At the outset, let me say that I thought the meal was way overpriced, for the total bill was near $400 for just three appetizers plus a few drinks... and not a drop of Louis the 13th cognac.
The evening began with a free Heidsieck Monopole champagne, 12% ethanol. I also ordered a Santa Barbara 2009 Costa de Oro Pinot Noir (14.5%, Pearl's favorite was this wine) and Cotes de Provence 2010 Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel rose (12.5%--lacking in character). One glass each, and these were not served in Riedel, although the sommelier insisted they were. I think they save the good crystal for expensive bottles.
The three appetizers were: Caviar from Aquitaine with blinis, creme fraiche and traditional accompaniments:
As the caviar came from France (and from southern French waters, which surprised me, for I thought that sturgeons only did well in relatively cold environments), I had a shot of chilled Grey Goose vodka, too.
The second appetizer was Spanish Iberico Beliota Ham, supposedly the finest ham in the world, with chive mash potato and petit salad with fresh truffle (and I found the ham abominable for the rancidity and price) and the third was a sauteed foie GRAS with green and white asparagus (excellent):
Does the above look like $400 worth of food? Okay, I was a lot extravagant, but $400?
After all the above I was still not satiated, so with a cappuccino and Chateau Roumieu-Lacoste 2006 Sauternes (14.5%--they did not have Chateau d'Yquem by the glass), I had two blue cheeses: sheep milk Roquefort and cow milk Fourme D'Ambert. Then came those assorted sweets, and for the first time in my life in a high end French restaurant, I ate them all.
Okay, the setting was perfect, the service impeccable and experience memorable. The price? Much too high, I think. Ted, if you're reading this, look forward to seeing you here next week. I splurged and caught a taxi home.
The Dow Jones Industrials fell another 59 to 12,447, with world markets also almost all down. As would then be expected, gold jumped $17/toz to $1566, with NYMEX at $97/barrel and Brent Spot at $118/barrel, a $21/barrel difference.
Latest tracking of Tropical Storm Ma-on shows it is now heading straight for Okinawa as a Category 2 typhoon.