We shared a table with a couple of other friends at the AICA (the Academy for International Culinary Arts) where this month's degustation menu would be served. The soft lighting and stone wall lent the place a warmth and charm which the other venue sorely lacked. Every plate brought to our table was accompanied by a brief explanation from either Sunshine herself or one of her sous chefs, while the well-trained waiters who had taken our bottles of wine when we arrived made sure our glasses were never empty. My friend brought 2 reds, my sister brought the white and I brought one of the sauternes I was saving for just this occasion. (Wine isn't served but you are welcome to bring your own, they don't charge corkage).
Once again, Chefs Sunshine and Rob exhibited their culinary genius with what looks like effortless grace. To say that I enjoyed the play of flavors from every dish would be an understatement, especially when speaking of those made with foie gras or infused with truffle oil.
My favorites in no particucar order: the 21st Century Eggs Benedict - a strip of bacon embedded in crunchy toast dipped into a poached egg topped with a truffle hollandaise; the Foie-lipops - an old childhood favorite with a twist except this time it's decadent cubes of foie gras instead of candy dipped in pop rocks that pop in your mouth; the Prosciutto and Brie de Meaux roulade - my favorite cheese in the world rolled with prosciutto in a flaky wrap was delicious by itself, but was brought to a whole other level with the sweetness of the raspberry coulis; the balsamic reduction and truffle-honey beurre blanc that went with the Chilean Sea Bass and spaetzle was divine; the super tender and flavorful duck breast with its crackling skin was excellent as well. And then there was the chocolate hazelnut cake, yum!
Here are the photos I managed to snap and the complete menu:
Prosciutto and Brie de Meaux Roulade, Raspberry Coulis
With Hot Foie Gras Cappuccino and Cold Sweet Corn Foam (above right)
Chilean Sea Bass, Truffle – Honey Beurre Blanc, Spaetzle (above right)
Duck Breast, Tart Tatin with Port Wine Reduction (above right)
Duck Confit & Foie Gras Croquette, Green Papaya Salad, Plum Sauce (above left)
Mint Chocolate Hazelnut Cake & Lemon Meringue (above right)
Tahuna Sauvignon Blanc 2007
2002 Chateau La Fleur Saint-Christophe
2002 Chateau Haut-Bailly (Pessac-Leognan)
2002 Chateau Rieussec (Sauternes)
If you'd like to sample a degustation by Chefs Sunshine and Rob, you may call AICA at (632) 672.2271 for next month's schedule. But call right away, seats get filled fast!