08 Jul Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Maude’s Monthly Ingredient Driven Menu
For forty-two months, Maude has been serving one key ingredient within each of ten courses for twenty-four seats. I have made it to thirty-four of the menus. Each month I anticipate my meal at Maude. I get a group of friends together, we plan a date more than a month in advance and then I secure the reservation for the next month. I enter the date in my calendar and eagerly wait to see what the team will do with the next ingredient. This past week was my monthly visit and like previous months it did not disappoint. But, what did disappoint is the recent announcement that Maude will be changing their format in 2018. So, in honor of the seasonal ingredient menu that they have mastered for the past three-and-a-half years, Maude is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Maude, named after his paternal grandmother, was Curtis Stone’s lifelong dream. Month after month, Curtis and his team would weave the featured ingredient into each course, sometimes letting it take a center spot and sometimes it took a supporting roll in the dish. And, each month, we were wowed. Every meal was a wonderful experience but some months, such as passion fruit, chili, cucumber and basil, to name a few, would hit it out of the park.
This past year, as Curtis focused his attention on Gwen, his restaurant in Hollywood, executive chef Justin Hilbert took the helm. I had started to notice a few differences as Justin added some riskier dishes, such as tripe, tongue and heart, to his menus. And Maude continued to impress.
The future of Maude is still unknown. They are not discussing what the new format will be. But, I am hopeful they will come up with an idea that will still have me booking a seat each month, or maybe every other month.
But until then, I plan to continue my monthly dinners through the end of the year and will await what is to come.