Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eating local @FigSantaMonica

I recently visited Santa Monica on business, and needless to say, the trip was also pleasurable.  Weather in Austin was pretty nasty right after my departure, and I arrived to see this.  Sunny skies, warm sand, and blue waters greeted me.  This is the view from the Fairmont patio. 

I decided to take a walk down to the beach.  Yes.  That's a gorgeous sunset.

And I couldn't resist dipping my toes into the cool water.  I didn't rush this experience. 

After a short nap, I made reservations for Fig Restaurant located in the Fairmont Hotel.  I love figs (the fruit), and I was pretty excited to love this Fig.  Visiting Fig was a real treat, reminding me much of our local Trio at the Four Seasons.  The service in both the hotel and restaurant were impeccable.  I would routinely return to my room to find apples, cookies, and fresh towels.  At the restaurant, I was greeted by name and with a glass of bubbly and a smile.  I'm getting a bit spoiled here.  A big thank you to Chef Ray Garcia and Chef Mat for sending out some lovely surprises. 

This dish is the foie gras and chicken liver parfait served with fig marmalade and grilled baguette. The flavor and texture combination were outstanding.  The foie gras and chicken liver parfait was incredibly rich, creamy, sinful, but not pungent. It was fantastic when paired with the sweet, thick fig marmalade.  Also, it was served in a really cute jar.  I ate this all by myself, except for the jar.

I smelled these babies a mile away, and that smell was of fragrant brown butter.  These fingerling potato and cheddar pierogi were the best pierogis I have ever had.  It will be very difficult to up these.  The outsides were crunchy and buttery, and the insides were hearty.  With the cold weather rolling in, this is a dish that will make you feel warm. 

Here's another dish that is perfect for the cold weather.  Kurobuta and cavalo nero meatballs.  These babies were juicy, hearty, flavorful. 

I'm from Texas where hot peppers are plentiful, and I groan many times when I taste a chile or salsa labeled hot only to discover that it is super mild.  The green tomatillo sauce on the incredibly tender braised beef tongue had just the right kick to make this Texan happy.  Be warned that this dish is not super mild.  That's coming from someone who drinks salsa for breakfast.  I loved this dish.

This was the pumpkin tortellini with blue hubbard squash and sage.  That brown butter was at it again.  Paired with the sweet pumpkin and crunchy hazelnuts, this was a great take on one of my favorite flavors: pumpkin. 

This is the hand-harvested scallop with artichoke berigoule, and smoked ham hock.  This scallop had the perfect sear on sweet meat.  It was simple and not overly complex so that the flavor of the scallop was distinct.  I loved the crunchy fried artichoke chip on top that added another layer of texture to this dish. 

This was the final course.  Melrose apple tartine with caramel sea salt ice cream.  It was warm with perfectly cooked apples that were just slightly tart.  The cool ice cream was a fabulous balance to the tartine.  Thanks, Fig Restaurant, for knocking this one out of the park.  Not only was the service welcoming and the food utterly delightful, it was interesting to see what sorts of food a local produce driven restaurant was cooking up in another part of the country.  As Austin was deep into the cold season, California was just getting persimmons and quince.  I don't even know of anyone growing quince in Texas.  Hopefully, I'll be coming to visit often in the future and trying other local produce.

1 comment:

  1. Whoaaaaa, that looks fantastic! Particularly the parfait and that pumpkin tortellini...DAMN. Must go to Santa Monica.