The perks of the job started rolling in last week; I was able to snag an invite to a dinner at the James Beard House, hosted by wisconsin chef/proprietress and slow food supporter Tami Lax. She and Justin Carlisle, the chef from her Madison restaurant, Harvest, prepared lobster 5 ways, with a wine pairing.
The Beard House is an awkward space, ill-suited, it seemed to me, to host the sort of dinners they are trying to host. That being said, it was one of the top 5 meals of my life.
amuse: lobster financier, uni, micro shiso
paired with: tempier bandol rose, france 2005
[very interesting lobster flavored pastry like base with uni cream/foam]
first course: sashimi of spinny lobster, vanilla, wasabi, fine herb salad
paired with: moon rabbit sparkling sake
[astonishing! raw lobster--a first for me. smooth and strange, like tasting sushi again for the first time.]
second course: lobster and salsify tapioca
paired with:zind-humbrecht pinot d'alsace 2004
[absolute favorite, surprised me since i didn't think i liked tapioca balls. a chowder of sorts, rich and toothsome. the wine was musky and wonderful, a perfect complement.]
third course: roasted lobster tail, truffle spaetzle
paired with: fevre chablis champs royaux, france 2005
[straightforwardly delicious. huge truffle slices]
fourth course: lobster and pleasant ridget reserve fondue
paired with: belrondade lurton rueda blanco, spain 2002
[rich and cheesy, with a hunk of lobster of a skewer]
hard not to be drunk as a skunk after 5 glasses of wine. not too drunk to realize lobster is good all ways and any, but especially good as prepared by these talented folks from Madison.