Tuesday, Tom, H and Me
A few months ago, I read about Tom’s Tuesday Dinners. “Who is Tom?” you’re thinking. His name is Tom Colicchio. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? Hosts a little show called Top Chef and owns a small restaurant called Craft. As a tv star and restaurateur, he’s often away from the kitchen and has therefore decided to return to his roots, if you will, by cooking a special dinner every Tuesday night. These dinners take place in NYC and consist of a ten-course tasting menu, all chosen by Tom. The idea is that Tom goes to market, sees what’s seasonal and then designs a menu around what he finds. When you arrive, you are handed a menu and plates start coming. You have no choice in the matter.
When I read about this dinner, I naturally thought it was amazing, posted it to my Facebook and then put it on my “one day” wish-list. However “one day” came sooner than expected, as a few weeks ago H told me we were going. As any reasonable girl would do, I freaked. Me and Tom C in the same room? No way! Yes way
(H snuck this picture on his Iphone.)
As you can see, Tom stands at the open kitchen counter, plates all the food, cuts all the meat and tastes of all the dishes before they are served. (Can’t you just see him asking Top Chef contestants if they tasted the food before serving it? Well, now we know he doesn’t expect anyone to do anything he doesn’t do himself.) At one point, H caught me staring, but honestly if I’m about 20 feet away from Tom Collichio, I’m going to watch the man at work.
Here is what we ate. It was nothing short of amazing. For the first time in my life, I tried the following: rabbit, venison and ham. Hey, when in Rome. I had every interntion of taking pictures of the food, but then lost my nerve. I was honestly star-struck.
All of the dishes were terrific, but of course I had my favorites. Oddly enough, they were the first two and last two. The first course was an oyster, which I don’t normally love, but something about the crunch, spice and oyster worked very well together. Do I dare assume it was an “amuse bouche“? Because my mouth was certainly amused. I also think the anticipation + the first bite made everything taste that much better. Never underestimate the power of excitement.
The chocolate souffle was also heavenly. In fact, I used that word when describing it to the waiter as he cleared our plates. I savoured every single bite of it. H even noticed that I was eating more slowly than usual. The homemade icecream was delicious as well. I had the icecream at Craft a few years ago, and it was my favorite part of the meal. They use all kinds of flavors that you wouldn’t expect, such as chestnut honey. Yum. The lime sorbet (see course nine), paired with mint and a sliver of fresh mango, was also amazing. Perfect palette cleanser after three courses of meat. Good thinking, Tom.
In the end, we were treated to a parting-gift of chocolate truffels. Perfecct way to end the meal and experience. Tom, please don’t pack your knives and go. Unless, of course, you are coming to my kitchen. Enjoy!