December 15, 2006

Dublin Day 4 - Debbie and Thornton's

Debbie arrived today! She called my loaner cellphone and we arranged to meet for dinner. My friend Iseult had generously arranged reservations at Thornton's - a fancy Michelin starred place in the Fitzwilliam Hotel. Debbie and I had agreed to meet there at 8pm, there was a small amount of confusion and after a tiny bit of anxiety we managed to find each other. She had been waiting in the hotel lobby, and I had been waiting in the restaurant.

The dinner itself was a delight. When I had walked in I saw a large open box full of truffles. Mmmm. I love truffles. In addition to their regular menu, and their eight course "surprise" menu (similar to a US style tasting menu) they had a special seasonal truffle menu.

This was the menu:
  • Sauteed Dublin Bay Prawn, Prawn Bisque and Truffle Sabayon
  • King Scallop with White Truffle
  • Slowly Braised Pigs Trotter with Creamed Truffle Potato
  • Sauteed Foie Gras with Brioche and Winter Truffle
  • Fillet of Brill, Artichoke, Truffle Egg
  • Truffle Salad
  • Loin of Silka Deer with Truffle Polenta, Valrhona and Truffle Sauce
  • Cashel Blue Cheese
  • Poached Pear William with Parfait and Truffle Ice Cream
A complete set of photos is up on Flickr.

During the meal, Chef Kevin Thornton came out and showed off the truffles and chatted with us about the meal and what to expect. He's a charming man, friendly and likes talking about food. We talked about a few of the dishes, and I asked him about an ingredient in one of the dishes that had been driving me nuts (it was an herbal flavor in the truffled apple juice that was served with the foie gras. I had finally figured it out and he smiled and confirmed it had a "teeny tiny bit" of the flavor I had guessed. I'm insufferably pleased with myself.)

His wine list is also quite impressive - we had a half bottle of "Clos de la Mouchere" 2001 Puligny-Montrachet with the prawn, scallop, and brill, and a half bottle of Chateau Tour du Pas St George 2001 St. Emilion with the foie gras, salad, and deer. On our way out I complemented the Maitre d' on the cheese cart, saying we were sad to have missed it. He brightened and said it was his own little project. He's Kevin's brother Garret, and it turns out that the Cashel Blue that we had probably has milk in it from their family farm. Almost all of the food at Thornton's is Irish sourced, and it was all delicious. I'm very happy with our evening.

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