Lobster on linguini.

Lobster on linguini.

Saturday night everyone was at Chef Vetri’s mercy when it comes to food. He chooses everyone’s meals according to what he thinks they will like. This small Italian restaurant sure did give a big aroma off to GQ’s Alan Richman and his guests. Curved brass lights lit the old fashioned theme restaurant. A semontai would decide the right wines to go with our meal. As our waiter comes with the surprise extra dish called Mush Bush (muse bouches) he made sure that nobody had any allergies. A welcome champagne was poured on the house.

A platter with all kinds of charcuterie tastes arrived. First the venison, a tender cook of deer meat, then little portions of fois gras as a teaser. Fresh mozzarella cheese with cream was very tasty, but would be even better with a touch of fresh ground pepper. The cheese itself had the requirements of what someone might call “fresh.” As we ate we were offered home baked bread and as I tasted the soft warm insides it was as though I could eat just this for dinner.

For the next course we were served a white wine. Jumping up in a certain déjà vu, I realized that this next dish was a replica of the dish served at John Dory. Raw Nantucket Scallop Crudo, sliced and served cool on a long plate with pomegranate seeds and lemon juice. The same brilliant taste hit me here and I wondered where this dish started. To get its full unique taste you must eat both the pomegranate seeds and the scallops together. One thing was different about this dish at Vetri’s though. In stead of lemon juice they use chunks of grapefruit. The originality caught me in my bite so I hand this dish to Vetri’s.

Next to race into my open mouth was a dish I had never heard of or thought about ever. A salt cured egg yoke with anchovies and cream. I being not a big eater of anchovies didn’t think Id like this dish, but yet again I was mistaken. So many strong flavors hit my tongue it was hard to taste the anchovies in the dish. Almost like in an orchestra having one more of an instrument. The egg poured into the cream and together they made an unbeatable team. Also on the table was a famous Spinach Gnocchi a mix of spinach, cream and butter. Not my favorite, but a catchy taste that made you eat more unaware of what you are doing.

My all time favorite dish, the lobster with linguine in a red sauce, came steaming onto the now rickety table. Taking a deep breath I dove in. Ahh now this is what I live for. Rich lobster meat on pasta with a peppery taste. Our waiter explained how they had taken this off the menu because in the past people would come into the restaurant and only order the lobster, and then be too full for anything else. Like a train chugging down the track we kept going. Next to pop out of nowhere were the Brussels sprouts. I could rave about these forever, but I won’t. Soaked in vinegar and chopped up then crisped on a high heat this dish made candy bow down. My one thought was, “simple yet complex.”

Last, but most certainly not least was the baby goat. The goat that rested on polenta was delectable. Stringy at times, but flavorful and spectacular. The juices from the meat dripped onto the polenta giving it a mushy meaty taste. The goat came straight from Pennsylvania or nearby places we were told.

Chocolate Polenta Soufflé invaded my thoughts, with vanilla gelato (claimed by the Chef to be the best). It was good, not great. The gelato was, I am sad to say, not nearly as good as some I’ve had, but the Soufflé was exceptional. Stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, I hobbled out of a superb restaurant.

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~ by David Fishman on July 9, 2009.

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