She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have been married for twenty years. Or, as prefer to explain it, She Who has allowed me to live for twenty years. Rather than travel to New York to mark the occasion (as we did for our respective 50th birthday celebrations), we chose to remain in Boston and dine at Menton, the flagship of Barbara Lynch’s restaurant empire.
We opted for the tasting menu with wine pairings, and were presented not with a full list of the courses, but instead a list of the ingredients that would be featured that evening. When our server asked “Are you adventurous eaters?” I knew we’d be in good hands. he surprise of not knowing what we’d be presented with was a welcome change. So here’s what we were served, with apologies for the occasionally dodgy nature of the photos.
East coast halibut wrapped in sesame tuille with royal white sturgeon caviar.
Carrot macaron with chèvre and rosemary, pickled carrot
(Not shown: Vol-au-vent with caramelized onion and pear – very dodgy photo)
The canapés were served with an Aubry Premiere Cru Brut.
Lobster tail with tea, pickled cucumber, and crispy maitake mushroom. Served with 2011 Cave Caloz Heida-Paein “Les Bernunes.”
Whole prawn with lychee purée, hibiscus, and caviar. Served with 2010 Messner Muskatelelr Feinherb.
Rhode Island fluke:
The fish preparation mimicked a classic meuniére, accompanied by roasted fin bone and parsley purée. Served with 2010 Qupe Rousanne “Bien Nacido Hillside Estate.
By this point I realized that I didn’t recognize a single wine we had been served so far, no doubt the result of the wine list compiled by Cat Silirie, Lynch’s wine director. I asked the sommelier for more info on each bottle poured, making him our new friend for the rest of the evening.
I recognized this preparation instantly, having used the same technique with duck and chicken. The bluefish was rolled in chard leaves, cooked sous vide, and garnished with blackberries and pomegranate seeds. Served with a 2005 Trimbach Pinot Gris “Reserve Pérsonelle.”
Terrine of foie gras:
Fois gras served two ways: sliced terrine, and in ginger aspic, accompanied by a black pepper brioche that almost overshadowed the rest of the plate – it was that good. Served with a Rare Wine Company Boston Bual Special Reserve Madeira.
Perfectly cooked squab breast and leg, accompanied by toasted farro, wine-poached seckel pear, beet purée, and roasted split squab head. We were given tiny spoons for scooping out the contents of the head, probably the closest we’ll ever get to eating ortolan.
March farm veal:
Veal loin with celery root, sweetbreads,and escargot. Served with a 2011 Domaine Daniel Rion Nuits-Saint-Georges “Les Laviéres.”
Chocolate-bacon cake with cream cheese ice cream and maple pearls. Served with The Rare Wine Company Savannah Verdelho Special.
Moscato-poached pears with goats’ milk ice cream, cranberry sorbet, and sunflower seeds. Served with a 2011 Kracher Zweigelt Beerenauslese Cuvée. (Apologies for the lousy photo.)
Banana whoopie pie, candy apple, and praline crunch.
Purely by coincidence, when we entered we could hear Miles’ “Milestones,” and when we left, it was to Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” Perfect dinner, perfect evening, perfect partner. Here’s to 20 more years.