The lost meals entries consist of meals that occurred at various times throughout 2012 which, for any number of reasons, escaped my documentation – some due to a cross country move and a new job, some due to the Los Angeles Kings run to the Stanley Cup, and some simply as a result of too much travel. Having enjoyed many of these meals with friends or family and with some of them amongst the year’s very best the reality is that with time my memory has deteriorated and as life moves forward I’ve realized there is little hope to ever “catch up” or document these experiences as well as I’d hope, yet in order to preserve them I present these pictures, notes, and thoughts on the experience.
Grand Cru Cuvee des Crayeres Brut, Champagne
Sourdough, Housemade Lavash, Chili Cheddar Ciabatta
Bing Cherry and Prosciutto Salad with Baby Arugula, Spanish Goat Cheese, Sweet Sherry Vinaigrette
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras “Veronique” with Tahitian Vanilla French Toast, Macerated Grapes, Tangerine Gastrique
Fiery Sweet Chile and Honey Grilled Mexican White Prawns with Jasmine Almond Rice Cakes, Frisee Red Onion Salad, Yuzu Basil Aioli
Peppery Elk Tender loin and Applewood Smoked Bacon with Roasted Garlic Fork-Mashed Potatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, Creamy Brandied-Mushroom Sauce
Mandarin Orange “Creamsicle” Cake – Orange Soaked Genoise, Crème Fraiche Whipped Cream
Caramelized Banana Cream Pie with Ginger Cream and Milk Chocolate
Coconut Jasmine Ice Cream Bombe with Blueberry Soup, Vanilla Cake, Feuille de Brick Tuille
Dining at our second four star/four diamond restaurant in as many days Geronimo, like The American Restaurant the night before, proved that there is some truth to rankings and guidebooks by presenting a truly exemplary experience from start to finish. Housed in thick adobe walls with white tablecloths and lush curtains the space feels every bit as authentic to Santa Fe as the dramatic St. Francis Cathedral downtown, and featuring cuisine with roots in French and Spanish tradition reinterpreted to fit the American Southwest this was another instance where everything from arrival to departure was well worth the trip and the price of admission.
Greeted by our server, Brook, and welcomed with a glass of champagne as we sat down at an elegant two-top in the corner it would not be long before we were additionally welcomed by Chef Paul Novak who made his way around the restaurant greeting regulars and first timers with equal zeal and after perusing the menu for a moment and receiving recommendations from both Brook and Paul the night began with fresh baked breads and locally churned butter before progressing through appetizers and main courses that each showed a deft command of flavors and textures; heat tempered by sweet and acid used to balance out the richness of ample cuts of both foie gras and elk loin; the former amongst the best seared preparations I’ve ever experienced.
Moving to desserts and unable to select just two after listening to Brook’s descriptions of each the decision was made for a trio and although I entirely recommend the savories at Geronimo, the sweets are on a whole different level – each one a unique take on a classic and all not only delicious, but beautiful. Admittedly possessing a very liberal sweet tooth I was particularly infatuated with the creamsicle – the chef’s take on a traditional dulce de leche cake infused with orange with the tang of crème Fraiche serving as a foil to the otherwise intense sweetness of the moist and buttery cake. Not the sort of restaurant to skip on portions or flavors my only ‘issue’ with Geronimo is the lack of a tasting menu – something I’m sure would be fantastic…and the fact that the restaurant is nearly 500 miles away as I’d love to go back.