Plumed Horse Restaurant in Saratoga - 11/1/08
Chef's tasting Menu
The new Executive Chef/Owner, Peter Armellino has honed his skills at some of the finest restaurants in San Francisco including Aqua, Campton Place and Jardinière. Per Chef Armellino's suggestion the group selected to go with his Chefs tasting menu. The chef's tasting menu consist of an 8 course meal and is marked by high end ingredients such as Caviar, Foie Gras, Scottish Salmon, Aged beef, etc.. In the kitchen Armellino is flanked by Sous-Chef Chris Watkins and pastry Chef Jonathan Kristie.
The first Amuse Bouche: Oyster with some kind of sprinkle on top (sorry I forgot what it is).
Ahi Tuna tartare with quail egg, brioche toast and Tsar Nicoulai caviar.
The Tuna was fresh and has a clean taste, the saltiness of the caviar enhance the flavor of the Tuna. I though it lacked a little seasoning but overall it is a good dish.
Maine Lobster Salad on a bed of golden tapioca pearls, Matsutake mushroom, and yuzu brown butter.
This was my favorite dish in the whole menu! The lobster was perfectly cooked, I also love the combination of the tapioca pearls and the yuzu brown butter sauce. So yummy!
Seared Artisan Foie Gras, mustard fruits, salted almond brittle in a reduced duck jus with Riesling.
This a very good dish too. The sauce
is light but very tasty, the Foie Gras could be seared a little longer but it is
still a great dish especially when you can wash it down with a superb Sauternes
specially selected by Phuc.
Wild Columbia River Sturgeon wrapped in brick leave with mushroom strudel, beet & salsify salad.
Also a good dish.
21-day Aged Prime New York Strip, caramelized parsnip, black olive & cherry jus.
Here the waiter is pouring some jus on the meat.
The Aged Prime New York Strip is a great piece of meat, cooked perfectly right but somehow the flavor of the beef was mild and just okay. There is just nothing special about it.
What can I say... Phuc really spoiled us with his famous steaks! Phuc claimed that his steaks are special and out of this world because he makes love to his meat. Now, how can anyone make love to a piece of meat? The answer is only Phuc can and that's why Chef Armellino's steaks can not even come close to Phuc's!
So in short, Phuc you need to feed us steak again and make it soon rather than later! (we are not kidding either, we want some of your steaks!)
Since Tuan Vu can not eat beef, the chef substituted it for Scottish Salmon, Belgian endive, violet mustard, smoked almonds, Chanterelle mushrooms.
Tuan comments was that this dish is just okay!
Cleansed palate -Sorbet on a bed of tapioca.
There is a cheese dish but we forgot to the take a picture!
Soufflé, with rum raisin ice cream, roasted pineapple
So basically, the meal ended with a much-too-sweet Grand Marnier soufflé, to which the waiters then add in a dollop of sweet-and-sour yuzu marmalade.
Overall, we had a good dinner experience. The food was good, like Hanh said everything tasted good but no Wow Factor.
Service on the other hand was excellent. The waiters and waitress' were attentive to our needs and they were always there to serve us. I give them two thumbs up for service. Compare with Manresa, this was a much better dinning experience and I definitely will come back again.
Next...Touring the restaurant