Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tru-ly Delicious

I took my brother and sister to Tru for dessert.  After much convincing, we talked them into letting us come before 10:30 p.m. to do a dessert tasting.  We all put on our fanciest garb, and headed off for the experience of Tru.

I think everyone should try a dessert tasting at Tru, if only to watch the army of waitstaff buzz around the place like a swarm of bees.  Waiters will come at your table from all angles and drop all manners of delectable treats in front of you, often without you even knowing it happened.

We sat down and ordered the dessert tastings for the entire table.  Under this option, you do not order anything, the waiters just start bringing out whatever dessert that the chef wants to serve you.  I have been here many times for dessert, so I know that the basic format is amuse dessert, table sharing dessert, fruit dessert, chocolate dessert, dessert cart, and a round of insulin shots.

I decided to start with a sweet white wine that would carry me on through the fruit course.  After reading over the wine list like someone reading a manual on how to diffuse a bomb, I came up with a 2006 Dr. Loosen Riesling Beerenauslese.  This was really sweet, but it was a small glass and it is not intended to be served in huge amounts, so it was fine.  It had notes of petroleum, coconut, honey, and tropical fruits.  Michelle ordered a 2005 Oak Valley "The Blend" (from South Africa), which was a tremendous red wine.  It had huge oaky toasty-ness and reminded me almost exactly of Silver Oak (for a fraction of the price if you can find it).  After I finished the riesling, I switched over to a vintage 1985 Delaforce port for the chocolate dessert.  When it comes to eating and planning wine at restaurant, I am  like a general, planning his attack down to the smallest detail.

Now comes the part you have all been waiting for...the dessert.

The first course, the palate cleanser/amuse was a Meyer Lemon Puff with Tapioca and Mint.  It was very tart, but the tapioca gave it a creamy roundness to balance it out.  The mint added an interesting element to complete the dish.  It wasn't necessarily the most interesting or best thing I have ever eaten, but it was a nice way to start the tasting.

The table-sharing dessert was a bowl of warm honey madeleines.  These would be the perfect desserts to sit at home and eat on a cold day.  They were lightly dusted with powdered sugar and had some faint floral sweetness to them to go along with the amazing butter flavor.  Also the madeleines were probably the best possible dessert to have with the riesling.

Next the individual desserts came out.  The guys at the table got a star anise semifreddo with grapefruit, pomelo, and honey sponge.  You would not imagine that grapefruit, licorice, and honey could go together so nicely, but I suppose that it is the same flavor profile of a breakfast that I have eaten for years (grapefruit with honey).  It was creamy, but offset by the bitter tartness of the grapefruit.  Again, the riesling went amazingly with this dish as well.  The honey really played off of the cake (which was like a crumb cake) and let the grapefruit shine.  The girls got fried buttermilk cakes with stewed blueberries and a lime-blueberry sorbet with a cinnamon meringue stick.  I did not get a chance to have a bite of this since it got wolfed down so fast, but I heard it was really good.  I did here some complaints that the sorbet was too sour though.

For the next course, the guys got a scoop of 80% cacao ice cream with a hazlenut financiere filled with vanilla custard.  This dish was AMAZING.  Hazlenuts and chocolate is a relatively classic combination, but the intensity of each flavor was unmatched.  Though there was a heavy hazlenut flavor, the extremely strong and smooth ice cream restrained it in the context of the dessert.  This was my favorite dessert of the night.  The girls got a web of tainori chocolate served over a scoop of marscarpone ice cream with a golden rice krispie treat.  Again, the selfish pigs stuffed their faces before I could swoop in for a bite, but they said it was the best dessert they had too.

I was expecting the dessert cart to come around, but either by the graces of the restaurant gods or the fact that I had ordered so much delicious/expensive wine, they brought out yet another chocolate dessert.  Fortunately for me I had saved some of my port, despite RJ's attempt to spit it out/projectile vomit all over the restaurant after  having his first ever sip of port...I guess it's an acquired taste.  Anyway, the last dessert for the guys was baked chocolate mousse with dried chocolate, raspberry gelee, olive oil ice cream, and chambord.  Again, chocolate and raspberries are a pretty traditional pairing, but the olive oil ice cream added an interesting vegetal element.  The biggest problem I had with this dessert was that it was too salty.  Yes, the dessert was too salty.  The girls got a recreation of a candy bar.  This dessert had a squiggle (for lack of a better word) of chocolate with some coffee ice cream, burnt carmel mousse, and a crisped piece of chocolate on top.  It looked really cool, but apparently it was not as good as their middle dish.

I fully expected the dessert cart next, but no...apparently the restaurant gods smiled on us once more.  the waiter came out with four large cubes of chocolate (probably 1 inch on all sides).  He said that they were chocolate truffle explosions.  He said to put them in your mouth all at once, close your mouth, and bite down.  He told us a "explosion" (though the quotes aren't really necessary because it was, quite literally, an explosion) of raspberry juice would occur.  Apparently my sister neglected to listen to the "close your mouth instruction when she bit down.  Raspberry juice went everywhere, it hit me, it struck Michelle's glass on the other side of the table, and it got all over the table cloth.  This apparently was hilarious to my sister, and she started laughing again with her mouth open.  This created another salvo of raspberry juice rocketing in all directions across the table.  By the time she finally covered her mouth with the napkin, the table looked like someone had committed a mass murder in Candyland.  It was a disaster.

After recovering from the raspberry juice attack, the famous Tru dessert cart came around with all sorts of goodies on it.  My favorites included the chocolate truffles, the passion fruit jelly, and the orange marshmallow.

All in all, it was a good night, and at least I have a good dry cleaner that was apparently able to get raspberry juice out of my suit.

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