Chef Redzikowski's Bond Street... and I'm not just saying that because he comped our meal after our Test Kitchen Shenanigans!
Which he explained yet again was an issue of mis-communication with the hosting staff at the Test Kitchen, but I can't complain at all considering the outcome. A chance to pick the brain of an extraordinary chef, yes please!
We started off the evening with a Blueberry Martini, served on a platter with a scattering of blue stones (which I totally failed at capturing a picture of before it was quickly whisked away.) I'm not exactly sure what was in it, but the frothy sweetness was very reminiscent of a spiked childhood juice box that had been frozen for the summer. Plus, the sushi chef Nick chimed in that "It's full of antioxidants" which was very helpful considering I'd barely made it to the restaurant after getting over being sick all day.
Union Square Cafe, when the question of leeks and legumes came up (Punky having never eaten a leek before) & Chef Michael Romano answered our questions by running out to the farmers market & gathering samples! It was the definition of farm to table & perhaps one of the first times I really appreciated the care that chefs take in creating their food.
I'm a sucker for anything covered in caviar, so this was all good for me. As for the descriptions, in doing a little research on the name of the dish, I found that Chef Marco Pierre White was the host of the Americanized version of The Chopping Block (that's supposed to say Block, not Blog) which was canceled after I believe only 3 episodes!
Plus, Punky, just so you know, Pansies are edible. I'm not crazy. Well not THAT crazy.
While caviar is on the plus list for me, truffle is on the x-nay list for Punky. That said, she had no problem with this dish. Unfortunately it felt a little too similar to the previous dish for me to really tell the difference. Aside from the essence of truffle... obvi.
The dishes on the other hand had a lovely texture, and even better, were hot! (Me being a little sickling who had to ask for hot water in the middle of the menu, absolutely enjoyed and welcomed warming myself up on this dish.
Next up was a potato skewered on a sprig of rosemary in a chorizo and rosemary foam. Something else that should be mentioned is that Chef Redzikowski filled us in on his extensive wine background from the CIA. When he was 18, he won a scholarship to travel through France, but couldn't go because he was too young! His well developed palate added to the enjoyment of the pairings as we dove through the courses.
I wish I'd taken better notes on all of the wines presented, but the combination of alcohol & sudafed certainly took its toll on my handwriting skills so I decided to rather just sit back and enjoy the evening as intended.
When Punky asked Chef Redzikowski about his Big Eye Tuna Tart that had been a staple in Bond Street reviews, he explained that the original Bond Street in NY had stolen his idea and tried to make it their own. Not to be outdone, Redzikowski just as quickly took it off his menu.
Potato cubes being a theme of the tasting menu, that lil guy made his way onto this dish as well. The crispy skin of the black bass was probably my favorite part. Cooked perfectly it was crunchy and sweet all at the same time.
r. Wiley Dufresne's passion fruit filled foie gras @ wd~50.
The salty burst of flavor was just the right in-between to bridge the sweet black bass with the savory meat & potatoes.
Plus this dish was yet again covered in edible pansies!
When Chef Redzikowski talked about his kitchen, he explained that it was a 24/7 operation, built to service every need & whim of the beverly hills hotel clientele (which after working for certain people, I can absolutely relate to)... so when I asked him when he slept, he calmly replied "Well. I take Sunday off."
And I thought my hours were ridiculous!
Meat and Potatoes, the staple of Ireland. But in Redzikowski's playful hands it's transformed into a piece of art.
I did however learn the hard way that those baby potatoes on the outside platter were in fact just a garnish. Not meant for regular consumption until cooked.
Scratch that, us + liquid nitrogen. I can't see that turning out well at all.
And we're finally on to the desserts. This will be short & sweet because by this point in the evening I'd stopped taking notes completely, so all I have to go on is that the Mochi reminded me of childhood, while the Half Baked deliciousness was much more reminiscent of college.
Thompson Beverly Hills
9360 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-3134