Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chef's Tasting

We offer a Chef's Tasting at the restaurant, which is a multi-course dinner that showcases the best of what we have to offer that day, experimental dishes, and things that we just feel like cooking. This is a great way for the culinarily curious to sample some of the great diversity of what we do here at One Block West.

When a customer books such a tasting, I talk with them about price, dietary restrictions, likes and dislikes, wine pairings, and so forth. Then my staff and I come up with a menu of between 5- and 11-courses. The 11-course dinners take a full 3 to 4 hours. The 5-course dinners take roughly 2 hours. I wrote last week about an 11-course tasting.

As much as possible, I try to come to the table and discuss each dish as it is presented, if the customers want me to. Here's the menu from a 7-course tasting that we did tonight.

Tatsoi Salad with Golden Raisins, Toasted Almonds, and Caramelized Onion-Curry Dressing

Sea Scallops Stuffed with Black Truffles and Wrapped in Prosciutto

Jumbo Morel Stuffed with Jumbo Lump Crab

Beer Battered Walleye with Sweet Potato Gaufrettes

Tataki of Yak with Ponzu Dipping Sauce

Yiouvetsi (lamb and orzo gratin)

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Chocolate-Dipped Dried Pears

I think you can see that we have fun with our tasting menus: it gives us an opportunity to try things that we don't think would sell well on the standard dinner menu, but which customers should try. An excellent case in point is the Tataki of Yak, barely seared strips of yak, served cold, wrapped around fine julienne of cucumber and micro oriental greens. When dipped into the soy-citrus dipping sauce, the flavors really pop. This is a great, simple, light dish that screams "fresh!"


  1. Yak is fairly readily available to the trade from most game purveyors. If you are in the business, call your game distributor. If you are a home chef, try Marx Foods at