Archive for August, 2011



Villetta

Villetta was as good as ever. It is such a pleasure to have wonderful service, a dedicated chef plus dine in a lovely ambiance. We decided to mainly order some of our favorite dishes.

BYO Champagne

Pizza with asparagus, sunny-side up egg, Val d’Aosta Fontina and Shaved Summer Truffles – we ate this the Italian way – broke up the egg and dipped each slice into the runny yolk – delicious.

Vitello Tonnato with poached veal, albacore mayonnaise and pickled jalapeno – a favorite dish – executed with precision

BYO White Wine

Santa Barbara Spot Prawns a la plancha with garlic, lemon zest, crushed red pepper on a bed of white beans – another favorite

We couldn’t wait and ate half before the photo was snapped. Taglierini with Santa Barbara uni, lemon zest and pickled scallion – still sticking with a favorite.

A lovely evening – what more can one ask for?

Urasawa

Urasawa was as perfect as always. It is so much more than just about the food – it is an experience that has no equal. The key to Urasawa’s culinary approach is seasonality – expect summer ingredients in summer! I am not going to do lengthy descriptions of each dish – mostly just ingredients, but I can say that not one dish was less than an A.

Hiro is the ultimate host – gracious and accommodating to everyone – first timers as well as regulars

The summer arrangement of flowers behind Hiro

John picked spectacular wines for the evening. They were served at the appropriate time during the meal – all were shared with Hiro.

Champagne

Montrachet

Corton

Dessert Wine

Junsai, okra, mountain potato, pickled radish, wasabi – to be eaten in one sip

Scallop from Hokkaido stuffed with monkfish liver, plum sauce and topped with caviar

Soy bean skin, uni, bonito-flavored mirin sauce, gold leaf

Sashimi – toro from Spain, red snapper from Kumano and Kampachi from Toyama with daikon radish, leeks, carrots

Beef tartare (beef from the Mie prefecture), caviar and pickled radish – a one bite wonder

Sake is added to the pot and immediately you see hot steam escaping from the pot

Red Snapper steamed with sake, wrapped around uni, ebi (shrimp), shitake mushroom, squash on a shiso leaf. The sauce with this dish (not pictured) was ponzu with radish.

Bonito flavored Egg custard, soy milk skin, Shrimp, Squash, Ginko nuts, Italian summer truffles, Salmon eggs, Gold Leaf

Hamo Eel – about to be perpared

“It requires enormous skill to fillet and prepare hamo, a large, thick sea eel with a complex, meaty flavor. Hamo has thousands of fine bones that must be cut with a razor-like blade to make the meat edible.”

http://tasteofculture.com/display-text.php?pd_key=32

Shabu Shabu  - Hamo eel and foie gras is added to the broth – the foie is added first and allowed to simmer longer than the eel. Thank goodness your server does the timing and the “cooking.” Then the broth is eaten as a “soup.”

SUSHI – Hiro uses approximately 170 grains of rice per sushi piece.

Toro

Kama Toro

Kampachi

Spanish Mackerel

Red Snapper

Blue Fin Tuna

Squid

Shitake Mushroom

Santa Barbara Uni

O Toro

Toro Roll

Skip Jack

Small Henni Fish (I think)

Abalone

Fresh Shrimp being prepared

Shrimp

Spanish Mackerel

Eel

Hiro described this as peach “jello” with a gogi berry on top

Sesame Ice Cream with white summer truffles topped by gold leaf

Green Tea

What a wonderful perfect evening.


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