At an auction last year we purchased this dinner and it had us back at
URBANA in the Palomar Hotel near Dupont Circle where we had been so
many times when it was Gabriel under Greg Hill. We had been to Urbana
before, but Chef John Critchley has made a huge makeover there only to
announce he leaves this week and heads to Bourbon Steak at the Four
He and manager/sommelier Sean did a great job pairing some rare wines
and we all had a ball.
Amuse-thin slices of yellowfin TUNA with Passion Fruit, Yuzu &
Jalapeno...the latter ingredient being quiet apparent. This was served
with a Montelliana Prosecco, and lots of sparkling water!
PICKLED PUMPKIN was a superb salad of Bibb Lettuce, Great Hill Blue
Cheese (Mass.), Pomegranate Seeds, Pickled Acorn Squash with Maple
Vinaigrette; truly one of the best salads ever and the 2011 Botani
Moscato Seco from Malaga Spain was an ingenious pairing.
ROCKFISH TAGINE was one of our favorite dishes for its ingenuity and
the pairing as well.
A Moroccan inspired fish tagine (and the fish tasted more like chicken
indeed) with fregola sarda, chermoula and preserved lemon that had a
fun crunch. Micro greens and shoots of daikon and cilantro were a
presentational whim and the 2009 WILLM Alsace Grand Cru Riesling 2009
Kircherg de Barr was a gem.
FOIE GRAS TART deserves a prize as well. It was a shell of foie gras
made from confit of duck liver filled with fig and rhubarb gelees with
sauternes and a Spruce Greek yogurt. Ginger crumble adorned the dish
and was so yummy some asked for little take away packages to put on
ice cream at home! 2005 MACULAN from Torcolato in the Veneto region of
Italy was another gem of a slightly sweet wine that did not invade but
blended with the foie gras.
ROAST LAMB LEG was a tender leg in small roulades over a risotto
Milanese made with saffron and white wine. The sauce was a simple jus
reduction and quite rich but definitely award winning. A 2007 E.
GUIGAL Crozes-Hermitage was our only red for the night, but it was a
warm evening and we were quite happy with all our wines.
CHOCOLATE was composed of Salted (Malden Sea Salt)Milk Chocolate
Bavarois with Dolche de Leche Ice Cream. It was a cylinder of dark
thin and intense but the rich milk center was a gem. A 2007 COPPO
"Passione" Brachetto d'Aqui is indeed a sparkling red from Piemonte
and pairs divinely with all chocolate!
What a wonderful and HOT meal!