Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of days or staying at your mother’s place in Montreal without proper internet access, you probably already know about the new, revamped, ultra-cool and informative dedicated Stargate site at MGM.com. It’s a terrific-looking site, easy to navigate, with tons of goodies on all things Stargate: SG-1, Atlantis, and, of course, Universe – with advanced peeks on everything from the characters to the ship itself. Congrats to Grey Munford and the rest of his team at MGM for putting it together. Check it out: http://stargate.mgm.com/
Doubly good news for Stargate fans as this means I can finally start posting all those interior Destiny pics and video of the early gate tests.
Hey, to all of those asking me why I haven’t bought my mother a new t.v. yet – I’m trying! She insists the picture quality on her present set is fantastic – whenever it works. Truth is, I’d like to buy her a new refrigerator, a fence for her backyard, heck, even take her for the occasional lunch and/or dinner while I’m in town but she stymies me at every turn. Today, for instance, I suggested we head out for some smoked meat sandwiches – a Montreal tradition. Instead, we had leftovers. What’s a son to do?
I’m pleased to report that, last night, my confidence in the Montreal dining scene was fully restored with a visit to Restaurant Europea. My sister and I enjoyed a 10 course Menu Degustation with a creative flair that reminded me of my visits to Chateau Joel Robuchon in Ebisu and L’Osier in Ginza. Our meal went like this:
An amuse-bouche cauliflower cream gelee with black truffle served along a bowl of parmesan crisps. An great start.
A superb lobster cream cappuccino with truffle shavings.
A truffled egg cream served in an egg shell. Very good as well but I wonder about the decision to serve three successive truffled dishes. Had I arranged the menu, I would have started with this more subtle creation and built to the more intensely flavored lobster cappuccino.
Scallops and sweetbread served with parsnip and bak-choy in a “yellow wine” reduction. A nice dish but I felt the sweetbread were an odd addition that, while certainly tasty on its own, really had no business being there.
A delicious tuna tataki, one of the best I’ve ever had, although I wasn’t enamored of the accompany vegetable vermicelli.
A very subtle filet of Mediterranean bass served with poached rice lettuce,sturgeon caviar, and Jerusalem artichoke mousseline.
A foie gras cromesqui shaped like a cigar and, appropriately enough, served in a cigar box – its crispy and savory exterior concealing a luxrious and sweet interior.
An intensely flavored Cornwell chicken with a galanga infusion and shiitake vermicelli. This meat was wonderfully tender and aromatic. My only quibble with the dish was the skin of the chicken. I would have preferred a nice crispy exterior. As it was, I ended up removing the skin and setting it alongside the vermicelli – which, in my opinion and in all cases, are barely a step up from a garnish.
Our next course was a glass domed presentation, its contents obscured by the opaque smokiness captured within.
The domes were whisked away and the smoke dispersed to reveal the Kobe Beef short ribs served alongside a crispy galette of root vegetables.
The beef possessed a wonderful barbecue flavor and, while tender, lacked the characteristic marbling I’ve come to expect from Kobe beef. Still, a very good dish.
Then came the desserts. And they kept coming…
A trio platter comprised of a sugar dusted doughnut, a coconut panecotta, and a Tahitian vanilla crème brulee.
Then some tiny but tasty mignardises: chocolate crisp, raspberry macaron, nougat, pistachio-almond cookie, and marshmallow.
Followed by a bowl of pink cotton candy.
And a box of warm madelaines.
Then a berry sorbet.
Topping things off with some meringue cookies, home made toffee, and anise candies.
An incredibly inventive menu, fun presentations, and some wonderful flavor combinations made for a truly memorable meal. Service was terrific throughout.
Tonight, something a little more rustic. Finally – Au Pied de Cochon!
By the time I got home, I was stuffed. But mom insisted on my sampling some of her freshly made Russian tea cakes. Anyone else familiar with these? When done right, they just melt in your mouth.
Advertising Age questions whether Burger King being intentionally offensive as part of its international marketing strategy: http://adage.com/globalnews/article?article_id=137801
Drunk badger disrupts traffic. No, really: http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE5683O720090709?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&rpc=22&sp=true
The great tipping debate. Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit weighs in: http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2008/10/foodist_tipping