You have to appreciate a restaurant where one of the servers suggests that by the end of their eight-course blind tasting menu that you certainly would not have room for a ‘wafer-thin mint’, recalling the seminal scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life involving a particularly rotund man in a fine dining establishment who (a) throws up for roughly five minutes of screen time and finally (b) explodes after eating a mint petit-four.
Amy treated me to a wonderful meal last night at The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton last night to celebrate my 40th, and it was quite honestly one of the most amazing meals I’ve had in a very long time. Chef Arnaud Berthelier is a star – having only been here in Atlanta for 9 months or so, the food is just stellar, comparing favorably with the very best New York has to offer. I had the seven-course tasting menu with paired wines (by their rising star 24-year old sommelier Chantelle Grilhot), and won’t soon forget the meal. Highlight for me – the ‘Fruit Soup’ – a warm compote of fruits and fresh herbs in a translucent bag, snipped open dramatically at the table, allowing the infusion to waft around the table. The wait staff then placed a scoop of lemon verbena ice cream in the warm fruit, allowing it all to meld. Amazing! Update: Didn’t want to forget to mention this. Also very cool was the so-called ‘molecular cuisine’ technique used in the course pictured above. The egg-like object at left was the sauce for the filet of daurade, using calcium chloride and sodium alginate.