Thursday, July 24, 2014

juniper - st. louis, mo
360 north boyle avenue
st. Louis, mo 63108

- this was actually my second visit to was too dark the first time and my iphone pics turned out horribly
- the full breadbasket is a must order...the ramp butter was amazing
- was disappointed that all four of our starters came out at the same time...server apologized and we rolled with it, but four plates at once for two people is overwhelming
- really enjoyed the beets, cauliflower, and fried oysters (bivalve and chicken) but was let down by the chicken skins as they lacked the level of spice i was expecting
- the pork belly entre was excellent...loved the way the kimchi cut through the richness
- pound cake was great, rice pudding was so so
- both of my visits to juniper were largely successful, and while i doubt i will become a regular, the restaurant will definitely be in my rotation
cotton gin - house barrel aged gin, st. germain, dry curacao, smoked corn syrup, lemon
missouri mule - darkhorse bourbon, cognac, sugar, mint
tennis with hemingway - gin, yellow chartreuse, cucumber, jalapeno syrup, bitters
bitter in pink - gin, lemon basil syrup, bitters, suze

full bread basket - fritz hollings' carolina biscuit, angel biscuits, cornbread, hush puppies, gullah biscuit, served with ramp butter and bourbon/peach jam

fried oysters, blue cornmeal, steen's cane syrup vin

pickled beet terrine, goat cheese snow, orange

"nashville hot" fried chicken skins, strawberry buttermilk

dirty cauliflower

pork belly, rice grits, kimchi, barrel aged maple syrup

frogmore stew, prawn, andouille, corn, new potatoes, shrimp and country ham jus

rice pudding

mimi's pound cake, whiskey peaches, buttermilk ice cream

Thursday, July 10, 2014

the restaurant at meadowood (2) - st. helena, ca
900 meadowood lane
st. helena, ca 94574

- pictured below is the "counter menu", which was served to us in the dining room as the chef's counter in the kitchen was booked
- handling our table was former st. louis resident (and niche g.m.) christopher kelling, and the service he provided was nothing short of exemplary...conversing with him throughout the meal about st. louis and the restaurant industry was a joy
- the meal started with a complimentary glass of 1999 billecart-salmon brut
- what followed was a perfectly paced four hour parade of incredible dishes...naming standouts would be impossible as the entire progression blew me away
- the desserts stood up to the savories (i don't often feel this way) as i liked the not too sweet approach...the panettone was insane
- i really appreciated chef kostow taking the time to personally present several dishes to us throughout the night
- the kitchen tour halfway through the meal was awesome...everyone back there seemed like they were having a blast
- this was one of the best meals of my life (joining saison, alinea, atera, and eleven madison park), and there is no doubt i will be time i will be sure to book early enough to sit in the kitchen!
olive crisps

vegetables soaked in champagne

kale chips, chorizo

surf clam, lardo, sea lettuce, avocado

parker house rolls

tomato, wild plum, creme fraiche sorbet

corn tarte, corn "tea"

lobster stuffed day lily

cucumber seed risotto, costal grasses, cucumber roasted in madrone, wild flax charred onion

steamed potato, beef tendon, trout roe, dill

borage, rye, squab hearts, mustard

summer squash soy "quenelle", spot prawn

abalone, coal roasted eggplant, smoked pepper

wild salmon, turnip (after the salmon was consumed, the plate it was on was lifted to reveal the sturgeon pictured below)

sturgeon, nasturtium, chive

kitchen tour

presentation of coal seared squab

squab "tea"

coal seared squab, curds, green strawberry, celery

chopped lamb, sunflower, pickled lime

koji, chanterelle, beef

brillat savarin cooked in hay, whipped honey comb, matt's bread

frozen marshmallow, lime

bubbles sorbet

olive oil, coconut

silken chocolate panettone