Once or twice a year my husband makes the trip to New York where he tends all the IT and phone systems for Per Se and Bouchon and their supporting office. I try to tag along with him as often as I can totourist and grow ideas/plots or write. I’m rather fond of the trips as they were the reason I came up with Frankie. Talking with some of the chefs in New York who have gone to Yountville for cross-training and their culture shock, I couldn’t help but want to create some city characters and toss them into my version of Yountville.
This is my first year in New York when there’s not a blizzard. Oh no, it’s steamy hot this time of year. Not nearly as bad as Alabama in August but not the comfortable dry-heat of home either. Last time we visited, during the big snow storm, we were going to stop by Noreetuh but the bad weather and cold kept us closer to our hotel. (Yes yes, I have fragile California skin.) The three co-owners used to work at Per Se and hubby wanted to stop in and say hi and he’d heard great reviews from co-workers.
I thought it was going to be more of a Japanese fusion food and was delighted that it’s more of a Hawaiian fusion cuisine. So we decided to try three different courses between us so we could trade dishes and wines.
I am not a food snob. In fact, it is quite embarrassing for me at times when we attend highbrow/holiday events at TKRG. I mean, I like food and I like wine but do I have a refined pallet? I don’t really think so. So I pretend. A lot.
I’m not giving a bite by bite account of the meal but it was amazing. The Big-Eye Tuna Poke with Macadamia nuts, pickled jalapeños, with seaweed was paired with a Grüner Veltliner; an Austrian white wine. Oh, this might not be anything to you other foodies out there, but as a writer who has a character who is Hawaiian and Austrian; it was kind of a dorky-geek moment for me.
Yes, the rest of the meal was fantastic too! Here are the rest of our shared dishes.
Pork-cheek pot stickers with spicy kimchi sauce.
Hawaiian Hearts of Palm, Hazelnuts, orange, pecorino Romano
Mentaiko Spaghetti, Smoked butterfish, aonori, chili
Mochi-crusted Black Bass, Pole beans, Chinese bacon, fermented black bean
Bruléed Hawaiian Pineapple (With the fruit fresh from the islands!)
And Chocolate Haupia Sundae
What I loved about this meal is I felt comfortable. A good tasting meal with fantastic customer service and I didn’t feel like a wanna-be even once.