Happy Un-Valentine’s Day

I’ve never been a fan of dining on Valentine’s Day (or of Valentine’s Day in general, take that Hallmark). Tables are always hard to come by, menus are often abbreviated or dumbed-down and parking is always a pain (I know, I know “spring for valet Mr. McDuck!”).

So it only seemed appropriate for me to kick off The Wooden Table with a very un-Valentine’s Day meal. It was late (a week after V-day), instead of a romantic dinner for two, the diners all sat at a community table for 6 (as diners at The Wooden Table often do), and it wasn’t your standard V-day fare, but it was candlelit, and I did serve lobster . . . so there’s that.

I called it Heartbreak on a Plate and each dish was made with much love, although the titles of the dishes suggested otherwise. Below you’ll find some snapshots of the dishes, enjoy!

On the menu I called this one “half cooked bistek” since I only seared the Washugyu strips on one side which gave it texture but still kept intact that fattiness and flavor of the American Kobe beef.

This one showed up as “pebble soup”. I knew I wanted to present these winter veggies in some type of organic form. At first I played around with a technique called turning (tournĂ©e, pronounced tour-nay, for you fancy folks) but that created a more polished look than what I was going for. So I cut these pebble shaped things.

I knew I wanted to make a peeled soft boiled egg dish from the start, it’s one of those things that take so much care to prepare. I also knew that I wanted to smash it on a plate (a la heartbreak). The “dirt” was a natural choice for a “dropped egg” (which is how it was listed on the menu) and provided a nice crunchy element to sop up all that eggy goodness.

Nothing says Valentine’s Day more than 2 dozen roses and nothing says Un-Valetine’s Day more than taking those 2 dozen roses, steeping them with some mint and dried red chilies, turning them into jellies, inviting the diner to pierce their jelly hearts and dip them into the crystallized honey. This was the intermezzo.

Dessert was a Uruguayan jungle mate ice cream over a cold souffle, because if there’s anything that heartbreak does, it leaves a cold bitter feeling behind.

Our take home for the night was a crystallized ginger dark chocolate truffle because if there’s anything that you should take away from heartbreak, it’s that life is full of chocolatey sweet, spicy goodness. Get some!

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