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7 Courses

August 29, 2011

On Saturday, two of our dearest friends invited us over for an exquisite 7-course meal complete with signature cocktails all inspired by our move to New York. Each course took us to a different area of Manhattan!!! It was simply amazing. Not only were we blown away by the amount of thought and effort that Denise and Frank put into the whole thing, but course after course, we were increasingly impressed by their culinary cunning. It was like Like Water for Chocolate, we were almost weeping from the goodness that laid before us.

We started off with cocktail hour which consisted of Manhattan’s (way too manly for me) and a papaya gin drink that was inspired by Grey’s Papaya (those suckers were creepers. after just one, I was feeling nice and loopy!). Cocktails were followed by an amus-bouche (yes, a freaking amuse-bouche!) inspired by Central Park, slow cooked pork belly and marinated apple slices. OH.MY.GOD.

Our next course took us to SoHo where we’ll soon encounter waves of tapas restaurants, apparently. Denise made a wonderful Spanish style squash soup (using squash from her own garden!) topped with dried chorizo, hardboiled egg, and olive tapenade. So many unique flavors that worked so well  together.

The salad course was my favorite; a delicious bistro salad inspired by the Lower East Village. Deliciously dressed mixed greens, bacon tapenade, homemade croutons and a poached egg. The flavors were all so wonderful, it was at this point where my first Like Water for Chocolate experience occurred. Imagine the four of us sitting there with no words to say, just Mmmm’s and the sound of our forks scraping the plate.

After our visit to the Lower East Village, we headed over to Chinatown for an impressive dumpling dish. Denise and Frank are urban farmers. They take their 8 x 8 plot of Venice Beach farmland very seriously, and we love them for it. They made us a brilliant dumpling filled with a variety of chards which they painstakingly raised from seedlings, topped with enoki mushrooms and a grilled shitake mushroom on the side. This dish was complex, sophisticated and deserving of a spot on any fine dining menu.

At this point, we were approaching the dreaded food coma line but still feeling pretty good so we took a slight intermission with our cocktails and the kitties, Pinky and Gorilla.

Denise then proceeded to prepare our fifth course, an inspired pizza that reflects the pizza shops and hot dog stands littering the streets of Time Square. Taking a note from the fruity juices served at Grey’s Papaya, she layered diced mango, sautéed hot dog and cheese over a sauce-less pizza dough. Me and pizza are pretty good friends, so it wasn’t too hard to please me but this particular pizza was particularly amazing. At this point, I was definitely ready to POP! But, alas, still two courses to go….

Next, Frank took us to the Upper East Side for “Upper Class Salmon”. I don’t know what he did to this little fish but my goodness was it mouth-watering! Panko crusted and topped with lemon and herbs, this fancy salmon sat on a creamy bed of pureed parsnip. It all just sort of melted in your mouth.

To end this wonderfully inspired and impeccably prepared meal, we ate New York Cheesecake for dessert and played a round of Yahtzee!

Here are our two gracious hosts and amazing chefs after a day of cooking and a night of eating. THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Ines permalink
    August 29, 2011 1:01 pm

    I LOVED READING THAT WHOLE THING!! What a great idea!! Great job Denise and Frank!

  2. Dad permalink
    August 31, 2011 10:21 pm

    OK, next time your Mom and I come down to visit, it’s no more me taking you out to dinner. It’s all on you and Frank at your home. My goodness amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Denise permalink
      August 31, 2011 10:52 pm

      I knew you were going to say that. :)

      • Mom permalink
        September 1, 2011 6:54 am

        Not to worry, we won’t need seven courses! What an amazing dinner, a masterpiece! We can play Scrabble too. Awesome cooks!

  3. August 31, 2011 10:32 pm

    Uh oh, Denise! Looks Like I got you in trouble!

    • Denise permalink
      August 31, 2011 10:47 pm

      I got myself in trouble! HA!


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