As tradition dictates (gourmet RoF-stuffing rather than gifts), husband of feitpingvin took me to Statholdergaarden for my birthday dinner. Statholdergaarden has one star in the Michelin Guide; they are located in the city center, in a building originally built for the Master of the Mint in 1640...
We had quite an excellent evening; both we and our RoFs were very satisfied. Dinner included the following:
Aperitif (house specialty) – Tia Maria and bourbon topped with Cava
Amuse bouche #1: Salmon tartar with dill cream.
Gone in one bite ;-)
Amuse bouche #2: If I remember correctly: a mussel and a tiny salad in the spoon; creamy seafood soup; veal croquette.
We ate them in the “wrong” order – just as well to eat the hot food first – and started with the croquette. Yummy. The soup was like drinking a tasty bowl of seafoody cream :-D
First course: Grilled scallop served with artichokes, cauliflower, and marinated snow peas. Pomegranate vinegar and saffron foam.
Wine: Weingut Knipser Riesling Kabinet trocken 2008
The scallop was perfectly prepared. It was seared just so on the edges, but raw inside, although warm. The wine was very citrusy and refreshing, and went nicely with the scallop...
Second course: Foamy shellfish soup served with halibut, fennel and feve. (husband of feitpingvin had king crab instead of halibut because the fish was encrusted with nuts)...
Wine: Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2009
More creamy seafoody goodness, this time with tasty bits of perfectly cooked fish. The (NZ) Sauv Blanc was absolutely lovely. We really should do a wine safari in New Zealand...
Third course: Fried cod served with Welsh shallot cream and a spinach and leek- tomato samosa. Garlic sauce.
Wine: Meursault Domaine Michelot 2006
We also got a glass of Terras Gauda Albarinio Rias Balixas 2008 since we told them we aren't overly crazy about Chardonnay. We thought this was a better match...
This was in the running for favorite dish of the evening. The cod was very fresh and perfectly cooked; the skin was nice and crispy too. The shallot cream was flavorful and caramelly savory-sweet. The samosa was crispy on the outside, flavorful on the inside... wonderful! I could have easily gobbled down several more servings!
~ Peach ice and blackberry sorbet ~
The sorbet was especially lovely... mmmmm....
Fourth (main) course: Honey and lime-glazed breast of duck served with glazed quince, pickled oyster mushrooms, walnut purée (husband of feitpingvin got a similar purée, but without the walnuts), and bok choi. Cranberry sauce.
Wine: Barbera d'Alba Carlo Giacosa Lina 2007
This was probably my favorite dish; it helps that duck is one of my absolute favorite meats! The walnut purée was especially amazing with the tasty, tender, perfectly prepared duck meat...
Om nom nom nom!
Fifth course: Well-ripened cheeses garnished with banana bread and fruit compote. (We each got different cheeses due to allergy issues.)
Wines: Markus Molitor Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese 1994 and Pineau des Charentes Lheraud
My cheeses were very delicious, and husband of feitpingvin was also very happy with what he received. Also, I really liked getting two different wines for this, one to go with the first two, the other to go with the other two. The Pineau des Charentes Lheraud was especially interesting. It is made from the same grapes used to make Cognac. It smelled like Cognac and tasted like Cognac, minus the high amount of alcohol. I really enjoyed this one. But the Riesling was also quite excellent...
Sixth course: Cherry mousse on mazarin and blood orange, crispy almond pastry, and yoghurt sherbet.
Wine: Tokaji Aszú Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2005
I got my dessert with 'Gratulerer!' written in chocolate. For my birthday and all :-) My favorite part of the dessert was the pieces of blood orange. I could have dropped the rest of the dessert stuff and just eaten a big bowl of the blood oranges... yum! The wine was also quite nice, very cloudberry-caramelly... :-)
Coffee, amaretto for me, whisky for husband of feitpingvin, petits fours
Aside from the meal, the service was amazing. Our main waitress was actually an apprentice (she wore a badge that indicated this), but if she were not wearing the badge I would have never guessed.
Oh, and here's a crap photo of yours floozie. Bad angle, hair from hell (hat hair + winter static electricity), but otherwise not bad for 39, right? ;-P