|It Doesn't Really, Does it?|
Last year, we did a more elaborate dinner with cocktails and appetizers and it was just too much for me on top of my insanely busy workload at the restaurant. I really like the simplicity of this year's menu and the fact that with some advanced planning, Ann and I putzed around in the kitchen for only about 90 minutes pulling everything together. And that wasn't 90 minutes of solid work either; we might have opened the Prosecco before the other guests arrived and had a little whistle-wetter while putzing about the kitchen.
|Ann Always Sets a Beautiful Table|
|We Started with Virginia Sewansecott Oysters|
|The First of Many Bottles|
|Mike Forgot his Camera; I Gave him Mine!|
|Dennis and Dimitri. Where is Mark? He Seems to be Camera Shy.|
|Dennis and the Girls|
After the oysters, we had dinner proper: braised duck, truffled mac and cheese, braised turnips, and sautéed brussels sprouts. It worked out well (and created a lot fewer dishes) to have everyone serve himself from the cooking vessels arrayed on the counter in the kitchen, rather than to platter everything up and take it to the dining room. Thanks to Ann for coming up with the menu so that all I had to do was execute it. And it was fun working with her in the kitchen finishing it up. We make a good team in the kitchen!
|Moulard Duck Legs Starting Their Three-Hour Braise|
|The Finished Product|
|Orecchiette with Four Cheeses and Black Truffles|
Speaking of cheese, Goot Essa has no web site but if you chance upon some of John Esh's cheese, by all means, give it a try. John is a plain dairy farmer, some would say Amish, from Pennsylvania and he makes great cheese. He popped into the restaurant some years ago with samples and I have been hooked on his Alpenkäse every since.
|Artful Shot of Shallots for the Brussels Sprouts|
|Sprouts, One of the Few Late Winter Green Vegetables|
|Turnips, Braised along with the Duck|
|Ann's Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting|
|Who Needs Plates?|