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Seekret Dinner – June 27, 2011

Posted by Jeanne on July 10, 2011

After my crabby McDonald’s post earlier this week, now WordPress has suggested that I use a new theme for my blog.  It’s called “fruit shake.”


Anyway, WordPress’ weirdness notwithstanding, we went to a seekret dinner on Monday, June 27 and I am just getting around to writing about it!  It was great.  I suppose the proper term is “underground dinner” but this is my blog and I do what I want.


The dinner was held at New York Chicken & Gyros, and chef/owners Paul Urban and Jessica Joyce made some lovely food and were excellent hosts.
Additional chefs were Lionel Have of the Omaha Country Club, and Joel Mahr, who I believe is sous chef at Spencer‘s.  Chef Have is as old school French as they come and has trained and influenced an enormous number of chefs in the Omaha community (and elsewhere).


Now for the food:


Amuse:  Savory smore.  Foie marshmallow, bitter chocolate, fleur de sel, cracker.

Both weird and awesome.  The bitter chocolate and salt were great foils for the sweet graham cracker bits.


First:  Confit of calf’s tongue, warm fingerlings, sauce gribiche.

Tasty.  The tongue had the texture of corned beef, which I thought was lovely and which freaked out a couple of my dining companions.  More tongue for me though!  I have never had sauce gribiche in Omaha and it was very, very tasty.  New York C&G serves it with their fish & chips according to their menu board, and I must try the combination as soon as possible.


Second:  Duck Tourtiere, duck demi-glace, cherry gastrique, garlic scape, fiddlehead fern.

Also tasty.  Curt’s favorite course by far – Curt is a terrible slut for anything ducky though.  The garlic scape was raw and I wish it would have been blanched – it was not really meant to be eaten as presented.


I tend not to like inedible garnishes.  I am kind of a brat though.


Third:  Seared bluenose bass, lemon confit, pea puree, leek, saffron jus.



Fish was slightly overcooked and needed a little salt, but had a really nice crust.  Saffron jus was delicious.  So delicious, in fact, that I poured some down the front of my shirt.  D’oh.


Fourth:  Mano de Leon scallop, carrot butter, jalapeno oil, crispy pig ear.



Really nice.  The scallop was perfect.  I would have preferred a little more jalapeno oil, because I really liked the hit of heat with the the rich carrot butter.  Must figure out how to make carrot butter.  The pig ear was super crunchy – like bacon turned up to 11.  I loved it but others at the table did not – more pig ear for me!


Fifth:  Calvados salute!



The items in the center of the plate are dried apples, to eat before the shot, not after like tequila/lime.  Boozy.  Jeanne likey calvados.


Sixth:  Plum Creek Farms breast of chicken, oyster mushroom, langoustine, dumpling, sauce supreme.



Tasty but at this point we were starting to get REALLY full.  The langoustine was out of this world – I wish I knew how it was prepared.  The only thing wring with this is that my dumplings were cold and had kind of an unpleasant texture because of the temperature issue.


Dessert:  trio of strawberry rhubarb.



Rhubarb tart in pink peppercorn short pastry, sour cream ice cream; rhubarb gelee topped with strawberry foam (? the whole thing was molded, not sure what I would call the strawberry part) and some rhubarb confit and pistachios.  The last one was a shooter – rhubarb infused syrup lightened with soda water.  All delicious.


Bottom line:  the whole meal was very good, with a few minor missteps.  I hope that the chefs who participated feel it was worth their time and effort.  I think it was an amazing opportunity for us as diners to see what chefs can do and create when given the freedom to cook what they want to cook, how they want to cook it.  I would totally go again, and I hope I have the opportunity to do so.

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