Thursday, May 10, 2007

Alinea: More Complete Account, Part 2

[Tyler] This first course was served without any silverware on the table. It was a croquette rolled in panko and garnished with smoked steelhead roe and some teeny-tiny herbs. (There were lots of these baby herbs in the meal.) The server set it down, talked about it, and then said we should pick it up by the base and tip it back into our mouth for one complete bite. Rob loves croquettes, so this was a good start to the meal.

We had two people who were responsible for our room (about five tables). One was the sommelier, and the other seemed to be our head server. However, there were also a series of young men who brought courses to the table. They seemed to be directly associated with the kitchen, and I don't know if they served other rooms or not. All of the servers were impeccable, but casual and friendly.

One of the young men brought us our next course. (I won't use numbers, because there was no way for us to keep track as we were being served. It's only after the fact that we were able to look at the menu and even count them -- there were twenty five in all.) He smiled and said, "As you can see, this bowl is round on the bottom. If I set it down, it'll spill. So, I need to have you take it in your hand."

The fork was set in a little slot in the bowl, and contained octopus and other garnishes. I've never had octopus I liked, because it always seems tough. But this was juicy and delicious. The soup was actually toasted soy milk -- what a great taste that is! We drank the milk and were then able to place the bowls on the table, since they would no longer spill, being completely empty of the delicious sauce.

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