My Birthday Week festivities continue! How are YOU celebrating?
Today, I received a little something from Sis (and by “I”, I mean “we” since the contents of the package were for both Akemi and me, and by “a little” I mean a lot). Mexican chocolate, chocolate-covered licorice, multi-flavored chocolate bars (including peanut butter and banana, and BBQ potato chips), chocolate truffles…Do you sense a theme? Akemi, meanwhile, went absolutely crazy over the three adorable aprons she received (which she intends to model on her blog tomorrow). Coincidentally, she was up last night, internet-perusing adorable aprons. No kidding!
She was up late because she couldn’t sleep after the incredible meal we had at Campagnolo earlier that night…
Our first course was a lentil and chorizo soup. It was intensely flavorful, the lentils pureed to a silky smoothness and studded with tiny bites of smokey chorizo.
Alas, forgot to snap a picture of the second course but you’ll have to trust me when I say it looked gorgeous. And tasted wonderful. Savoy cabbage, beet roots, courtons and two year cured ham. Yes, cured for two year and melt-in-your-mouth wonderful.
Our third course, the bruschetta, was an incredibly rich mix of sweet, smokey, salty, and sharp.
Speaking of “rich”, our decadent fourth course almost did me in. One incredibly lucious pan-seared duck liver.
I was a little worried that the Parmigiano Reggiano would overwhelm here but it married wonderfully, sliced paper thin, with the delicate flavor of the agnolotti. And that thyme butter simply put it over the top.
The flavors of our sixth course were clean and altogether fantastic. One of the best fish preparations I’ve had in recent memory. Akemi bemoaned the fact that she didn’t have chopsticks on hand to thoroughly pick the very last bits of tasty meat from the bones.
And then, we were presented with our seventh course. I was expected pork and was surprised by…
I was admittedly leery. My first (and only) foray into horseflesh was…well, memorable for all the wrong reasons (February 7, 2012: Tokyo Day #11! The gang back home! Okonomiyaki! And my weirdest meal yet! Well, actually not so much a meal as a bite.). Happily, this preparation fared much better. Perfectly cooked, surprisingly tender and, to be perfectly honest, very tasty.
Most wouldn’t consider it light but I certainly did, especially in comparison to our second dessert. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. It was, without a doubt, the best piece of cheesecake I’ve had in ages.
As much as I enjoyed the cheesecake, chocolate pudding is more my speed. And this particular pudding packed a helluva chocolate punch!
A HUGE thanks to Tom, Chef Ted (who designed the menu), and the rest of the gang at Campagnolo for yet another fabulous culinary extravaganza!
And, just in case those nine courses weren’t enough, Rob and Hillary gifted me a little something from their recent trip to Vegas:
Damn, that takes me back to the chocolate parties I used to host in the Stargate days.