Last night, we were back for round two of Fan Fuel Dinner 2008. As we walked into the restaurant, Martin confided: “Tonight is IT. Starting tomorrow, I’m on the program!” On the program?! Hmmm. I wasn’t exactly sure what had precipitated his decision to adopt a healthier diet. It could have been the four year old picture of a younger, slimmer him that a fan had gifted him. Or the fact that speedo season fast approaches. Then again, upon further reflection, it was probably that foie gras terrine for two we enjoyed way too much on Tuesday night.
Well, whatever the reason, I respected my friend’s decision to take better care of himself and supported his 100%. But that didn’t stop me from slipping away from the table at one point to relay the information to Chef Belcham. “It’s his last night, so you’ve got to go all-out.” But Chef Belcham was way ahead of me, having prepared a very special five course menu – just for us.
Martin and I settled in and, like the previous night, worked the room between courses. A smaller turn out on this night (as we were competing with the Gateworld charity dinner) meant more time for us to chat with the different attendees. It was less of the frantic table to table quick visits that typified Tuesday night’s meal and had some of the restaurant regulars wondering whether Fuel was hosting some sort of speed-dating event. We chatted, posed for pics, revealed enormous spoilers (but only after swearing everyone to secrecy) and ate.
We started off with Rob’s charcuterie – a savory selection of cured meats. The house chorizo is spectacular.
Fuel has given me a whole new appreciation of the wonderful world of soup. No insipid consommés here. Instead, on this night, two fabulous new creations: a smoothly textured but surprisingly hearty Cannelini bean soup with salsa verde, and an exquisite truffle broth with a hen yolk, root vegetables, and chives.
For the next course we enjoyed Marty G.‘s fave smoked albacore tuna with scallion, crisp shallot and crisp-crumbled ham, and tasty shrimp with rocket, guanciale, and onion puree.
The pasta course was comprised of a To-Die-For aged goat cheese agnolotti with lardo, squash and hazelnuts, and a finglering potato agnolotti with stessa and chives that set Martin aswoon.
Next up was a delicious silverback salmon with radish, lemon butter, and capers, and what Martin proclaimed the best fish dish he’s ever eaten” – the sablefish belly with swiss chard and hollandaise. It was truly exceptional.
Our final main was a fantastic saddle of lamb – cooked medium-rare, natch – with cornmeal spinach, long pepper, and kidney.
We finished with the Dolce de leche pound cake with pumpkin confit and cinnamon cocoa sorbet, and the new dessert – the Frozen organic Granny Smith apple partfait with nutella, chocolate genoise and hot crème anglaise.
An incredible meal, and one that Martin will no doubt reflect back on fondly in the coming weeks when he struggles to enjoy his steamed chicken and boiled veggies. Bon Appetit!
Thanks to Chef Rob Belcham and his incredible kitchen staff for being so damn great at what they do.
And thanks to everyone who attended last night‘s dinner. Martin and I had a lovely time.
And, by the way, Patricia, Lulu is having an even lovelier time with her new duck toy.