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For those of you that are interested.


Hand of God Wine Dinner

Wednesday November 6, 7:30pm

Seven-course tasting menu with wines $75


Ronco Calino Brut, Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy


caviar, cultured cream, basil seeds

Ronco Calino Brut, Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy

Poached Egg

morcilla, potatoes, balsamic glaze

2012 Kofererhof Muller-Thurgau Valle Isarco, Alto Adige, Italy

Smoked Salt Cod

chickpeas, chimichurri

2012 Kofererhof Muller-Thurgau Valle Isarco, Alto Adige, Italy

Ricotta Tortellini

mozzarella white truffle foam

2010 Hand of God Fingerprint Series Red, Mendoza, Argentina

Charred Beef

cannellini bean ragu, basil

2010 Old Vine Malbec Stolen Horse Vineyard, Mendoza Argentina

Amaro Pudding

ladyfingers, coffee syrup


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That venison is a great dish. Trust me.


Can you please detail your experience with venison? Did you like venison when you were a child?

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Because you probably would have eaten the pony - while Splinky looked very elegant sitting on her pony.

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Because you were poor and did not deserve a pony.



Only the 1% gets ponies. You got soggy vegetables.

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Only the 1% gets ponies. You got soggy vegetables.

This is how I picture dinnertime in Sneak's childhood:


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We just asked for a chef's tasting, but specified a few dishes that really called to us. They are starred (*). Dave and the kitchen were wonderfully accommodating of my s-i-l's preference for gluten-free and her avoidance of eggs (none of this is medically necessary; she just believes what her "nutritionist" tells her). So some courses were different for her. As much as I wanted to try some of the truffled dishes, I didn't want to ask b-i-l to spring for the extra $$ (he was paying for all of us). But we did get to smell the truffled pierogies and the truffled roast chicken at tables on either side of us. Heavenly.


We had:


Cocktails: Horchata for Paul, Sunset Road for me, and Bronx Lager for s-i-l (she did not ask if this was gluten free); b-i-l was late after looking for parking and went straight to bottles of wine: we had 2 of a Tempranillo that and worked with the food.


Amuse: Felafel with cucumber and lemon-mint cream for Paul, me, and b-i-l, something else that looked nice for s-i-l


*Figs & mushrooms (& duck prosciutto) all around


Kimchi fried rice with duck sausage & poached duck egg for the 3 of us, pumpkin salad for s-i-l


*Octopus bolognese for us, monkfish for her; plus an order of strozzapretti with squid ink and Parmesan foam


Steelhead trout in curry broth all around


*Venison all around


Pumpkin salad for Paul and me, but with (I think) goat heart


Chocolate pain perdu for 3, buttermilk pudding for 1 (although I ate the buttermilk pudding and s-i-l ate nothing, for reasons that will be explained later)




Loved the cocktails. Great balance.


The felafel was lovely, and the tangy cream a good contrast against the crunch.


Figs/mushrooms was probably the simplest dish of the evening, and we were glad we got it--meaty mushrooms, great flavor.


Paul and I adored the rice; b-i-l thought it interesting but not necessarily delicious. We thought he was wrong on the second count. One thing Dave excels at is texture contrasts; another is bringing dishes just up to the edge of too-big flavors but not falling over so the dish is out of balance. Between heat, tartness, richness, and chewiness, this had everything for us. S-i-l enjoyed her salad.


The octopus bolognese deserves all the praise already given it. I only tasted a flake of s-i-l's monkfish, but it was enough to make me consider eating it again, as it was definitely NOT the tough, bland stuff that turned me off it in the past. S-i-l did taste some of the bolognese, and complained that it wasn't really octopus (no big chunks of tentacles, I guess, to clue her in). See, I told you she could be embarrassing.


The extra strozzapretti was the stuff of dreams . . . and sooooo rich! Between that and the tagliatelle, I'd have guessed that Dave was a little old Italian grandma from his hand with pasta.


Steelhead: as perfect as the fish was, and the broth just spicy enough without overpowering it, the best part to Paul and me was the skin -- really really crisp! S-i-l ate the skin but left the broth (she doesn't like spice); b-i-l left all the skin (!) and most of the broth. I almost asked him for his skin, but that wouldn't have looked right.


Venison: Yes yes yes. Just enough smoke, just enough tang from the grapes, just enough sweetness from the leeks and cauliflower, and so tender. Admission: I have never had the "real" wild-killed stuff, but I can't imagine this version would be any less enjoyable than that. Which is to say: if this is the only venison I might ever eat, I wouldn't feel experientially deprived of "real" game.


Intermission in the report: The conversation was unwisely turned to the upcoming mayoral election. Luckily, s- and b-i-l do not live in the city and so cannot vote for mayor here. By now the room was packed (had been for quite a while, actually) and so loud we all had to shout at each other. P and I were quite vehement in our rebuttals of s- and b-i-l's statements, and perhaps a bit too loud for s-i-l, who believed she had been called an asshole by me. (MFFers should know I rarely use that epithet, and anyway, rarely state directly "You are a [fill in bad name]." I'm more subtle than that, I hope.) Anyway, she stalked out after the venison and, I presume, found her way back to Grand Central. The truffled-chicken-eating table next to us was surprised and shocked by her conduct.


I think it was after that incident that we ( P and I; not sure about b-i-l) got the salad, with slivers of goat heart on it. Terrific.


Then we had 4 desserts for 3 people. Which worked fine for me because I am not a fan of peanut butter as an ingredient. I did taste that ice cream along with the pain perdu and crumble, and it was fine, but it's just not my thing. The buttermilk dessert was, though, and I was happy not to have to give it up.


A wonderful, wonderful dinner.




We are again planning on eating out this Thanksgiving, and this just might be the place.

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