April 13, 2013

Victoria and Albert Part 1

     After four months of anticipation we dined at Victoria and Albert's this past Saturday.  Unlike most moments of expectation in my life I was beyond thrilled with every experience the evening brought. I am going to try to do the very best I can to recreate our glorious evening for you.  Warning: You may want to have a snack and drink nearby as your mouth will be watering.
     Upon entering the Grand Floridian Resort, you are stopped at the Guard's booth to ensure that you do belong on property.  You are then directed to Valet parking, which is included with your reservation. Once staff learns where you are headed they all get every excited for your evening.  It was easy to identify who was headed to V&A and who wasn't.  The dress code for the evening requires jackets for men and dress wear for women.  I'll admit to feeling a bit intimidated when seeing how other women were dressed, that's something I tend to do to myself.  OK enough about me onto the food.
     We were warmly greeted by Israel our host for the evening.  Seated immediately inside the door was a harpist whose choices throughout the evening included both classical and popular pieces.  Our table was located in the corner and of course beautifully set.  Lana seated us, laid out our napkins then asked if I would allow her to hang my purse off the table (as if I might say no).  Jack and Sherry promptly introduced themselves as our servers for the evening.  They have been working for dinner 30 years and married for 20.  Together they made the evening that much more enjoyable.
    Sherry handed us our menus, which we would receive at the end of the meal as keepsakes.  She and Jack guided us through our choices for each course.  Offering suggestions according to what we liked.  We tried not to order duplicates at any course, but that didn't happen ~ we weren't into sharing more than a simple taste that night.

So without further ado I present our dinner:

The first plate of the evening was an Amuse-Bouche from the chef to get our pallets energized for the evening.  WE both wanted to lick the glass clean of the avocado/tomato gel. And who wouldn't appreciate a bite of caviar to start the evening off with.  The last time we had caviar was at our wedding!  (At least that's the last time I can remember)

For our first course we both chose the shrimp.  It was served atop a bed of sobe noodles.  I divided the noodles into four portions.  I then combined each portion with a different sauce to allow me to truly enjoy each taste.  I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the wasabi, probably because it was 90% edamame according to Jack.

The second course I decided to order off the Vegetarian Menu,which I unfortunately don't have to show you.  I absolutely love gnocchi and truffles so to have the two together was a no brainer choice for me.  Hubby's Scallops were wonderful.

Short Ribs are another favorite of mine and I can't even remember the last time I had Oxtail so beef was my third choice.  I took both top and side views pictures so you could truly appreciate the plating.  The Ravioli was plated on a piece of Short Rib... heaven.

Being from Long Island we enjoyed seeing Long Island Duck on the menu.  It almost made the 24 years away from home disappear for a time.   Hubby savored each bite including the cauliflower.
Between these last 3 courses we were served 2 different breads accompanied by a different butter each time.  For the next course the bread served was the Pastry Chef's 100 year old family recipe.

For his next course Hubby chose to upgrade to the Kobe Beef (here's a bit of info on Kobe), as he's never had it before. The canoe of Smoked Garlic-Potato Puree is made with "copious amounts of butter".

I do believe my choice of Lamb was the winner of the evening.  The Lam, like everything else we had, was cooked perfectly.  The Caramelized Turnip Medallions, which I had expected to not enjoy, were wonderful and the pieces sitting on top of them that look like Lamb Egg Rolls (which doesn't even come close to how glorious they were) are simply beyond description.   I made sure that I saved one for my last bite.

Yes, that is a Long Island Iced Tea you see in the picture with the Lamb.  Hubby chose to try Innis & Gunn, a Scottish Beer.  It was fairly new to the restaurant and neither Jack or Sherry had served it before.  Even Israel came over to see if hubby enjoyed it. Considering he had 4 bottles I can assure you he did.

That's just over half of the dinner.  I'm going to stop here as I think I've tortured you enough for one day.  Watch for Victoria and Albert Part 2 to find out how the rest of the meal went.
For now here's the menu so far.  What choices would you have made?

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