A return to Plumed Horse - 10/13/11

The first time we dined at the Plumed Horse was for Huyen's birthday back in 2008 and we had an excellent meal there.  The second time we went there was last year (2010) at Christmas time and they offered a special menu for the holidays.  Unfortunately  we did not enjoy the holiday menu as much as their regular menu but never the less it was an enjoyable meal.  Tonight is our third time here and I am expecting to have a great meal, after all the Plumed horse was appointed 1 Michelin Star, and a Michelin star is not an easy thing to come by. 

Let's just hope the food is going to wow us tonight as a 1 star Michelin restaurant should!

The front of the restaurant is unassuming and you could easily miss it if you did not pay attention.

As soon as you walk in the restaurant the bar/lounge is on the left. The intimate bar/lounge features a cozy fireplace as well as outdoor patio seating but it was too cold for us so we stayed by the fire place. 


We had to go by their 2 million dollars wine cellar in order to get to our table.

The wine cellar is a three-story glass-encased wine cellar that houses 2000 selections and 20,000 bottles - Pretty amazing!

We were seated in the main dinning room behind the wine cellar which is a great view.


The Chef's grand testing menu

Tonight we decided to go with the Chefs Grand Testing Menu ($145) together with Wine pairing ($90).  The Chefs Grand Testing menu consist of 7 courses, 5 savory dishes and 2 desserts course.

Bread and Butter are brought out.  There are no bread basket, the bread is served individually on each plate.




Our first Amuse bouche, compliment of the chef is a  canolli with crab mousse on a bed of salmon roe.  We began with a delicious bite but what you can not tell by looking at these 2 pictures  is that the canolli is extremely small, perhaps about 2 inches maximum.  Definitely mean to be for single bite!

Course 1: Seared Yellow fin Tuna with Tsar Nicoulai caviar, ankimo torchon nestled in the middle of the Tuna served with a rich wine sauce.
Pairing wine: NV Heidseick Monopole "Blue top", Epernay, France

Delicious! The tuna has a very nice smoky flavor that shined trough.  This dish is fresh, bright, clean and satisfying.


Course 2: Black Pepper & Parmesan Soufflé served with Uni and Dungeness crab fondue
Pairing wine: 2009 Ridge "Estate" Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 

The soufflé was rich and delicate on its own, it is served with a little crock of Dungeness crab and sea urchin fondue that you spoon into the soufflé. It is a playful way to eat the soufflé, first you need to crack the top of the soufflé with a spoon and then you scoop in the sauce as much or as little as you want... I ate all of my sauce.


Great presentation and so Good.... Once the soufflé was gone, I found myself scrapping the cup in order to for more but unfortunately there was nothing left in my cup.  I ate every single bite of it! 


Between meal the server gave us a piece of brioche.  They are individually baked.



Course 3: Seared Artisan Foie Gras  with salted almond "cookie", roasted grapes, served with a gastrique sauce (Gastrique is caramelized sugar, deglazed with vinegar, used as a flavoring for sauces)
Pairing wine:1997 CH Berres Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese Riesling, Mosel, Germany (I did not enjoy this wine at all)


Very generous portion, the foie gras was perfectly cooked and the sauce was also excellent.  The foie gras just melted in our mouth, simply amazing!



Course 4: Colombia River Sturgeon served with Italian speck ham, baby artichoke and salsify gratin.
Pairing wine:1997 Domaine L'Arlot "Les Suchots", 1er Cru, Burgundy, France

Seafood is Armellino's (the chef) forté and that's in ample evidence here.  He wrapped the fish with prosciutto to add more flavors and the sauce is also wonderful.


Course 5: Snake River Farms Kobe Beef with black garlic & potato rosti, beef cheek ragout, Dijon hollandaise
Pairing wine: 2003 Selene Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa



You can't go wrong with Kobe beef steak!  Flavorful, perfectly cooked but mine was a bit on the chewy side.  I expected the Kobe beef to melt in my mouth but that did not happen but it is still a very good dish.

This dish was the end of the savory dishes...


A cleanse palate made with strawberries sorbet on a bed of sweeten tapioca pearl.

The red wine in an Ice wine.  We have never heard of Ice wine before but basically it is a dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing a more concentrated grape and must  be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine.


Course 6: Pineapple Panna Cotta with ricotta canoli and elderflower sorbet
Pairing wine: 2007 Chateau Grand Piquey, Sauternes, France




Course 7: Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé with pistachio crème Anglaise and golden raisin
Pairing wine:2005 Taylor Fladgate "LBV" Porto, Portugal

Great soufflé but I was a bit full so I could not finish it (what a pity!).


Assortment of desserts wine:

Sautern, Port and Ice wine

Champagnes bottles on a cart nearby.


The Cheese cart!

I learned something today... the person who takes care of wine is a sommelier (okay pretty much everyone knows about this word).. how about a person who takes care of the cheese?

So as we were discuss among ourselves we came up with "Fromagier" and then we ask our waiter and he said the correct word is "Affineur", boy we are way off on this one.

"Affineur is a French word for Cheemonger, cheese maker, one who ages cheese and purveys it.

Manuel,  our affineur.  Great guy, very attentive to our need.


Compliment of the chef: bonbons (Ice cream dipped in chocolate)

More compliment of the Chef: a plate of assorted petit fours.

Assorted petit fours: Fruits paste, Chocolate, Macarons, and madeleines.



Ending our meal with a great cup of coffee.

Out of the 3 times with have been here at the Plumed Horse I have to say that this dinner was the best out of the 3.  We went there on a Thursday so service was excellent, they had time to explain each dish and what ever we wanted the waiters were there to serve.  The food was incredible!  There isn't a dish that I did not like.

There should be a part IV after a dinner like this.


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