I met my friend LK at The Mansion bar the other night. She was in the mood to celebrate and I owed her dinner - so off we went to enjoy Chef Bruno Davallion's current Tasting Menu in the Library at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. The dim, golden light of the room is gorgeous - but a challenge for my 'in-the-moment' snaps - I provide these photos to pique your interest and whet your appetite. I will soon cover the prep of a tasting menu from the kitchen - as I am like to do.
^ The menu; and the amuse-bouche - a Shrimp & Cashew Skewer with Tamarind Sauce.
^ We love this dish: Dungeness Crab Salad, Tomato-Jalapeño Gelee, Bloody Mary Sorbet.
They kindly accommodated our request to mix up the menu a bit.
^L - Potato Gnocchi, Artichoke Ragout, Pancetta and Basil.
^R - Crispy Pork Belly, Caramelized Cabbage, Daikon Radish, Black Truffles.
^L - Nantucket Bay Scallops, Clam Chowder Sauce, Brandade Ravioli, Potato Chips.
^R - Roasted Wild Striped Bass, Littleneck Clams, Baby Bok Choy, Smoked Tomato Sauce.
^L - Colorado Rack of Lamb, Crispy Lamb Shoulder, White Grits Gratin and Braised Texas Kale. The Lamb shoulder was in, like, a little taquito - great dish.
^R - Spiced Duck Breast, Chile-glazed Daikon, Roasted Baby Deets and Turnips.
Then came the Eggnog Martini Foam... that went quick - no pics. Then dessert:
^L - Bruno's Black Forest Tart, Kirsch Cream and Cherry Ice Cream.
^R - David Collier's "Our Cheescake."
Bruno - also an accomplished pastry chef - came back out to chat during dessert. As the effects of Michael Flynn's wonderful wine pairings took hold, I found myself telling Bruno how the firm cake of his delicious Black Forrest Tart was a formidable match for my spoon. He just kinda looked at me with a quizzical grin and encouraged: "It's like a cookie, just get in there!" That kirsch cream is insane.
Mansion Pastry Chef David Collier describes the tart: "Its all the elements of the classic Austrian Black Forest Cake (chocolate, cherries, kirsch and cream) but translated to tart form. The chocolate is represented with the tart dough as well and the 70% Guanaja ganache, the cherries are placed inside the ganache (we use griottines) then its topped with a kirsch crème légère (pastry cream, whipped cream, crème fraîche and kirsch). In the ice cream we find more kirsch infused cherries. Its garnished with a chocolate streusel for added texture, a chocolate disk and a bit of gold leaf."
Next came Collier's first major addition to the new dessert menu - The Mansion's "Our Cheescake," a deconstructed version of the classic. Collier: "The dessert started from Bruno suggesting we do something cheesecake themed but in a glass. I made the ice cream and berry portion and served them to him like a coupe. He changed his mind and said we could do something larger and more complex. I was happy to oblige and came up with this. I wanted something with alot of contrast that the guest could "play with". He liked it, suggested I add citrus to the fried roll and strawberries to the compote. The roll filling is cream cheese, sugar, citrus zest and egg yolk rolled in fillo. I made the ice cream in the same way I made the brûlée 2.0 ice cream. I baked a standard vanilla cheesecake, packed it into a PacoJet container, froze it then spun it. Liquid graham recipe came from the old Chef's Room S'mores dessert I did when Tesar was chef." It's fun, we dug it.
This is good stuff, kids! More to come...