Spoon. It's what my husband and I did for his birthday; we went to Chef John Tesar's incredible restaurant in Dallas called Spoon. And it was magnicifish... magnicifent.
I can't help my lame jokes. The pictures basically speak for themselves, but I'm going to tell you all the drool worthy details anyway...
We decided to do the chef's tasting menu, as that usually tends to be the most delicious route. We're adventurous eaters, so it's fun to be surprised with the chef's choices.
A roasted tomato soup; off to a classic good start...
Okay, so we like to eat a lot, and added some oysters before starting the first course. They were happily slurped.
Pacific Uni with squid ink vinaigrette and shiso. Let me tell you how excited this got the both of us, we LOVE uni. For those of you that haven't lived fully yet (I'm saying that nicely, you've just got to try it!), uni is sea urchin. It's orange and goopy looking, but my deep blue sea god's it's fantastic. This is usually something we order when we do sushi, and we definitely enjoyed starting our sea food feast off with it. Go ahead and write squid ink down in my book of favorites too.
See what I did there? And can we all just appreciate the artistry in the presentation?
Cuttlefish in jalapeno oil, yuzu, and pink peppercorn. For starters anything that comes to the table glowing a beautiful but natural neon green has my attention. Though I'm a huge fan of spice, the jalapeno oil wasn't extremely hot, it more so captured the essence of the green in the pepper than the heat. I dig it. Cuttlefish (related to squid and octopus) has a firmer texture and made this fun dish seem almost like it was pasta, very cool effect.
This one may look a little more familiar, as they are prawns. However, average these Maya Prawns are not. They painted the plate with a spiced kimchi butter and nestled themselves atop a delicious kimchi pancake.
Artic Char in a vichyssoise (leek, onion, potato, cream soup) pickled leek ribbons and chive oil on top. Char has a very soft and clean flavor if you will, even not major fish eaters
(what's wrong with you?) would genuinely enjoy this dish. It was neat texturally, with each bite going through the creamy soup, delicate fish, and then the zinger of a the bit of crunch and vinegar in the pickled leeks. And the way I have it figured, the more intrigued your mouth is by texture, the more awake your taste buds become to flavor.
Swordfish as the shooting star of a parsley emulsion (forgive my super nerdy simile) with toasted quinoa crumbles, and a tomato and olive vinaigrette. If you've ever had swordfish, you know it's a different kind, it's much firmer than most flaky and soft varieties, but that's what gives it I'm having a meaty steak feeling, which if I understand correctly is like the American dream or something. This was incredibly well executed, as I've seen swordfish go very very wrong. I'd expect no less from the experts here though. However, the star of this for me was actually how much flavor came through in that beautiful painted green and the fun pops of the quinoa, much like pop rocks.
I did knock the olives off, because I don't like olives, but other than that fantastic dish.
Butter poached lobster in an heirloom cauliflower risotto and chive flower butter. Guys, I'd first like to point out that the delectable piece of sea creature glory right there is actual size. Giant. I wish you could smell the chive infused buttery goodness... Go on, pretend waft with me now.
I may or may not be drooling at the thought. I'd be happy as a clam with just the lobster itself, but add in the grandness that was the perfectly creamy risotto with the cut through of the chive butter and I'd say this was definitely the grand finale of the meal. Except that there were four desserts to follow...
Pre-Dessert:Pre-dessert. Yes, apparently it is a thing. A wonderful wonderful thing
Disclaimer: Travis and each ordered a dessert for the seventh course and figured we'd share each other's, BEFORE knowing about the pre and post (yes the post one is coming) desserts.
Dessert His & Hers:
Oh. My. Word. I'm going to go ahead and put it out there that these were the two best desserts I've ever had. Yes, said it there in blogging stone. BEST EVER.
Travis ordered the "Chocolate Bar". The name is an understatement of epic proportions. I like your subtlety there John, nice. This would actually be the chocolatiest chocolateness we'd ever had and it was sinfully delicious on the dark side. Enough of me starting "Fifty Shades of Cacao", let's get to what this bad boy is made of.
I guess that didn't help... So it starts as a chocolate wafer cookie like shell with a dark chocolate base to hold everything together. Then you add sweet dollops of mousse in milk and "white but not white" chocolate (it was explained that the color had been removed from the chocolate, but that it was still chocolate and not the shameful fraud that white chocolate actually is.) After those three layers, you've got thin square sheets of dark and milk chocolate that melt in your mouth just as you'd hope they would. Those caramel colored cubes? Those are nutella marshmallows, yeah they went there. Only to be paired with a spectacularly bitter dark chocolate sorbet. Which, by the way Sir Tesar I'd like to buy by the pint! A few droplets of caramel and sprinkle of cacao powder and I'd say they got all of the chocolately goodness they could in there.
I went to opposite end of the spectrum and chose "The White Album". If you know me; chocolate is hands down my vice, but I wanted to switch it up and well I'd overdose had I ordered chocolate too. So here in it's stark holiness was my dessert. Unseen is the tropical ganache that is a sneaky, but terrific surprise as a bottom layer to this magic. Second layer is a coconut tapioca with varying sizes of pearls. I need you to imagine the best tapioca pudding, the best boba drink, the best coconut cream, the best horchata, the best everything you've ever had and then triple it and it may kind of come close to this. Not to be complete without the refreshing coconut sorbet and angelically powdered coconut meringue. This dessert changed my life. I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that this is what Jesus has for dessert. Amen.
At Spoon, the hospitality and service is superb only to match the magnificent quality of the food. As we thought we couldn't fit another bite, they brought this "Happy Birthday" presentation of sweets to the hubs. Awe. We really were so full... but yes, we tried every one. A salted caramel, eggnog meringue cookie, a sheet of mint (the one in the middle looks like paper that says "happy birthday", it's actually edible and grand), dark chocolate truffle (I guess they could fit more chocolate in... I like you guys.), and a caramel marshmallow. Though it was the first "post-dessert dessert" that I'd ever had, it was the greatest.
It was an amazing night of dining at the impeccable Spoon; exquisite food and delightful service. Of course, I'm a sap so, the date night time with my birthday boy was the best of all. If you live in or visit Dallas (or you know, have to get a fifteen hour flight) you MUST experience Spoon.
I swear we didn't mean to match, but I won't deny it made me so giddy inside.(;