On Friday, August 27th, Christopher and I celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary. Its hard to believe that its been 5 years since we said our vows; we've seen and done so much in such a small amount of time! We decided to celebrate in London at the restaurant Gordon Ramsey at Claridge's. If I had to describe the evening and the meal in one word, it would be: Surreal.
We chose to have the tasting menu; The Menu Prestige, which consisted of 6 courses. The first course was an Amuse Bouche. An Amuse Bouche is like a pre-appetizer; a small hors d'oeuvre that is designed to whet the appetite and ready the palette. Our Amuse Bouche was a small cup of soup; lemon grass and ginger with chunks of apples. It was my least favorite course of the evening, but it wasn't bad.
Course number 2 was my favorite! Pan seared salmon with Parma Ham, watercress salad, and Horseradish Ice Cream. Yes, you read that right, Horseradish Ice Cream. It was... to die for! The salmon melted in your mouth... it was incredible. And the ice cream was amazing!
Course 3 was lobster and crawfish ravioli in a lemongrass and coconut bisque. It was divine! When you see the picture, I know you're thinking, wow, just one ravioli? But seriously, with six courses, I was fine with just little tastes of everything! We were so stuffed when we left!
Course 4 was the main course and we opted to share the Beef Wellington. I had never had it before, most everyone knows I am not a big red meat fan, but Beef Wellington is something that has intrigued me. And rightly so... it was divine! We had it medium-rare (I'll give you all a moment to let that sink in... I, the meat hater, had it RARE...lol), which is what the chef suggested and it literally melted in your mouth. It was a flavor explosion! The different textures were amazing... the crunch of the puff pastry, the sort of creaminess from the mushroom paste, and the beef... just incredible. It was served with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.
Course 5 was the pre-dessert. It was a 3 layered shot glass of strawberry preserves, buttermilk panacotta, and fresh mint sorbet. It was fabulous! Christopher and I joked that we needed another, that we just weren't ready for dessert-dessert and needed another pre-dessert to get prepped.
Course 6 was dessert. Christopher had a cold chocolate fondant with raspberries and popcorn. I had a raspberry souffle! Both were amazing!
After we finished eating our dessert, one of the managers came out and brought us a small almond cake with a candle in it. In chocolate on the plate, the chef had written Happy Anniversary. Even the almond cake was good...lol
After we finished our wine (we had 2 bottles... a pinot grigio and a Rose), the manager came out and asked if we'd had a good anniversary. We told him it had been amazing. He asked if he could make it better... we said sure and he asked us if we'd like to see the kitchen! I think I peed a little! We had seen other tables be asked to visit the kitchen and I was absolutely dying to go! Christopher offered to ask if we could go back there, but I didn't want to be the tacky American's who just asked to see it, ya know? Its much more special if YOU get asked. So anyway, of course we said yes and it was so awesome!!!
We got to see the different stations and even meet the head chef (he's the blonde guy right behind my head). It wasn't the loud, crazy chaotic mess you'd expect it to be. It was relatively quiet (especially compared to what I expected) and so organized. Everything was like a choreographed dance. Beautifully executed.
There is a section of the kitchen called the Chef's Table (its actually right in front of where we are standing), and its a table that you can book with up to 6 people and you get to dine IN the kitchen. The chef creates a menu just for your party, you get your own personal waiter and sommelier and we ARE doing it at some point in our time here.
I've also made the decision to go to Culinary School. I realized that food is a serious passion of mine and I would be stupid not to do something with it. Its going to be expensive and a challenge, but its going to be so worth it!