Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cobaya Bourbon Steak Style (5/12/10)

It's no secret that I'm a big Bourbon Steak fan.  I love their burgers and steaks plus those amazing duck fat fries.  That being said, Cobaya Steak wasn't about the burgers or steaks.  It was about Chef Fenton going back to his Michael Mina/San Francisco roots and delivering an impressive and enjoyable tasting menu.  It should be noted that Chef Fenton spent several years as executive sous chef at Mina's Michelin two star restaurant in San Francisco. 

Special thanks to general manager John Riccardo who did an excellent job coordinating and hosting the event.  Sommelier Matthew Turner did a creative job pairing great wines with each diverse course.  The service was top notch as usual. 

I started the evening with a well made old fashioned while enjoying the delicious gougères (pastry) floating around the bar.

Upon entering the sharp looking private dining room we were handed flutes of Michael Mina's Cuvee.  That was followed by a trio of delicious duck ffffat fffries. These are a staple and served with three different seasonings and three different dipping sauces. 

The menu and wine pairings:

Michael's Classic American Caviar
House Smoked King Salmon, Dill Oil 
Robert Weil Riesling Tradition, Rheingau, Germany 2008 

Hawaiian Big Eye Sashimi
Aji Amarillo Chile, Cilantro, Lime, Chorizo 
La Cana Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain 2008 

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine
Strawberry, Grains of Paradise, Pistachio, Blue Basil 
Royal Tokaji '5 Puttonyos,' Hungary, 2003 

Line Caught Wild Alaskan Halibut
Baby Purple Artichokes, Meyer Lemon, Taggiasca Olive 
Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel, Paso Robles 2007 

Columbia River Sturgeon
Short Rib Ravioli, Spring Garlic 
Jean Louis Chave Cotes du Rhone, Mon Coeur, Rhone Valley, France 2006 

Local Peach Sorbet
Ginger Gelée, Lemon Balm 

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta
Candied Kumquats, Almond Biscotti 
Jorge Ordoñez & Co. Moscatel Seleccion Especial, Malaga, Spain 2006

Chef Fenton's dishes featured diverse and innovative ingredient combinations that
stimulated the palate and came together to form flavorful and balanced dishes.  I thoroughly enjoyed every dish and thought the  progression was perfect.

First up was a caviar parfait which is always a great way to start a meal.  The super fresh tuna and chicharrónes that followed were a tasty combination.  I loved the foie gras terrine which was paired with strawberries, pistachios, fine pepper and a great house-made brioche.  I was pleasantly surprised by the halibut dish.  It was perfectly crisp on the outside, moist on the inside and really tasty thanks to the olives and the artichoke puree. This is another contender for fish dish of the year.  The last non dessert course was a surf and turf combo. Chef Fenton's cobaya version featured Columbia River (what is the largest river in Pacific Northwest...) sturgeon along with short rib ravioli. The sturgeon was good but the short rib ravioli was the star.  I'm always happy when I can drink a red wine with fish and I enjoyed Matt's pairing.  The Chave Mon Coeur (a favorite of mine) paired nicely with the sturgeon, short rib and accompanying sauce.
 surf n turf
The "local" peach sorbet was a refreshing palate cleanser and was followed by a delicious milk chocolate panna cotta prepared by the pastry chef whose name escapes me.  It was a nice ending to a great meal shared with great company.  
If you are a burger or steak fan, run, don't walk to Bourbon Steak.  If you don't like steaks or burgers, run, don't walk to Bourbon Steak.  Don't let the "steak" part of the the name fool you.  It's a well-run restaurant serving great food along with a great wine list.

This is one of the best restaurants in South Florida.