Sunday, November 18, 2007

Salpicon!

David took me to Salpicon on Thursday to celebrate my birthday. We had the seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings. Some of the dishes were not worthy of mention, but there were a few things that we both really enjoyed, and almost all of the wines were spectacular. Our waiter was lovey - he eagerly agreed to provide me with written account of our dinner, was very well-versed about the menu, and cracked a couple of hilarious jokes.

Course 1
Tostaditas de Seviche y Tinga
Blue marlin seviche with lime, cilantro, serrano chile, onion, and tomato. Fantastic. It was perfectly tangy and spicy. I wished they had doubled up on the seviche and forgone the shredded pork and chorizo, which was good, but just not as good as the marlin.
Accompanied by 2000 Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Henri Mandois (it's not a birthday without a bit of champagne), which was drier than the desert. I liked it.

Course 3
Barbacoa de Pato
Shredded duck leg, confit with four-chile reduction, orange segments, and pomegranate seeds.
I could eat well-prepared duck six days a week. The sauce tested the limits of my spice-tolerance, which is at a moderate level. The sweetness of the meat and fruits toned it down quite nicely. All wrapped up in a flour tortilla, it was the best taco I've had in a long time.
Accompanied by 2006 Gewurztraminer, Firelands Winery. As he presented the bottle, the waiter joked, "We are now leaving boring France to travel to beautiful Sandusky, Ohio." We both laughed and noted that Sandusky was also the backdrop for Tommy Boy. You wouldn't guess it, but quiet Ohio is producing some interesting wines. Go Midwest, go!

Course 4
Ensalada de Espinaca
Baby spinach with goat cheese, caramelized onions, sesame seeds, and chipotle-honey dressing.
If you know me at all, you know I'm not a salad eater. I'll pass on salad any day for soup, or pretty much any other option out there. Once in a while though, I'm pleasantly surprised by leafy greens, and this was one of them. Thinking back on it makes me want to try to recreate the dressing.
Accompanied by 2006 Dubaril Gamay Romand Rosé, Cave de La Côte-Uvavins, Morges, Switzerland. Honestly, I don't remember anything about it, so what does that tell you?


Course 6
Tequila Lime Sorbet
Serrano chile, lime, tequila. It was very refreshing, and the play between the heat of the chile and the cold temperature was fun.
Accompanied by 2004 Saracco Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy. The pairing couldn't have been any better. Alone, this was a nice, sweet end to a meal. With the sorbet, it was ethereal. I thought Dave was going to pass out from happiness. He's already gone to a shop to buy it.

Course 7
Torta de Pera y Mango
Pear and mango cobbler with goat's milk caramel ice cream. This was pretty fantastic, although calling it a cobbler might be a stretch. It was more of a tartlet, with and almond flour crust. The ice cream, with the slight bite of goat's milk, was a perfect balance to the burned sugar flavor.
Accompanied by 2002 Pinot Grigio Ice Wine, Bel Lago, Cedar, Michigan. Another delicious local wine. Leaving the grapes on the vine until they are frozen adds layers to the fruity notes and makes it intensely sweet.

Salpicon
1252 N. Wells
Chicaog 60610
312.988.7811

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Nice work on Dave's part! I've been hearing great things about Salpicon for years, but I just never seem to get over to Old Town. You are a lucky gal Beth Somers!

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious Beth! Sometimes I wish I had somebody special like Dave to take me out to dinner every now and again. Doesn't even have to be a birthday or anything, just a normal night where we'd get together and go out for a nice little dinner. Nothing necessarily fancy like Salpicon, but somewhere where we could just sit and talk and eat a nice meal. Maybe someday I'll find that, but in the meantime, I'll just be happy thinking about your happiness.

Anonymous said...

MMMMMMMM - Ben and I will have to get back there before we head "down undah"