This dinner was held at a new apartment building on the 40th floor so had great views of the early evening to late night. With 9 courses plus a cocktail hour before, it turned out be be a very long night at almost five hours. It was organized by One Night Only as part of its ‘Women Chefs and Winemakers’ series and featured chef Zoi Antonitsas, one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2015 and the executive chef at Westward, and three wineries.
My friend and I were fortunate to sit next to Zoi’s mother and got to talk to her about her two daughters, Zoi’s younger sister was helping out with the meal. She pointed out that Zoi always has a smile on her face since she loves what she does and that is reflected in her food. Overall the meal was really good and the few minor quibbles I had can be attributed to three people making dinner for 50+ in an unfamiliar kitchen that isn’t professional grade. The oven and stove was a good 50′ away in a different room from the prep area for the private dining room we were in.
Taramosalata & radish. Normally I’m not a huge fan of a hunk of radish but these were incredibly fresh and had a creamy texture enhanced by the taramosalata (traditionally made from taramas, the salted and cured roe of cod or carp, mixed with either bread crumbs or mashed potato, and lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil).
Background: Fried chickpeas, fenugreek, chili
Summer melon vaso, prosciutto oil, mint. This was the perfect drink to sip on the rooftop deck in hot weather.
Lamb Jam: berries and evergreen needles on rye. The berries were a mix of some tart and some sweet, the latter ones well really well with the lamb while the tartness was a bit too much and overpowered everything else.
Squash Blossom Dolmathes: feta, fennel pollen, heirloom tomato water. The squash blossom was awesome, the feta was stuffed in the middle. Normally I’d prefer blossoms battered and deep fried but these were better.
Cucumber Risotto: smoked trout caviar, creme fraiche, dill, grains of paradise. A dish where the had to mix everything together to really enjoy, the saltiness of the caviar combined with the dill worked well.
Albacore Tuna: figs, walnuts, basil and balsamico. The figs were super fresh and sweet and the flavor of the tuna was fantastic. Unfortunately I’d say it was overcooked since it was grey throughout and was tougher than a medium rear seared tuna steak.
Grilled Octopus: eggplant melitzanosalata, sumac and labneh.
Pork Loin: fried peppers, peaches, hazelnut picada. The pork was nice and fatty and the peach and pepper went well. Just wish it had been hot, something that was basically impossible given the size of the dinner, about 50 guests, and using a residential kitchen.
LogHouse Cheese: black summer truffle, Greek forest honey. The cheese and honey were great but the truffle didn’t have the flavor intensity that I’m used to.
Olive Oil Cake: olive oil gelato, Moroccan olive oil, sea salt. This was easily the best olive oil cake I’ve had, it was very moist and not too sweet.
Theo Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle: ouzo, sesame