Sunday, January 22, 2006


Last night, Holly, Max, Amanda, Uyen, Charles, Seppo, and I went to Rubicon for January's Dine About Town. Uyen and I had chosen the restaurant earlier in the month because it was the most expensive and highest rated (in the standard rating systems) restaurant that was participating in the program this year. Hee hee, we are so mercenary.

Here is the menu from last night:

Dine About Town Menu

January 1 - 31, 2006

Our menus are chosen from the best ingredients the season has to offer. Chef Stuart Brioza and Pastry Chef Nicole Krasinski invite you to enjoy either our a la carte selections or the three course Dine About Town Menu we are offering for the month of January.

Dine About Town 2006

First Course
Choice of:
Grilled Calamari
Garlicky Salt Cod, Citrus Vinaigrette
Chestnut & Celery Root Soup
Duck Prosciutto & Gizzard Confit

Principal Dishes
Choice of:
Seared Hawaiian Tombo
Cipollini Onions, Assorted Mushrooms, Caramelized Garlic-Marjoram Broth
Smoked & Glazed Pork Belly
Soft Polenta, Dried Fruit Condiment, Braised Greens

Choice of:
Pistachio & Dried Cherry Nougat Glacé
Winter Fruits
Wild Anise Chocolate Mousse
Espresso Shortbread, Fleur de Sel Caramel

3 courses $31.95

I had the soup, followed by the tombo, finishing up with the chocolate mousse. The bread served with dinner was quite good, if unmemorable after the fact, but it was served with a particularly delicious butter. Yes, butter is butter, but once in a while, it is somehow much better: fresher, creamier, something. This time, it was something.

They served an amuse bouche after everyone had gotten seated and ordered food and various wines by the glass. I believe it was a tiny round mound of duck liver mouse, with a little blob of fig sauce in front of it, and the tiniest round of buttered toast stuck into the top of the liver. I really liked this.

My starter, the soup, was fantastic. When they brought it out and placed it in front of me, it smelled great. I am not sure what flavor combination I was expecting when I read the description, but the celery root was the baseline flavor in a creamy savory soup, with detectable amount of chestnut, and great little bites of duck prosciutto and gizzard. I think I loved biting into the gizzard the most. Who knew I would feel this way. I had initially though it was little chunks of mushroom because the texture was almost identical. The soup was garnished with garlic oil, which did not at any time overwhelm the other flavors, but gave a nice little boost whenever a bigger proportion of oil-to-soup was spooned up. I would have this soup again.

The tombo, supposedly a white tuna, was quite a disappointment. Whether it was or not, it felt totally overcooked and tasted it as well. It took a lot of effort to separate out bite-sized chunks with my fork and knife. It was dry in my mouth. It was kind of hard to chew. The flavor of the fish with the mushrooms was really well-matched though, which makes the over-cooking even more tragic. I liked the presentation in large bowl-plates that had a slight built-in angles to them that let the garlic-marjoram broth pool in the front for easy dipping and spooning access. I would never order this dish again. Ok, that's not true. I would order it again if I could see that someone else was getting it served perfectly cooked. But man, it was disappointing.

The chocolate mousse was probably one of the top two or three favorite versions of chocolate mousse I've ever had, and it was quite delicious and pleasant my mouth. But it was really just chocolate mousse, so I couldn't expect to be delightfully surprised by it or anything. The little blob of ice cream with an orange fragrance really played a great supporting role to the mousse though, a lighter tasting and feeling contrast to the richness of the mousse.

Seppo should really post about the pork belly, because in my eyes, it was clearly the star of the night. It was DAMN good.

I would go back to Rubicon again at any affordable opportunity. It's priced out of my range for non-special event dinners though. Perhaps I will return for another dine-about-town event or on Wednesdays for their special fixed price menu lunches.


Blogger A_B said...

"They served an amuse bouche after everyone had gotten seated and ordered food and various wines by the glass."

Everyone had wine?

2:53 PM  
Blogger ei-nyung said...

You caught me. I didn't, but I have been trying wines pretty much when I can. I'm also reading an introduction to wines guide. Heh.

3:14 PM  
Blogger A_B said...


3:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home