August 20, 2012

Recent Eats and Drinks

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Bone marrow with tuna tartare and quail egg at The Spence. The bone marrow was decent, albeit slightly unseasoned, and the tuna really gets lost here. Pictured below is the beets with soft-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and wasabi. I thought the meal was good overall, but short of spectacular, and there are a handful of other restaurants that I'd choose over this one. There are some hits, like the macaroni and head cheese side dish, which is hedonistic, rich and comforting. But the Korean-influenced lamb ribs, porcini pasta, and halibut dishes were just not memorable.
The Spence does have zero corkage on the first bottle carried in which is nice (it's $15 per after the first bottle). We carried in this 2005 Vilmart Grand Cellier D'Or brut champagne that was in great form and a really tasty, young champagne.

Also made a return visit to No. 246 in Decatur where we had some tasty dishes. The pork rillettes with pickled egg below is a favorite, and the tuna conserve with orange segment was interesting. Bright acidity of the orange played against the oily richness of the fish. 
 
Among other dishes we also had the Margarita pie, which was as good as I remember from No. 246. It is probably Decatur's best pizza.
I also made the above dish this past weekend. It's a cider-brined pork chop from Pine Street Market,
over cheesy grits studded with roasted poblano and corn, along with Hugh Acheson's collard greens. I did the chops on the Big Green Egg at 500 degrees which brought some nice caramelization to the exterior while maintaining a juicy and flavorful interior. This dish was a winner all around for me.
In keeping with the tradition of drinking wines I really can't afford, with the pork chops we drank a 2006 J.F. Mugnier Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale. A very good wine, albeit a sinfully young Burgundy that needs 10 more years to really shine.



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