Tuesday, January 5, 2021

New Normal: A 6-Course Tasting Menu at Home

While I am grateful to be healthy, housed, employed, and generally in a very good place in life, there is a lot I miss about pre-pandemic life. One of those things is tasting menus at restaurants. I love going to a new place and letting the chef decide what I will eat. I love the surprise of getting small bites of food, beautifully plated and delivered to my table, knowing it will be the perfect amount of food by the end of the meal. 

My first tasting menu experience was at the Beast, a French restaurant that Portland lost due to the pandemic. Other recent memorable tasting menus I had were at Mision 19 in Tijuana, and Han Oak in Portland, which was one of the best meals of my life. 

I can't get this experience during the pandemic. Half of the fancy restaurants closed during the pandemic because they could just not serve take-out with their concept, and the other half adapted to offering take-out friendly different menu items like street food, baked goods, and noodle soups. 

For fun, I decided to attempt my own tasting menu at home. I order take out from Lechon, a South American restaurant with an amazing vibe and gorgeous aquariums in its restaurant. Unfortunately they are closed for indoor dining, but I want to see them succeed, so I ordered a wopping 6 items from their menu and had them delivered. 

Then I plated each item for two people, selected wine pairing, turned on Chopin, got out the candles and cloth napkins, and made it my Tasting-Menu-at Home night. 

I wish I was better at decorating a dining room table or plating food, because these pictures are not all that spectacular. Although my aesthetic talents were tested in this challenge, and admittedly I suck at plating and decorating,  I think the photos and experience serves as a relic of this time: trying to relive good memories and make the most of a devastating global pandemic. 

Course 1: Brisket Empanada

Course 2: Mexican-Style Street corn

Course 3: Shrimp Ceviche

Course 4: Bone Marrow - the best!

Course 5: Grilled Octopus

Course 6: Steak

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