Maude May 2017 – Strawberries

Big, ripe, juicy strawberries signal that summer is here. And that was the featured ingredient in Maude’s May menu. I had been looking forward to this menu for months as I love strawberries. I buy them fresh and put them in my smoothies, on my yogurt, in my salads or dip in brown sugar. And now I was going to see how Maude utilized the red berries.

We sat down and started with a glass of Champagne Tarlant Cuvee Louie. Fresh and bright with a touch of brioche notes, we said “cheers!” and were ready to start.

The first dish was a large plate of clam shells fanned on a plate like flower petals. On the top was a shell that had a few pieces of fruit and a green leaf. Simple in presentation, it was full of flavor. The fruit was mango and strawberry, compressed in their own juices with a little heat. And wrapped in the leaves was goeduck.

Served with the geoduck and compressed fruit was a fruity strawberry daiquiri and a pineapple compressed in pineapple and green strawberry juice.

Next up was a strawberry and veal tartare with green almonds thinly sliced on top. The almonds added a nice acidity to the delicate tartare.

And the tartare also came with fried sweetbreads dusted in strawberry and chamomile and a strawberry and almond emulsion.

Thanks to my dining companions for the wines for the night! Next up was the Domaine Ramonet 2001 Chassagne-Montrachet, a gorgeous white burgundy still bright, even after all these years.

Next was English peas with caramelized buttermilk and whey, amaranth leaves and strawberries.

And then a beautiful plate with king crab, green strawberries, Thai basil, ginger and crab consomme.

Wine Director Kevin then brought us a glass of the Salvo Foti Vinudilice 20015 Rose, a mix of Alicante (Granache), Grecanico, Minella and other varieties that grow on mostly one to two hundred year old vines at 1300 meters in Etna, Italy.

And then came one of the stand-out favorite dishes of the night – warm strawberries, goat butter, fennel and kalamata olives. The sweetness of the strawberries, the delicate creaminess of the goat butter, the salt from the olives and the herbaceous of the fennel were in perfect harmony! This was a dish we “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” over and begged for more when it was gone.

Then came steamed John Dory with blue spruce, blue spruce yogurt, white asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries.

The 1978 Torres Gran Coronas Reserva is 100% cabernet sauvignon and was beautifully elegant with earthy tones.

And the wine paired exceptionally well with the next favorite dish of the night – foie gras ravioli with black pepper pasta, arugula and strawberries, an elegant dish that was game-y and spicy.

As we prepared for the meat course, we enjoyed the Domaine Arlaud 1999 Clos Saint-Denis Cuvee Unique Grand Cru.

The meat course was squab with broiled onions, watercress, all spice and strawberries.

Just before dessert, and to enjoy with the cheese, we opened one more bottle of wine – Chapoutier 1990 Hermitage.

The cheese was Amanteigada, a sheep’s milk cheese, served with fresh homemade English muffins and strawberry and smoked paprika compote.

As a palate cleanser, we enjoyed a Neopolitan sorbet – chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

For dessert, another favorite of the night, was cornflakes with cornflakes ice cream and strawberry aerated mousse.

The mignardises for the evening were strawberry merengues with chocolate ganache, strawberry lemon verbena pate de feuille and strawberry pistachio truffles.

And to go home, we were sent with a strawberry olive oil cake, which I enjoyed the next morning!

Another wonderful month at Maude……..

Next month, the featured ingredient is…..cucumbers!