So a few weeks ago, my friend Netta attended the Blogger's Brunch at the Park 75 at the Four Seasons Hotel. What I failed to mention was that she won a Chef Tasting table at Park 75. We went and I dutifully blog it here. Yohboh and I agree it was THE BEST MEAL OF OUR LIVES.
So when we first arrived, we were given a tour of the garden.
The Herb Garden
The pepper plants
And this is executive chef Robert Gerstenecker:
He was a very approachable, sweet guy. He mentioned he had been with the Four Seasons for 20 years. Isn't that amazing? He does not look like he has lived long enough to have worked somewhere for 20 years. He is very into figuring out how to make things, like kimchee and miso.
So the Chef's Table is actually in the kitchen. Have you ever seen the inside of a professional kitchen? This one was HUGE:
Also, the Chef's Table is an eight course tasting menu with a wine pairing. As someone who is not really a drinker, I have to say the wine pairing was the most eye opening part. The food itself was wonderful. The wine was delicious. But the two combined into a symphony of flavors in my mouth that at certain points of the meal I was doing a Happy Tongue Dance. Happy Tongue Dance looks like a little Asian woman doing the upper half of the Cabbage Patch but much more uncoordinated.
So let's start with our dining experience.
First course was a Tempura Squash Blossom with a small salad and drizzled with honey from the bees that are in the garden and lemon.
It was served with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne.
I have had stuffed squash blossoms before but the honey lemon sauce gave it a brightness that made this fried dish seem very light. And the wine made for happy bubbles which also served as a nice contrast to the fried flower.
The second course was a Lobster and Corn Soup, which they presented table side.
It was served with a Pouilly-Fuisse, V. Giradin, Burgundy, 2007. Yes, it is a white wine. Burgundy is a region in France where grapes are grown, including this tasty one. (I did not get a picture of this wine label- BAD FOOD BLOGGER!)
The lobster and corn soup was wonderful. The texture of the soup was rich and silky. The fresh corn nibblets and the perfectly cooked tender lobster chunks were the perfect contrast to the creamy soup. I had never tasted white wine from the Burgundy region before but it was a perfect match for the soup. It reinforced the richness and this was the beginnings of my Happy Tongue Dance.
The third course was the Seared Diver Scallop with Venus Rice and Preserved Lemons.
The wine was the Vincent Delaport Sauvginon Blanc, 2008.
The scallop was perfectly cooked. People who do not like scallops have had poorly cooked scallops. This scallop was tender and sweet. The wine was crisp and bright with a nice citrus undertone that was echoed in the scallop.
The next course was a Pork Cheek Ravioli with braised cabbage, Cherry Truffle Demi-Glace with Braised Pork Belly on top.
The wine paired was the Poppy, Pinot Noir, Monterey County 2008.
The pork belly was awesome. This dish was the essence of why people love pork. It was meaty and rich and very satisfying. The earthniess of the truffles was really brought out by the wine. Also, I have to say at this point, I stopped cleaning my plate. I realized that we were on a dining MARATHON and I would have to pace myself.
The Chef's Table is interesting beacuse you get to see the activity of the kitchen. Here are Chef Gerstenecker and his Garde Manger Tommy Greer working our next plates. You can tell they work together well.
The next course was a Crispy Skin Halibut with Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Lemon Caper Vinaigrette and White Summer Truffles served on a bed of risotto.
The wine was Jekel, Chardonnay, Monterey County, 2007.
Remember what I said about pacing myself? Yeah, with this dish it went out the window. The bite of all those flavors and textures was the perfect bite of food that I will measure all bites of food with.
At this point, I would like to say that the entire staff of Park 75 was super friendly to our group of enthusiastic eaters. This is the Garde Manger Tommy Greer. Yohboh pointed out he resembled Brian McCann.
The sixth course was a New York State Duck with Foie Gras and sweet potatoes scented with Saigon Cinnamon.
This course had TWO wine pairings.
The first was this sweet wine:
It was served with the Sebastiani, Merlot, Sonoma 2004.
This is where I had a revelation. The sweet wine and the foie gras was the best thing that I put in my mouth. I mean, I did not think a sweet dessert wine and a rich unctuous piece of meat would work together. But Craig, out server, recommended this and WOW-it made sense!
Our superlative server Craig
Some members of our dining party had never had foie gras before. I explained that to me it was like bird bacon. Really, now that I think about it, it is more bird cracklins. We stopped talking to each other to eat this amazing plate of food.
Then we had yohboh's favorite course- the beef course. Pecan Wood Grilled Waygu Skirt Steak with wood Grilled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with the Park 75 steak sauce.
Yohboh noticed they were serving tenderloin on the bone. The chef explained how that cut was created and let us sample some.
In addition, we got some truffle fries with truffle aioli.
The wine was a Startton Lummis, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007.
I love beef. I am Korean, and our word for meat and beef are the same. Yohboh loves beef, did you see the title of this blog? The Waygu steak was sous vide. It was full of flavor and remarkably tender. In fact, it was just as tender as the tenderloin. There were certain people who ate the truffle fries and started acting a little strange and declared the aioli to be crack.
Then we had a selection of cheeses:
I do not remember what the cheese on the left was (BAD FOOD BLOGGER!) but it was paired with honey. The combination of the two was had a taste reminiscent of butterscotch and I mean that in the best possible way. The middle one was a goat's cheese which was paired with a beet puree and an arugla pesto. The earthiness of this pairing was a great contrast to the butterscotchy honey and cheese on the left. The cheese on the right was a brie like cheese that was paired with fig jam.
We also got a BONUS cheese which was a Brillat Savarin, which is one of my favorite cheeses so again with my Happy Tongue Dance.
So for our ninth course we got dessert, Creme Brulee with peaches and raspberries and Raspberry Truffle Cake.
And Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine, Niagra Peninsula 2004
This is Mark, the pastry chef posing with his caramel corn,
And Mark with his pink pastry knife. It is pink for breast cancer.
I love dessert. I love chocolate. I was actually angry at my stomach that it did not have enough room to finish this.
We dined for FOUR hours.
Would I do this again? Yes, it was an amazing dining experience surrounded by wonderful people. Unfortunately, the wait list for this is long.
If you are interested, a chef's table is 150 dollars per person for eight courses with wines. Up to ten diners can participate in a chef's table. It is recommended you call for the reservations at 404-253-3840. It is not available on Sunday and Monday. Be prepared to be flexible on your dining date, since there is such a high demand.
Here is the open table link if you would like to reserve a table at Park 75.
I was not paid for this post and the effusive opinions of this post are purely mine. I did get THE BEST MEAL OF MY LIFE.
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