Tuesday, August 08, 2006

L'Etoile Me

by Tom Bozzo

Yum, yum.
Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 at 6:30 pm

Celebrating Thirty Years in the 'L'Etoile Style'
August 8 1976-August 8, 2006

First Course:
Baked Fantome Farm Chevre in Herb Infused Olive Oil, with Black Olive Tapenade, Pickled Mushrooms, Oil-Roasted Garlic and Crostini

Second Course:
Seared Foie Gras on Lavendar Biscotti with Blackberry Gastrique [Can't eat this in Chicago! -ed.]

Third Course:
Lightly Smoked Artesian Farm Rainbow Trout 'en Papillote' Baked in Parchment with Shiitake Mushrooms, Haricots Vert and Hickory Nut Compound Butter

Fourth Course:
Fountain Prairie Farm Highland Beef on Heirloom Tomatoes with Haystack Potatoes, Béarnaise Sauce and Worcestershire Jus

Fifth Course:
Salad of Creekside Greens with Pleasant Ridge Reserve in Creamy Basil Vinaigrette

Dessert Course:
Molten Chocolate Vesuvius with Framboise Truffle, Caramel-Sea Salt Crème Anglaise, and Raspberry Coulis
Our food scene's prodigal daughter will return for the event. (NYT readers might have seen R.W. Apple's article on Mr. Odessa's campaign on behalf of Austrian wines.)
In honor of L’Etoile’s 30th anniversary, Odessa is coming back to town to team up with Chef Tory to present this meal, revisiting some of their favorite dishes from the 70's to the present. You won’t want to miss this dinner!
And here's the marginal benefit vs. marginal cost challenge:
The price for the Decade Dinner is $85 for the tasting menu with wine pairings. (Other beverages, tax and gratuity are not included.)
Depending on where you live and your tastes for fine dining, this may appear to be a screaming bargain or a colossal waste. I am in the former camp. It's six courses with wine! I don't expect "other beverages" to constitute more than an opening glass of Champagne. It is a school night for me, after all.

After dinner update: The sparkly stuff (Pierre Gimonnet, Blanc de Blancs Cuis, "aligns the urbaneness of Champagne with a sense of charm and fruit that suggests the wines of Vouvray") was compris. So were four Gail Ambrosius dark chocolate truffles. A good time was had by All, but the event underscored the need to get a very compact digicam that can go everywhere.

(Ref. the very first post to this blog, from 8/18/04.)

$85 is a bargain!

This post reminded me that Chez Panisse Café and I are long overdue for a date.
Mmmm, Chez Panisse -- only been there once, and it was fabulous if a shock to the late grad school era budget.

If pressed for a quick description, I'll call L'Etoile the Chez Panisse of the upper Midwest -- an upshot of that being that there's a lot more seasonal variation in the local produce that's available.

Be sure to schedule your next trip to Madison somewhere near the peak of the market season (July-Sept., roughly) and we'll be sure to schedule an expedition. Tory Miller's 'everyday' menus are quite special.
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