We made it to Hen of the Wood last night, which I've referred to here and here before. We were not disappointed. The entrance way, the pathway of which was, of course, brimming with the piles of snow that we now have everywhere, had candles set into the snow. Candles make snow look even more cool, by the way. Nice touch.
We ordered some bottle of wine that was a complete unknown to us and I didn't write it down. I think Morton was the vineyard and it was a blend. I hate it when I don't write stuff down. I'm out of the habit since we go out so rarely like this now. Doug started with the crispy oysters and they were delightful. Thin crispy batter and tender oyster with a nice lemony sauce. I had the hen of the wood mushroom. I figured I had to. See, they had the pork belly again (which I talked about earlier). It was really hard to resist the pork belly. I am glad I did, though. The flavor and texture of the hen of the wood mushroom was incredible. Now, I am only very recently a consumer of the mushroom. Moving to Vermont has really helped me to appreciate the mushroom. For one thing, there is just so much more out there in mushroom-land beyond the white button. Here is such a case. Perhaps next time I would get the pork belly and the hen of the wood mushroom. The flavor and texture were both extremely satisfying. Rich, complex, herbal, and balanced. I love mushrooms now, but this may be the one time I wanted to lick my bowl. The mushroom is cultivated locally.
Doug and I both had the venison with chestnut spaetzle and red wine braised cabbage. Perfectly cooked, gratifying to eat, and so nice in the middle of February. I am a softie for spaetzle, though, I have to admit, and that is what made me decide. I was torn between this and the roasted pumpkin risotto.
For dessert we had coffee (With caffeine! How luxurious!) and Meyer lemon creme brulee with blood orange granita and a biscotti (Cherry and almond? Damn, I need to write things down!). We inhaled this, but I have to come out of the Meyer lemon closet here. I don't get it. I have bought Meyer lemons and have tried them in other restaurants but I don't really see the appeal. I understand they are supposed to be more floral and subtle than the "regular" lemon. I find them just slightly bitter and faintly lemony. I don't see the excitement. I proposed to Doug that maybe you have to be in California to really appreciate them. Perhaps they just don't travel well. Aside from the un-lemony, slightly bitter custard (which, again, not a hardship here in terms of eating it), the consistency of the custard, the thin bitter crackle of the brulee crust, the flavor and consistency of the bitter orange granita, the length of the biscotti (How I love a long biscotti! Sure, it's not all about length---it's really flavor that counts, but a long biscotti is a beautiful sight) were all spot on.
The girls enjoyed Sobo's company and the evening was a success. Hooray!