Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Best Meal I've Ever Had

Husband and I went to Uchiko a couple of months ago.  It was good.  Really good.

And then we went to another sushi type place, like Uchiko, but not, and I kept thinking about how sad I was that it wasn't Uchiko.

Bizarrely, we got a DealSwarm deal to Uchiko (this is NOT some silly chain restaurant -- it was crazy that I had a COUPON for what would still -- after the coupon -- be the most expensive meal I've ever eaten.)  and made another reservation.

I'm allergic to everything:  shellfish, mushrooms, tree nuts and avocados.  Also, I'm a complete control freak. Combine the two things, and I'm a super picky eater.  Husband, not so much.  When we went to France, Husband ate EVERYTHING:  rabbit, beef tongue, steak tartare (which included a 5 minute half-French half-English conversation where I tried to explain to the waiter that yes, it's cold and not medium like my steak, and really he wants to eat it.  And he ate the whole thing.  I couldn't watch him eat it, it just looked so gross.)  I, on the other hand, subsisted on only croissants, French onion soup, steak, cheese, and crepes with Nutella the entire trip.

So, at some point when making this reservation, Husband suggested we just tell the waiter what I'm allergic to and let them bring us whatever they wanted.  And I agreed, mostly because I had just read this really awesome book Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat that discussed the crazy chef's menus this chef has and how much he really, really enjoyed trying to surprise his clients and come up with a great tasting menu.

So, we got to the restaurant, told them my allergies, and ordered the 10 course chef tasting menu.  We did insist that one of the courses include the pork belly, which we had last time.

I almost changed my mind -- how was I going to let someone else pick what I'm going to eat?  Instead, I slammed back a drink, figuring I could get something to eat on the way home if necessary.

It was the most.  Amazing.  Meal.  I've ever had.

The first 4, 5 courses were raw fish:  whitefish, tuna, light, amazing, citrus, just wow.  Then we had some crazy looking fish that tasted like a shoe.  That experience was recovered quickly by the most amazing prime rib I've ever had.  Prime rib isn't a food I request or appreciate.  But oh my God, this tasted like food from another planet of awesomeness.  It was so awesome that I informed the waitress that they must immediately stop serving sushi and only serve meat*.

Our next course was served by Tyson Cole, the chef.  I knew it was him because his name was written on his jacket.  He told us he heard we liked meat, told us about our next course, and ate some of it himself, this other meat from the awesome meat planet only Uchiko has access to.  Tyson was a cute, small man, and I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home to cook beef at our house.**

And we ate a few more courses (I totally lost count, but I'm guessing it was like 12, maybe 13 courses in total), including some egg/truffle thing -- must have forgotten to tell them about the mushroom allergy -- which I though tasted like dirt, and Husband encouraged my feeling about this course so he could eat it all himself while moaning about how awesome it was.  It ended with the pork belly of awesomeness from planet Uchiko Awesome Meat, with an encore of dessert.  We got the dessert of the day which was some sort of peach cream/ice cream/homemade pop rock concoction.  I hate peaches.  I loved this dish.  I had poprocks stuck in my teeth for several minutes after eating it, popping away.

I was so sad when our meal ended.  I was sad that I would have to eat food that wasn't made by Tyson Cole, James Beard award winning chef.  Sad I didn't take any pictures of the meal to remember it by.  Sad that I would have to eat regular food day in and day out.

I can't wait to go back.

*I may have been drinking during this meal

**I may have been drinking during this meal and it was a very, very long meal