Dinner at No. 9 Park, Boston
At Thor’s suggestion, Lill and I decided on the nine course Chef’s Tasting menu paired with wine. Being total deviants and gluttons we took on the optional cheese course as well. Thankfully, we had planned on staying the night at an in-town hotel as the pours were quite generous.
Nairagi Crudo Hawaiian striped marlin slices topped with lemon zest, olive oil, and chile. The creaminess of the fish was amazing and the fleur de sel finish was perfect
2000 Huet Vouvray Pétillant Brut Alsace. Apple and pear overtones with great minerality and balance. Very good and I’d love to try this with some age to it.
Bacon Wrapped Tuna Three circles of slightly seared tuna wrapped in bacon with a Macomber turnip purée, sweet soy and miso. This is elegant and the flavors just linger and linger.
2004 Schoss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Grüner Veltliner Kamptal, Austria. Big floral, flinty nose with juicy, refreshing flavors of melon and citrus. Lots of white pepper on the finish. The wine is very clean and very focused.
Black Cod with pickled articokes, honey glaze, and petit herb salad. The tarragon is key here. Wow.
2004 Perll Bopparder Hamm Feuerlay Riesling Kabinett Mittelrhein, GE. AP 2 05. A really delightful wine with great balance, lots of white fruit flavor and just the right sweetness to work with the fish.
Mezzi Rigatoni Nine or ten pieces of homemade riggies stuffed with ricotta and topped with a cherry tomato and garlic sauce. Perfectly al dente bits of macaroni with wonderful creaminess of the cheese and slight bite of sweet acid from the tomato. Very nice indeed.
2002 Bucci Pongelli Rosso Piceno, Marches. 50/50 blend of montepulciano and sangiovese. Huge aromas of lightly smoked sea breezeand red fruits. A medium-bodied red with lots of lively dark plum flavor and a fresh, clean finish. The acidity stands out here and works extremely well with the cherry tomato.
Hudson Valley Foie Gras with pear mostarda, Meyer lemon purée, and almonds. Creamy and such depth of flavor.
1999 Kracher Muscat Ottonel Trockenbeerenauslese No. 4 Zwischen den Seen, Austria. This wine starts with a full-on muscat nasal assault painted with honey and citrus. It’s super thick, intense, and unctuous, coating the palate with mango, almond, and tangerine flavors. While it was amazing with the foie gras, it sure was odd having such a sweet, rich wine at the mid-point of a meal and sandwiched between the Rosso Piceno and the Chianti to follow.
Sunny Side Up Farm Egg with crispy sweetbreads, arugala and parsnip marmalade. The egg was perfectly cooked with solid white and totally runny yoke. The sweetbreads tasted like chicken tenders bits and the parsnip was incredibly sweet. My least favorite savory course but it still was yummy.
1999 Fattoria di Fiano (Ugo Bing) Chianti Colli Fiorentini Riserva, Tuscany. A rustic red filled with earth, farm, and leather aromas. Lots of stewed dark fruit bordering on pruney, obtrusive oak, and some serious tannins. Give this one a few more years to integrate.
Roasted Prime Sirloin with baby Yukon gold potatoes, roasted cipollini onion, and sauce Béarnaise. The meat was melt in your mouth and full of aged beef flavor. The potatoes, as tiny as the were, were uncooked.
2001 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA. The floor manager poured this one for us with some trepidation as, he says, the menu doesn’t typically have a Napa cab on it, but Cat (Silirie, sommelier) really found something here that fits. I can’t agree more. This wine carries such a purity of Napa fruit with just a scant hint of oak. It’s extremely well balanced with soft tannins and a licorice finish that melts away in your mouth allowing the beef to shine through.
Artisanal Cheeses. It’s nearly impossible to have restraint when presented with an incredible array of cheese. We opt for the Couronne Lochoise goat cheese from Loire, the mushroomy Tommie de Berger, and the Pradera aged gouda. All accompanied by toasted apricot bread, kumquat paste, black cherry reduction, pickled Muscat grapes, quince paste, and green apple. Heavenly and refreshing.
Ferreira Quinta do Porto 10 yr Tawny Sweet, ruby-like floral/fruity nose with an off-dry, tawny, nutty palate and a soft finish.
Green Apple Sorbet. Very pure flavors and super cleansing.
Coconut Tapioca with pineapple sorbet, mint foam, and star anise. Super creamy coconut sauce with chewy tapioca and brightly sweet sorbet. Nice touch with the shard of raw coconut on top.
2003 Domaine du Traginer Banyuls Blanc Really captivating creamy floral, muscat nose but is a bit lacking in acidity to offset the rich sweet fruitiness. Really nice, glossy white chocolate finish. I’d guess this to be quite wonderful in a more normal vintage but in this vintage it is just ok.
Chocolate Chartreuse Napoleon with blood orange salade, chocolate and tarragon consommé. The consommé was silky and refreshing but I was more than maxed out on consumption overload at this point.
1995 Au Bon Climat Aleatico Barbara and Kitty Sittin’ Pretty Santa Maria, CA. Special barrel-selected by and named for Barbara Lynch (chef) and Cat Silirie (sommelier). This wine (other barrels?) was also bottled under Jim Clendenon’s Cal-Italian Il Podere dell’Olivos Pronto label. What strikes first is a snootful of rosemary and tarragon that leap from the glass. The wine really hits it with a full sweet cherry-pie palate and extremely silky tannins. Poke me with a fork, I think I’m done.