Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tasting Kitchen...

Chris was gone for my birthday this year on a camping trip with Scarlett.  And with the chaos that inevitably comes with our summer schedule we haven't really had a chance to celebrate.  So with my birthday as an excuse, Chris and I got away for the night and embraced our freedom.  My mom took the kids overnight and we celebrated our youthful days with good food, good friends and even better cocktails.

We decided to try The Tasting Kitchen in Venice and it was a really fun experience.  Usually when Chris and I decide to embrace an evening of fine dining we do exactly that, we chose a "fancy" restaurant, put on our Sunday best and never look at the prices on the menu.  This experience was a little different.  The Tasting Kitchen isn't necessarily a "fancy" restaurant, but they still give the illusion of "fancy" with the quality of food and length of service, and we still felt extra special/lazy by being able to chose a "chefs choice" menu.  Four of us sat for three and a half hours and enjoyed signature cocktails and cuisine prepared from local products.

The chefs menu was served family style, a fun detour from the usual dining experience. The chef started the evening with a cold melon soup, served with a sliver of crisp prosciutto. First course was three dishes, smoked trout served atop a dollop of creme fresh , grilled artichoke hearts with an anchovy vinaigrette and olive oil sous vide octopus in a tomato chili paste. Second course was a huge plate of homemade pasta, breadcrumbs and spicy sausage. Third course was two plate of pork three ways and a salt crusted fish with a butter sauce and roasted mushrooms. Fourth course was two spring salads, one with pine nuts and a balsamic vinaigrette and the other was spring lettuce with olive oil and lemon. This was the first time I had ever considered a salad as a palate cleanser and the whole table agreed it was a waste of calories and stomach space to indulge in such a plain salad right before dessert. Fifth course was a plate filled with sweets. Three homemade sorbets: grape, coconut and peach. A dark chocolate pudding with Madagascan almonds a dollop of cream and lemon zest. A pana cotta with boysenberry sauce.

Everything was cooked PERFECTLY! It was obvious that the chef understood the balance of flavor in every dish. An evening to be remembered and a restaurant highly recommended.

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