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bluestem: The new and improved - Kansas City


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I do need to get here for a proper meal sometime. We revisited bluestem's brunch on Easter.

My wife's eggs Benedict (with ham not salmon) was absolutely terrific. I only got a couple bites, but perhaps the best I've ever eaten. I'm not usually a big eggs Benedict fan, so that's not saying much perhaps. Still...

I ordered the merlusa escabeche...a fried than pickled fish dish (oddly, not entirely unlike this traditional Swedish herring preparation I recently encountered. (I believe (from quick googling) merlusa is also known as hake, commonly served in Spain.) The fish was delicate and perfectly cooked. The dish in its entirety was a bit too dominated by the vinegar...I would have probably enjoyed it more as an appetizer portion. There was something sweet or nutty in there to balance the acidity, but I can't recall what it was and I thought it needed more. Still, quite enjoyable.

The French toast was again terrific (though I preferred the blueberry to the nectarine). The pancakes had an unfamiliar taste to me, which wasn't so much to my liking. I couldn't quite place what it was.

Service was friendly and efficient, the two young boys were treated well, and I still thoroughly enjoyed my brunch, even if not quite as impressive as the first time 'round. I believe they hiked all the prices a couple bucks too, hopefully just for the Easter menu, which is not unexpected.

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Sounds like an amazing meal, do you remember what went with the Foie?

The foie tonight had plums, gooseberries and what? some kind of nut or legume (the S.O. had it and he is sleeping it off as I write).  And a tuile of some sort.

We had a smoked peice of plum, and I think that tuile was made of parmesan.

I had the torchini w/hen and oyster mushroom and at that point in the meal informed my companion that if anything ever happened to him I was going to marry the Chef de Cuisine :wub:

I think at some point I told my friend that I would sleep with our sommelier.

The scallop had white asparagus and some haunting herb (Dave? Colby?) and a corn scape. 

Oh man, that scallop... <slips back into food coma>

OK, I want to say the herb foam was lemongrass.

The white fish was merluza (hake) and exquisite, although the version we had wasn't paella, rather had fregola di sarda (tapioca-shaped pasta), roasted red pepper.  This may/may not have been what Dividend had but sounds like it was similar in spirit.

Ours had sausage (linguica?) foam, and was explicitly described as a deconstructed paella.

He had the lamb two ways and that shoulder was un-freaking-believable.  We were already planning to try it at home while we waited for dessert.

Most of my friends are not white-tablecloth (I love them dearly for it - most of the time.) Sam was on good behavior the majority of the night, but this dish caused him to declare "If heaven was deep-fried in awesome and smothered in a honey-lavender reduction, it would taste like this." His subsequent Myspace blog about our meal (written, I think, while still drunk that night), reads like some kind of vaguely Anothony Bourdain inspired food pornography, including my personal favorite comment, about this course, "If I never get to eat another bite of lamb, because PETA got all pissy and took it away from those of us who actually enjoy eating animals, I can be completely satisfied with the fact that my last bite of lamb came from this dish."

Amen.

Wine pairings never fail to please - I think Jeremy must do a lot of tasting (for research purposes only, he assures me). 

He told us he has the best job in the world - he gets to spend other people's money for them (and better than they could do themselves, in this case).

Edited by dividend (log)

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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He told us he has the best job in the world - he gets to spend other people's money for them (and better than they could do themselves, in this case).

As one of those people, I resent his cushy existence mightily :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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  • 2 weeks later...

If I may add to the gushing...

I recently had an occasion to celebrate, and I needed to personally thank those near and dear that had been of great help in making the occasion possible. To bluestem I took them for a 5-course dinner.

Between the 7 of us, we managed to order everything on the menu except the Butter Lettuce (which I've had before), the Escargot pasta, the Hen meat course, and the Strawberry Shortcake dessert and Bittersweet Chocolate Pot de Creme dessert.

Here's what we did have:

Caviar (both the American Paddlefish and the Smoked Salmon Roe)

Cold Starter

Peeky Toe Crab

Wagyu Tartare (black olive caramel)

Foie Gras au Torchon (with smoked plums)

Roasted Beet with Whipped Goat Cheese

Hot Starter

Torchio pasta with Oyster mushrooms and Hen

Calamarata pasta with shellfish broth (mussels and shrimp)

Fish

Striped Bass (with saffron Fregola Sarda)

Scallop (risotto and white asparagus)

Sturgeon (ramps and Berkshire pork ravioli)

Meat

Veal (curry emulsion, green olive, and braised celery heart)

Wagyu Striploin (Maytag blue cheese fritter and smoked potato puree).

Dessert

Rhubarb Banana Parfait (rose champagne sorbet)

Spiced Chocolate Cake (Kalhua ice cream)

Roasted Apple Tart (vanilla rum sabayon and cream cheese fritter)

Sorbet Sampler

There was truly not a bad dish in the lot. However, I can't honestly say that everything was a home run for me either.

The Wagyu Tartare, Wagyu Striploin (especially with the wine pairing) and the Foie Gras all made my head tilt in minor ecstasy. The Roasted Beet, Sturgeon, Scallop, and the Torchio were also very memorable. Least compelling for me was the Veal, which I ordered as my meat course. The cut of pink flesh were extremely moist and perfectly prepared, but the accompanying elements confused the otherwise simple dish: curry, demi glace, celery, olive and pink peppercorn; it lacked a certain cohension and direction that all of the other compositions seemed to celebrated.

As always, desserts were enjoyable. For once, the dark chocolate option was not my favorite. I'm not sure what "spiced" the dark chocolate cake, but I can definitely tell you it was spiked - with an AWESOME Kalhua ice cream. I liked the Roasted Apple Tart, but I would have liked it better with a cold accompaniment (ice cream of some sort). I'd have to say the Rhubarb-Banana Parfait with Rose Champagne Sorbet won my heart.

My own sorbet sampler was very good - Blueberry, Rose Champagne and Apricot (which got lost next to the other to more bold flavors).

You can see all of my photos and read my commentary on each dish from the meal here.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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If I may add to the gushing...

I recently had an occasion to celebrate, and I needed to personally thank those near and dear that had been of great help in making the occasion possible.  To bluestem I took them for a 5-course dinner.

Between the 7 of us, we managed to order everything on the menu except the Butter Lettuce (which I've had before), the Escargot pasta, the Hen meat course, and the Strawberry Shortcake dessert and Bittersweet Chocolate Pot de Creme dessert.

Here's what we did have:

Caviar (both the American Paddlefish and the Smoked Salmon Roe)

Cold Starter

Peeky Toe Crab

Wagyu Tartare (black olive caramel)

Foie Gras au Torchon (with smoked plums)

Roasted Beet with Whipped Goat Cheese

Hot Starter

Torchio pasta with Oyster mushrooms and Hen

Calamarata pasta with shellfish broth (mussels and shrimp)

Fish

Striped Bass (with saffron Fregola Sarda)

Scallop (risotto and white asparagus)

Sturgeon (ramps and Berkshire pork ravioli)

Meat

Veal (curry emulsion, green olive, and braised celery heart)

Wagyu Striploin (Maytag blue cheese fritter and smoked potato puree).

Dessert

Rhubarb Banana Parfait (rose champagne sorbet)

Spiced Chocolate Cake (Kalhua ice cream)

Roasted Apple Tart (vanilla rum sabayon and cream cheese fritter)

Sorbet Sampler

There was truly not a bad dish in the lot.  However, I can't honestly say that everything was a home run for me either. 

The Wagyu Tartare, Wagyu Striploin (especially with the wine pairing) and the Foie Gras all made my head tilt in minor ecstasy.  The Roasted Beet, Sturgeon, Scallop, and the Torchio were also very memorable.  Least compelling for me was the Veal, which I ordered as my meat course.  The cut of pink flesh were extremely moist and perfectly prepared, but the accompanying elements confused the otherwise simple dish: curry, demi glace, celery, olive and pink peppercorn; it lacked a certain cohension and direction that all of the other compositions seemed to celebrated.

As always, desserts were enjoyable.  For once, the dark chocolate option was not my favorite.  I'm not sure what "spiced" the dark chocolate cake, but I can definitely tell you it was spiked - with an AWESOME Kalhua ice cream.  I liked the Roasted Apple Tart, but I would have liked it better with a cold accompaniment (ice cream of some sort).  I'd have to say the Rhubarb-Banana Parfait with Rose Champagne Sorbet won my heart.

My own sorbet sampler was very good - Blueberry, Rose Champagne and Apricot (which got lost next to the other to more bold flavors).

You can see all of my photos and read my commentary on each dish from the meal here.

you know I might have to go to kc just to go to bluestem now.

sigh.

there goes the paychecks.

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The soup! The soup! I forgot the Soup! I miscategorized above.

The Butter Lettuce, Roasted Beet and the Asparagus Soup with Speck were listed separately as "Soups & Salads." Sorry. None of us ordered the Asparagus Soup.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Chefs Colby and Megan, reservations for at least one the Sunday after the OKjoes bbq event in a couple of weeks. u.e. is making me very hungry.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Congratulations to the Chefs/Owners of bluestem on the birth of their first child, Madeleine (sp?). She [finally] arrived early Sunday morning. Everyone is fine and coming home today. The only down-side: she reportedly has very long fingers - not exactly a desirable trait in a kitchen :laugh:

And a friend and I enjoyed a delicious Wagyu tartare, steak frites with a sauce flight and a nice Napa (20 Bench) in the lounge last night. A great nosh and a great value.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Congratulations Colby and Megan. All the happiness to your family.

And, to all those eGulleters, it bears mentioning that I was in the dining room at bluestem for the 12-course "Chef's Spontaneous" menu. While I'm sure the anxiety-wrecked daddy-to-be could have churned out an amazing meal, I was equally dazzled by his worthy Chef de Cuisine, Dave Crum.

See all the pictures here..

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 1 month later...

Dinner on Tuesday night with moosnsqrl and chileheadmike was a winner......unfortunately, none of my pictures are good enough to post, and being such a busy and important man I’ll only have time for some random thoughts. Judy and Mike, fill in the blanks as you are able…

This meal was dubbed “The Last Supper”, as I will be undergoing bariatric surgery in the next few days. I think there is a thread somewhere on eG on that topic, so I won’t say too much here other than I thought the chef’s tasting at Bluestem was the perfect way to transition from one way of life into another. I’m really looking forward to becoming a JoCo princess in the next six months or so…bugging those guys for an amuse bouche tasting menu, or pulling the old “they’re doing the twelve course tasting, but I’m doing the three course....is there any way you can still have all of our food come out at the same time? If not, you know I’m just going to sit here and yack on my cell phone all night!”.

Anyhoo...When the bread service has to be replenished two or three times because every trace of food has been wiped from the plates...it is safe to say you have had a good dinner. Besides being a great value, the chef’s menu has a pretty perfect amount of food and wine. We were joking during the earlier courses that a tasting menu is only there to let you know what to order for dinner later. The courses have a way of catching up with you…and I’m no stranger to eating a ton o’ courses over several hours (and just eating a ton in general). As many times as Judy has been through it, I’m guessing her faux-fainting spells were just some kind of audition for reality tv or something. Anyway, the amount of food and wine, and the pacing was juuuusst right. I think we got our first course at 6:15 and left at 10:15.

We’re in the dog days of summer, so the inclusion of Crum’s Heirloom goodies were a TREAT...even for a carnivore like me. I’ll list out what I can decipher from my scratchingsm (apologies to Jeremy, I’m the worst when it comes to remembering or documenting wine pairings)....some of the dishes are on the current menu, so anything below that lists more than two ingredients is not from me.....

Amuse- watermelon juice and foam shooter

Hamachi Crudo, Litchi Granita, Sake, Citrus, Ginger

Shrimp, Salmon, Avocado “Roll”- this was fantastic, I needed about nine more of these.

Wagyu Tartare w/ Black Olive Caramel- you can’t go wrong with this dish….and I think the black olive caramel should be bottled and marketed as “heroin”. The pairing of the Pedro Jimenez sherry really worked with this course.

Foie Gras Torchon w/Smoked Plum, Golden Raisins- I still think this is my favorite foie preparation of all time. I don’t care what Judy or Mike say....for the thousandth time I STILL think that there is a place in this world for a Bluestem Torchon Biscuit! A disc of that torchon on a light and fresh biscuit, with a little bit of fruit jam, and as Colby suggested…a quail egg. This is going to be a standard preparation going forward, I promise you!

Gazpacho, Cucumber, Onion, Tomato, White Gazpacho Emulsion- I needed another quart of so of this too. Pure hit of earthy summertime flavors....and paired with a very icy/diluted limoncello of all things!

Fazzoletti, Italian Sausage, Black Pepper, Cherries, Saba- Fantastic sausage in this dish, very rich flavors. Also, the “Yang Yara” Syrah paired with this course is something I’ll be seeking out.

Walu, Guanciale- I can’t remember what else came in this dish, but the Walu (sp?) was perfectly cooked. Very rich for such a white, flaky fish.

Berkshire Pork, Soy Caramel, Heirloom Veggies- and in unison we all said “the shoulder is the best part of the pig”.

Tasmanian King Salmon , Braised Sweet Onions, Thane’s Potatoes, Aromatic Vinaigrette- this may have been my favorite dish of the night. The salmon was of such great quality and cooked perfectly.

Wagyu Striploin, Smoked Potato Puree, Tomato Beignet- oh man, I think this is when Judy really started losing it, but she was a trooper. I actually got some of her Wagyu and Beignet.

Cheese Course- served w/Fonseca Port. Man I love Maytag Blue Cheese. I wish I could remember the name of the soft, pungent cheese-served-on-a-spoon that included flavors of artichoke heart simmered in your compost heap for a summer...and I mean that in the BEST possible way.

“Baked Alaska” w/ Yuzu, Lemon, Mint- courtesy of one Mr. JWest. Flavor and texture was outstanding, and the extremely potent lemon sauce was a nice addition.

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Cake, Passion Fruit Curd, Avocado Mousse, Chocolate Sorbet- chocolate overkill is never a letdown.

Compressed Melon, Citrus Crisp, Crème Fraiche Sorbet- nice, clean ending to the meal, very refreshing.

My dining companions can add their comments as they have time. This really was the best meal I've had in a very long time, and I look forward to coming back at some point after recovery. Until now I haven't had to worry about having any Bluestem "leftovers" the next day...that will be a welcome addition to the ol' fridge!

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Cheese Course- I wish I could remember the name of the soft, pungent cheese-served-on-a-spoon that included flavors of artichoke heart simmered in your compost heap for a summer...and I mean that in the BEST possible way. 

this description just makes my mouth water to taste that last piece of Pierre Robert I have in the fridge at home.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Cheese Course- served w/Fonseca Port.  Man I love Maytag Blue Cheese.  I wish I could remember the name of the soft, pungent cheese-served-on-a-spoon that included flavors of artichoke heart simmered in your compost heap for a summer...and I mean that in the BEST possible way. 

The lumiere (3 week aged goat cheese), indeed very pungent. Nothing sexier than soft cheese oozing off of a spoon. :biggrin:

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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Oh, whew... so now I don't have hide my secret indulgence of spooning cheese at home. :wink: Lumiere - the same type as the French version with the layer of grape leaves in the middle?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Lumiere - the same type as the French version with the layer of grape leaves in the middle?

I can't say for sure, but that WOULD explain some of the "compost artichoke" flavor and texture!

In the style yes. Made in California with french grape vine ash.

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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Cat wiped out most of this and I'm too beat to fix it. His version of the story will have to remain until I can publish the truth.

Edited by moosnsqrl (log)

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Ah, 104F in Kansas City on Tuesday. Seemed hotter in between the brick buildings of Westport. I pulled up, parked and walked across the Westport Road with the theme from “After Hours with Daniel” drumming in my head. Walked in, sat down with Judy and Jerry for a great evening of food and conversation. I passed on the wine so I can't comment on that, although Judy was gracious enough to let me have a smell or two of some of the standouts.

Amuse- watermelon juice and foam shooter

Perfect beginner, sweet with just a slight hint of bitterness. Very fresh, a recurring theme of the night.

Hamachi Crudo, Litchi Granita, Sake, Citrus, Ginger

One bite. Very fresh and flavorful. This was served over buttermilk. Other than as a medium for breading, I’d never had buttermilk with fish before. Very good.

Shrimp, Salmon, Avocado “Roll”-

Maybe the best of the evening. We all looked at each other simultaneously with the wow in our eyes. So much flavor in one bite.

Wagyu Tartare w/ Black Olive Caramel

Jerry forgot to mention the wonderful cherry tomatoes on this. The beef went so well with the olive caramel and the olive salt. The tomatoes provided a nice sweet/acidic counterpoint to the rich meat. At this point Judy asked if Colby was giving the stove the night off.

Foie Gras Torchon w/Smoked Plum, Golden Raisins

Oh man, butter should have it so good. Rich and satisfying. And, I’m good with the foie gras biscuit thing, but it has to have sausage gravy.

Gazpacho, Cucumber, Onion, Tomato, White Gazpacho Emulsion

Slightly sour, sweet, with the flavor of cucumber coming through. Very nice after the rich foie gras.

Fazzoletti, Italian Sausage, Black Pepper, Cherries, Saba

Fat, perfectly cooked house made pasta, the sausage was loaded with fennel. The cherry reduction was not too sweet. A very nice satisfying dish.

Walu, Guanciale

Yup, rich. I had never heard of this fish before. Our server said it was from Hawaii. Very buttery for a warm water fish. Perfectly cooked and served over white tomatoes and thin, slightly warmed slices of cucumber. A real winner.

Berkshire Pork, Soy Caramel, Heirloom Veggies- “and in unison we all said “the shoulder is the best part of the pig” “. Yeah, except it was shank. This one was a little weird, but very good. The meat was in a perfectly formed cube and seared on top. There was some savory spice that I couldn’t put my finger on. I thought allspice, Judy thought fennel (I think) Jerry was too busy sucking down the vino. Colby said it was clove. Definitely not your usual pork dish. Really porky and rich with just a little fat.

Tasmanian King Salmon , Braised Sweet Onions, Thane’s Potatoes, Aromatic Vinaigrette- Perfectly cooked salmon. So soft. Yum.

Wagyu Striploin, Smoked Potato Puree, Tomato Beignet-

At this point I was starting to lose it. Almost tomato overload. But the tomato beignet was amazing. A whole peeled tomato in a lacy beignet crust and given a quick fry. This almost overshadowed the perfectly cooked wagyu steak.

Cheese Course-

From mild to stinky. The Maytag Blue was very salty and pungent. Good stuff.

“Baked Alaska” w/ Yuzu, Lemon, Mint-

I’m not a huge fan of meringue and thanks JWest for not overdoing it. Lots of different textures and flavors. And yes, very intense lemon.

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Cake, Passion Fruit Curd, Avocado Mousse, Chocolate Sorbet-

Very rich without being too sweet, very good.

Compressed Melon, Citrus Crisp, Crème Fraiche Sorbet-

Very fresh. Just a hint of bitter in the crisp to go with the sweet melon. As Jerry said, a perfect way to end a great meal.

Great meal overall. We were treated very well by all. It was the first time I got to meet JWest. It was obvious that he had put a lot of effort and talent into his desserts and it showed. I'm sure he will go far.

ETA: Judy, your turn. The "cat ate my homework" excuse is wearing thin.

Edited by chileheadmike (log)

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Ah, 104F in Kansas City on Tuesday. Seemed hotter in between the brick buildings of Westport. I pulled up, parked and walked across the Westport Road with the theme from “After Hours with Daniel” drumming in my head. Walked in, sat down with Judy and Jerry for a great evening of food and conversation. I passed on the wine so I can't comment on that, although Judy was gracious enough to let me have a smell or two of some of the standouts.

Amuse- watermelon juice and foam shooter

Perfect beginner, sweet with just a slight hint of bitterness. Very fresh, a recurring theme of the night.

Hamachi Crudo, Litchi Granita, Sake, Citrus, Ginger

One bite. Very fresh and flavorful. This was served over buttermilk. Other than as a medium for breading, I’d never had buttermilk with fish before. Very good.

Shrimp, Salmon, Avocado “Roll”-

Maybe the best of the evening. We all looked at each other simultaneously with the wow in our eyes. So much flavor in one bite.

Wagyu Tartare w/ Black Olive Caramel

Jerry forgot to mention the wonderful cherry tomatoes on this. The beef went so well with the olive caramel and the olive salt. The tomatoes provided a nice sweet/acidic counterpoint to the rich meat. At this point Judy asked if Colby was giving the stove the night off.

Foie Gras Torchon w/Smoked Plum, Golden Raisins

Oh man, butter should have it so good. Rich and satisfying. And, I’m good with the foie gras biscuit thing, but it has to have sausage gravy.

Gazpacho, Cucumber, Onion, Tomato, White Gazpacho Emulsion

Slightly sour, sweet, with the flavor of cucumber coming through. Very nice after the rich foie gras.

Fazzoletti, Italian Sausage, Black Pepper, Cherries, Saba

Fat, perfectly cooked house made pasta, the sausage was loaded with fennel. The cherry reduction was not too sweet. A very nice satisfying dish.

Walu, Guanciale

Yup, rich. I had never heard of this fish before. Our server said it was from Hawaii. Very buttery for a warm water fish. Perfectly cooked and served over white tomatoes and thin, slightly warmed slices of cucumber. A real winner.

Berkshire Pork, Soy Caramel, Heirloom Veggies-  “and in unison we all said “the shoulder is the best part of the pig” “. Yeah, except it was shank. This one was a little weird, but very good. The meat was in a perfectly formed cube and seared on top. There was some savory spice that I couldn’t put my finger on. I thought allspice, Judy thought fennel (I think) Jerry was too busy sucking down the vino. Colby said it was clove. Definitely not your usual pork dish. Really porky and rich with just a little fat.

Tasmanian King Salmon , Braised Sweet Onions, Thane’s Potatoes, Aromatic Vinaigrette-  Perfectly cooked salmon. So soft. Yum.

Wagyu Striploin, Smoked Potato Puree, Tomato Beignet

At this point I was starting to lose it. Almost tomato overload. But the tomato beignet was amazing. A whole peeled tomato in a lacy beignet crust and given a quick fry. This almost overshadowed the perfectly cooked wagyu steak.

Cheese Course-

From mild to stinky. The Maytag Blue was very salty and pungent. Good stuff.

“Baked Alaska” w/ Yuzu, Lemon, Mint-

I’m not a huge fan of meringue and thanks JWest for not overdoing it. Lots of different textures and flavors.  And yes, very intense lemon.

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Cake, Passion Fruit Curd, Avocado Mousse, Chocolate Sorbet

Very rich without being too sweet, very good.

Compressed Melon, Citrus Crisp, Crème Fraiche Sorbet

Very fresh. Just a hint of bitter in the crisp to go with the sweet melon. As Jerry said, a perfect way to end a great meal.

Great meal overall. We were treated very well by all. It was the first time I got to meet JWest. It was obvious that he had put a lot of effort and talent into his desserts and it showed. I'm sure he will go far.

ETA: Judy, your turn. The "cat ate my homework" excuse is wearing thin.

i am typing this with my right hand while holding her a millimeter above the keyboard. seriously. oddly you said many of the same things i had (the shank comment was lifted verbatim from my attempted post). i am glad you didn't have wine. you remember everything in greater detail and i appreciate reliving it. i've got to get a door on my office, though.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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  • 1 month later...

This thread lies dormant a lot more than it should.

I haven't been in the dining room to eat (I don't think) since I last reported. However, I have been doing some Wine Lounge eating.

Nothing really new to report on the savory end. Still the same old good stuff - Wagyu Tartare, Smoked Salmon, Charcuterie, and Artisanal Cheeses. They do have a new "Chicken Truffles" dish (think nuggets) and "Crispy Shrimp," which I have tried.

The desserts are really what have been most interesting in the Lounge (same as in the dining room). Joe West (JWest) is now pastry sous and is churning out some new products while Megan's on temporary baby hiatus. To my understanding, she's still overseeing the pastry program as Pastry Chef, but Joe's getting a chance to experiment.

I have now had all of the current dessert items except the "Double Cream Cheesecake." I'd have to admit that a couple might be a bit challenging for less adventurous palates, but I like them all. I'd love to hear what others think.

Perhaps the most challenging item on the dessert menu is the "Caramelized Granny Smith Apple" - it's served with black truffle ice cream. I have always enjoyed truffled desserts when I've had them (mostly in Europe), and this one was no different. It's a deconstructed American apple pie taken to a different plain - cubes of slightly caramelized Granny Smith apples are strewn across a long plate with flakes of pastry crust. It's garnished with a walnut emulsion and sided with an addictive, rich apple butter and, of course, a quenelle of black truffle ice cream.

Why I like it: it's not straightforward, predictable, or saccharin sweet. It's kind of savory, in fact (which is why I probably it works for me). I just returned from New York not long ago where I ate at Sam Mason's (former pastry chef of wd~50) new restaurant Tailor. He is known for playing with notions of savory and sweet. The concept of this dish could compete with any of Mason's desserts, in my opinion (except, maybe, Mason's black olive cake with blueberries, granola and yogurt ice cream).

Another dessert I like is the "Malted-Ginger Root Cake" with stout foam and chocolate sorbet. The first time I tried it, the ginger flavor was too faint. But, on my recent visit, they've tinkered with the flavor and really up'ed it. The cake, I believe, is soaked in a ginger broth (syrup?). The effect of the entire dish is like a root beer float (with chocolate sorbet instead of vanilla ice cream). It's very adult.

And, I *love* the "Lavender Baked Alaska" - which is a child's dream. Fluffy, and quirky, it's a nubby ball of toasted meringue encasing a luscious and fragrant lavender ice cream. There's a bit of acid from yuzu and a floral-sweetness from the hibiscus foam. I have to say that although I love this dessert - more for its presentation, and because it's ALL about ice cream, it is too sweet for me - I can only have a couple of bites before I'm sated. It's the meringue that gets me.

There's another dessert worth mentioning - "Valhrona Chocolate 'Consomme'" - go see the picture, I really can't describe it. Chocolate, peanut, and banana - it's another adult version of a classic - the banana split - sort of. You'll just have to try it yourself. The consomme is basically clarified and strained chocolate water - think coffee, but with chocolate instead.

Okay, I just realized that this ended up being a posting about dessert... :raz:

Oh - the cheeses right now are really great. There are six, I believe - the River's Edge chevre, with a layer of sweet paprika ash running through the center, is my favorite.

Upshot - get thee to bluestem Wine Lounge.

To see both meals, Click Here.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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There's another dessert worth mentioning - "Valhrona Chocolate 'Consomme'" - go see the picture, I really can't describe it.  Chocolate, peanut, and banana - it's another adult version of a classic - the banana split - sort of.  You'll just have to try it yourself.  The consomme is basically clarified and strained chocolate water - think coffee, but with chocolate instead.

UE, got a question about this: is the consomme meant to be taken simultaneously with the other ingredients, or separately from them (i.e. alternate a bite with a sip)? I assume that it's not meant to be poured over the other ingredients, as if that were the case, the kitchen would have taken the initiative to do that before it arrived at the table.

While that looks good, the Malted-Ginger Root Cake both sounds *and* looks more intriguing. But then, I'm kind of a sucker for good chocolate ginger.

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There's another dessert worth mentioning - "Valhrona Chocolate 'Consomme'" - go see the picture, I really can't describe it.  Chocolate, peanut, and banana - it's another adult version of a classic - the banana split - sort of.  You'll just have to try it yourself.  The consomme is basically clarified and strained chocolate water - think coffee, but with chocolate instead.

UE, got a question about this: is the consomme meant to be taken simultaneously with the other ingredients, or separately from them (i.e. alternate a bite with a sip)? I assume that it's not meant to be poured over the other ingredients, as if that were the case, the kitchen would have taken the initiative to do that before it arrived at the table.

While that looks good, the Malted-Ginger Root Cake both sounds *and* looks more intriguing. But then, I'm kind of a sucker for good chocolate ginger.

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There's another dessert worth mentioning - "Valhrona Chocolate 'Consomme'" - go see the picture, I really can't describe it.  Chocolate, peanut, and banana - it's another adult version of a classic - the banana split - sort of.  You'll just have to try it yourself.  The consomme is basically clarified and strained chocolate water - think coffee, but with chocolate instead.

UE, got a question about this: is the consomme meant to be taken simultaneously with the other ingredients, or separately from them (i.e. alternate a bite with a sip)? I assume that it's not meant to be poured over the other ingredients, as if that were the case, the kitchen would have taken the initiative to do that before it arrived at the table.

It's funny you ask; I had the same question. I was told that the consomme had been poured over the rest tableside by the server (for presentation). But, it was served to us separately, and they told us to do whatever we would like. I took a sip of the consomme from the shot glass and my friends poured it over the rest of the dessert. I thought that made the dessert too wet and soup. I would have much preferred eating the dessert and sipping the consomme separately.

While that looks good, the Malted-Ginger Root Cake both sounds *and* looks more intriguing.  But then, I'm kind of a sucker for good chocolate ginger.

So am I.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I need to get over and check out the lounge. Do you need a reservation, or am I safe just showing up?

I've convinced at least eight different people to go for brunch, and gotten nothing but raves from them. Went for brunch on Sunday with the boyfriend and another friend. Boyfriend has up to this point refused to eat eggs in any form, but loved the scrambled eggs in the Bluestem breakfast. Friend absolutely demolished the crepes with berries, yogurt and honey, declaring it the best breakfast she's ever had. And those pomme frites... :wub:

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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