14 October 2010 – Faculty dinner by Bon Appetit

Everything about this dinner was great except the main dish. OK, the wine was good, not great. But the first course, the side, and dessert, the presentation, the service, and the company, were all wonderful. The main dish was steak with I think crispy fried onion bits (maybe… not paying that  close attention) over the top – no problem with it, just quite boring, and much too much of it. If I’d had a menu in advance, I probably would have ordered the veggie dish instead.

Now, that little yellow thing at the top… we debated whether it was cornmeal or quinoa, but people in a position to know were convinced about quinoa… was just fabulous. Had a tomato slice and a stem of green – trying to remember… was it spinach, or perhaps some sort of choy? – I would have been much happier with this as my main dish! The steak – again, nothing wrong with it except the quantity, and the fact that it is hard to make a slab of meat interesting – had some goat cheese next to it, which was a good idea.

The first course was remarkable. Someone said “grilled” but that was not obvious. Anyway… a lightly-cooked head of romaine with a creamy sauce over the top, with amazingly robust curved shavings of cheese. I didn’t try to psych out which cheese it was, but it was hard and opinionated. Very good starter!!

Oh, and those little fried bits with crumbs on them… pineapple!! A startling but very inviting taste. Good job 🙂

The evening started with a reception that included hors d’oeuvres from the garden. The little spoons had a pumpkin puree with something like a plum sauce over them – terrific, and great presentation – and there were toasts with a veggie mix, and little skewers with cooked tomatoes.

Dessert was pistachio ice cream with fruit, which was a lovely ending. The wines were Stone-something from Beringer – never heard of them before, but they were perfectly fine. Nothing to write home about, though.

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