of a chardonnay.

4. Filet of Dover Sole "Bourguignon"
Lardons, Seasonal Mushrooms, Red Wine Jus
II Confuron, Chambolle-Musigny, Burgundy, France 2007

This was just brilliant. A poached fillet of sole in a beef based sauce, complemented by red wine! Complemented with amix of seasonal mushrooms, I identified dainty slivers of morel, Shimeji, one I couldn’t identified with lardons, blending the various texture and quality of complementary mushrooms, some dark, smokey tendency from the lardon that was a bit of overkill, but didn’t detract in any way. To taste how the fish, which is sweat and mild is enhanced by the beef and madeira flavors is a jolt to the expectations. The beef only enhanced the natural sweetness of the sole, high relief carving of the desirable nature of this fish. The strawberry/prune quality of the wine further embroidered this enhancement.

5. Medallion of Veal Tenderloin
Truffled Macaroni and Cheese, Crispy Sweetbreads, Spinach Cream,
Madeira Jus
Fratelli Brovia, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy

Beautifully tender veal sits in a smear of madeira sauce. The first thing after the visual is the blend of odors rising from the plate; so much going on that I just sat there taking it in for a good minute, The veal is tender, melting gently, a savory lightness, not dominating the gentle flavor of the veal, rare but warm in the center, outer sear providing some “crunch.” The mac and cheese was a hoot! Baked ditali lischi with a perfect crust, the flavor of truffle literally explodes and sets off the al dente pasta and a subtle, rather than dominating cheese. The sweet breads sit in a bed of spinach that at first reminded me a bit of creamed spinach. The dish needed a few minutes to blend, so it grew on me. Some nice crust on the sweet bread, made for a blend that served more as an aftertaste that makes eating this dish slowly, enjoying some playful illusoriness. Paired with the Barolo, characterized by some rhubarb and chocolate, with the long dry finish of a classic Barolo makes the whole dish a circus of varying savory. Note, a ramekin fork would have come in handy for slicing through the crust and cheese.

6. A pleasant berry sorbet "pre-dessert" with actually ripe, fresh blueberries. Sweet, tangy, fresh.

7. Pistachio Creme Brulee
Morello Cherry Compote, Yuzu Ice Cream
Chateau d'Yquem, Premier Cru Class» Superieur, Sauternes, France

Mix of pistachio with the subtle citris of the yuzu much more fun than if it had been cut with simple vanilla, Tangy, but not sour morello, sweat but not cloying. Light, not burnt crust.

I didn’t pair with the wine, but had the d”Yquem after. 1998, so still young, but it is superb, and was a half hour on its own. No need to describe; you know this wine, or you don’t.

I took home the small pastries (Mignardises and Chocolates) served afterward, as there is no need to add cake and coffee while d”Yquem lingers. I will have those tonight at home.

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