Monday, December 21, 2009

The Grill Room Meet-up

So this blog has been around for about a year now.  Somewhere around 140 post have been written and posted.  Until this point everything you have seen on this blog has been paid for with either mine or Kerry's hard earned school loan money.  That all changes today.

Last week The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel was foolish enough to to invite Eating In NOLA to a social networking meet-up where they offered us some new wines and dishes that Chef Drew Dzejak has come up with.  I'm just kidding.  It wasn't foolish.  We are very very important.  We are pretty much the voice of the the New Orleans, Graduate Student, under 26, restauranting population.

So, there might not be any such thing as a free lunch but free dinners at Mobil Four Star/AAA Four Diamond restaurants are delicious.  Especially when paired with 10 different wines... And I'm talking about the kinda wines I can't afford to drink.

I had planned to talk about each wine pairing as well but I misplaced my notes... and really I have no idea what I'm talking about then it comes to wine anyway so just take a look at the picture above and if you ever see see any of them anywhere buy them... they were all great.

So lets get started.

Course one - Pork Belly

Now this pork belly came with Parmesan gnocchi, mushrooms, and ham-hock truffle broth.  It was crispy and savory.  The gnocchi were pretty great too and made in house by Chef Dzejak.  It was great and really set the bar for the rest of the meal.

Next up -  Pho Noodle Soup

This take on pho came with shaved raw beef tenderloin,  foie gras, and came in a ginger broth.  There was some question at the table about whether the ginger was too strong but I thought it was just right.  It was paired with a couple Rieslings and it made for a good combination of sweet, tart, salt and... ginger I guess.

Course three - Scallops

I think this was the best thing of the night.  The scallops were from Maine and they were seared and they came with a fennel purée, chanterelles, and sherry vinegar.  Now I really want to say that it was the chanterelles that made the dish but I have no idea what chanterelles even are.  I thought about looking it up but I bet they are those mushrooms and actually those mushrooms were pretty good... they kinda made the dish.

 Course four - Venison

Now the venison was the fan favorite.  It was perfectly cooked and came with potato purée, red swiss chard, and a bacon port reduction (hey I know what all those things are).  It was really good and I think it would make a good addition to the menu at The Grill Room.  I feel like you don't see a lot of venison on menus in New Orleans and it really is a shame.  I think venison is a hugely underrated meat.

After four great entrees pastry chef Shun Li whipped up a few desserts.  Forgive the pictures.  I by the time I finished my tour of the wine cellar my esteemed dining companions had already started digging in.  Scavengers.

Starting at the left, you are looking at pumpkin cheesecake, New Orleans style fried pie, and at least the reminiscence of some deconstructed apple pie.  All good but the cheesecake was the standout for me.

So that's that.  It really was a great experience.  Good food and great company.  I got a chance to meet a lot of interesting people who I'm sure I'll continue to run into.  If you have been wondering about whats been going on at The Grill Room you should go give it a try.  There really are some cool things going on there.  They seem to have a creative staff committed to not only offering a great dining experience but also an exciting one.  No joke, I'm not saying it.  This here is an honest blog... I'm like the Abraham Lincoln of talking about food.

Oh, and people really should invite Eating In NOLA over for free food more often.  Our company is delightful.


Anonymous said...

livin' thrifty brotha

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