Marybeth and I had been trying to get to Metropole for three months, and when we finally did get around to it this past Tuesday, I was very sorry to learn that Jared had the night off. Still, everything that Jared suggested was incredible, and I do not dare hope to do anything any real justice, but I do feel obligated to at least try to convey how blown away Marybeth and I were (are) by everything. A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words, so this post’s word count should be well over 13,000 by the end of my feeble attempts.
Jared’s suggestions were to try the pork, trout, octopus, romanesco, banana brulee, and the espresso pudding. We did almost all of that – we passed on the trout – and added a few things.
Marybeth had a glass of bubbly, and I had a sangria. I haven’t had a sangria since my last night out for dinner in Michigan with the girls – so that would have been just over four-and-a-half months ago – and it was exactly what I wanted.
We began with a charcuterie platter. We had not originally intended to order it, but our server, Dave, had very kindly gone over that entire section of the menu in detail, and we were intrigued. We chose the 7 Hour Egg, the house-made Kantwurst, and the Barely Buzzed, which I think we were attracted to because of the coffee grounds. The additional toast and marmalade were equally lovely; we didn’t get too much into the mustard, I don’t think; but what really stole the show for us were the smoked grapes.
Marybeth and I shared everything, because we’re awesome sisters like that =) There were several instances throughout the meal where, after a first bite of something, Marybeth and I would have to stop, sit back, stare at each other, and just give praise and thanks to God that such incredible pleasures exist in this world. The grapes… the grapes brought on the first instance. They were truly extraordinary.
For our next course, we shared the Romanesco, the Beef Marrow Bone, and the Seared Octopus.
Romanesco, we learned, is a variant of cauliflower. We guessed that it was related to either cauliflower or broccoli, but neither of us had ever encountered romanesco before. We cleaned up that plate well.
The bone marrow with gremolata was interesting – I don’t think either of us regretted the experience – but it was not necessarily something we would order again. Nice to check it off the bucket list, though. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I’d bothered to attempt to spread the marrow properly on the toast, and with the garlic. Dave noted that we hadn’t touched the head of roasted garlic when he came to check on us. I asked what the best way to go about that was, and he said to just “squeeze it out like a tube of toothpaste.” Marybeth and I tried a whole clove each and were satisfied. I think our interest was most quickly lost by that dish, but again, quite an interesting experience.
Now, the octopus on the other hand… I’m pretty sure that it tied with the smoked grapes as our favorite parts of the meal. Another one of those one bite – stop – and shock. It was served with fresh “garbanzo beans, currants, hot pepper, cress,” and grapefruit segments. Marybeth had not had fresh garbanzos before. That led to stories of Matt complaining about shelling garbanzos, and also about shelling fava beans for Daveed’s and for 1N12K 2010. Anyway. That whole dish was just too good for words. The balance of contrasting yet harmonious textures and flavors was truly august.
Marybeth had the NY strip steak, with fingerling potatoes, ashed onion, radish, and grilled wild mushrooms. The steak was seasoned and cooked perfectly [of course].
I had the milk-braised pork with wiesenberger grits, roasted turnips & pearl onion. The pork fell apart so beautifully and practically melted in one’s mouth.
Needless to say, we devoured everything. The portion sizes were perfect; well-sized, as you can see, and we were full, but comfortable, and ready for dessert.
We didn’t actually look at the dessert menu at all, but just went by Jared’s text when Dave came back to ask if we would be interested in ordering dessert. But then, when I tried to find a description of the espresso pudding on the menu, I failed miserably. Marybeth and I are still wondering exactly what it is we got, but it was just as incredible as everything else… Oh, and Marybeth had coffee, and being a) girls, and b) culinary people, we had a slight geek-out moment over the raw sugar cubes. Too much fun.
Dave brought us cotton candy at the end of it all. We couldn’t help giggling over that. “Have some octopus. Then, have some cotton candy.” It seemed such a bizzarre combination of things to have in one sitting.
We walked around the museum a bit. The main thing that caught our eye was a picture of a baptism. The holy water was being poured, and from the point where it hit the child’s head and streamed back down into the baptismal font, it looked as if it were blood. It was intriguing, but we both hoped it was not intentionally and deliberately sacrilegious… Not that we were stuck on it for too long, but I’m still trying to decide if it makes sense. My mind is saying it should be the other way around… that it should have been blood pouring down, and clear from the child’s head down, but… anyway…
The whole experience was fantabulous, and I think we’re both afraid for our pocketbooks… We’ve been sharing pictures that Metropole posts of things that we intend to order when that inevitable ‘next time’ comes.
Yay for sister dates =)
God is good.