This past Friday I relented to my friend Carol's significant and forceful rotation of my humerus and paid her a visit in DC. Her maniacal prodding via FaceBook centered on inviting me to attend an intimate discussion of sous vide cooking with Thomas Keller ("the Man"), Eric Ziebold (former Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry and now Executive Chef at CityZen), and moderator Michael Ruhlman (the clever and mischievous food writer of considerable note).
The event was relaxed and informative - supporting the launch of Keller's new sous vide book, "Under Pressure." It was fun to mill about with these guys and some of the other attendees, one of whom was the jovial Chef Michel Richard. As it happened, we had late dinner reservations at his 2008 James Beard Award winning Best New Restaurant: Central Michel Richard. Cut to:
We sat in the far room at Central in front of the large, open kitchen - right in the action.
^ Chef de Cuisine Cedric Maupillier sent out these devious creamy shrimp on cole slaw, with a BBQ drizzle.
^ Carol insisted on the Salad Frisee, with Lardons & Poached Egg. Amazing. As she puts it, "The ONLY way to eat frisee!" Then another surprise from the kitchen, these gorgeous mussels.
^ Entrées. The Central Cassoulet with house made sausage. And the Braised Beef Cheeks with Tagliatelle. Well, you can just imagine. This food is simply STUPID good. The entire experience has my addictive personality twitching. The energy of the room, the sights and smells - all intoxicating.
I'll be needing a fix from this place sooner than I'll be able to get one, I fear. On top of all that, as we were kind of in and out on a late dinner, it was relatively affordable - a couple of glasses of wine, we did skip dessert but had coffee...nice. Something about the relaxed atmosphere, with this level of food... the accolades are well deserved, at any rate!