Most of the group of 20 arrived early enough to enjoy a few cocktails out in the peaceful courtyard, which was perfect. If it had been 10 degrees warmer that night, I'm certain our dinner would've been out there as well. It was no hardship that the group was seated in the library of the Morris Hotel. I expected this room to be a cramped, acoustic hell. As it turned out, the room was well suited for us, and it's not to say this was a shy, quiet group, but quite the contrary (as usual). So, I'm impressed with how the room comfortably fit our chatty group and yet never reached the wince-induced noise level common in many restaurants. Bravo M, Bravo.
This group was a fun social bunch that enjoyed a lot of laughs. This is typical for us whenever we're treated to good drink and great food. The chef Aaron Bellizzi, formerly of Le Cirque, put together two 5 course menus reflecting the freshest spring offerings (see below). One menu was vegetarian. I, not surprisingly, went with the other. Both seemed to produce similar results of happy foodies. Everyone started off with a gazpacho that woke up our taste buds and ignited a lot of approval in the form of moans and praise. Each course to follow was presented as beautifully designed compositions on our plates. The consensus was a happy one. Many remarked that it was a great chance to taste so many rare and wonderful offerings at a single meal. It was my first experience at frog legs, which I was surprised to enjoy. Since duck is one of my favorite offerings, the fourth course stood up to high standards and expectations. It was clearly my favorite dish - and what a treat to have it served over seasonal sautéed ramps!
|Geoff Butler, our sommelier|
*Optional wine tasting offering for all 5 courses: $20+tax/tip. (cash bar, billed individually)
Scallop Crudo, Prickly Pear, Pickled Fiddle Head Ferns Enoki Mushrooms
Stinging Nettle Risotto, Fine Herbs, Jasmine Crumble, Petite Mache
Tempura Frog Legs, Spring Garlic with Scapes, Garden Peas, Schezchuan
Young Red and Green Leaf Salad, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Duck Breast, Rice Cracker, Jumbo Asparagus, Sautéed Ramps
Green and White Asparagus, Fresh Garbanzo Beans, Rice Cracker
White Chocolate, Prickly Pear Sorbet, Cocoa Nib Cake
|food-ie group at M|
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