It was a double-header celebration of my birthday and retirement. A most generous friend took me to elements in Princeton for a “twofer” dinner, and we went all-out, ordering a tasting menu, something I’ve always wanted to, but not had a chance to do there before (the whole table has to participate).
If you are ever going to go for a tasting menu, elements is just the kind of place where one should do so. It is a chance for a top chef to show off, a virtuoso tour de force, and one that brings out the best in someone like Chef/Co-owner Scott Anderson. For the most part, each course linked into the next by some component, such as a poultry broth with fish, or a meaty broth with poultry, as the menu progressed (generally) from amuse, to vegetables, to seafood, poultry, meat. So clever! And then the desserts harked back to the mushrooms you see here, with “shroomy” flavors. (Trust me, it worked.)
Rather than have the wine pairings, which would have been too much alcohol for such as us, we ordered a glass of wine each, her a Chardonnay and me a Syrah. And I had a potent Philly Fling Cocktail (made with Philadelphia’s Bluecoat gin), while I waited for my friend, who was running late.
Here, to the best of my memory, is what we ate, and I know I am not remembering it all or getting it all right. No matter, it wouldn’t be the same twice anyway, much like Heraclitus’s river, to borrow (inaccurately) from that ancient philosopher. What can I say, this is thought-provoking food, but I just wanted to enjoy the sensations without scribbling notes or asking too many questions. I was just along for the tasty ride.
Amuse of crisp fried oregano cup filled with ? and topped w/red caviar
Foie Gras cookie sandwich with citrus parmesan cream, set on top of delicate evergreens w/blue berries (juniper?), on local ceramic artist John Shedd’s pointy-edged plate. (Loved that plate!)
Big Eye tuna tartar with rice crisps, nestled in the indentation on a cast “rock” plate by John Shedd.
Mushrooms, melon, shaved white truffle and foam, over rye bread baton
Big Eye tuna, crispy wild rice, squab jus, smoky flavor
Spelt and ? rolls brushed with Wagyu beef fat, served with cultured butter and salt crystals
Squab with pastrami broth, cardoon purée
Venison wrapped in nori with sunchokes, tiny ruffly mushrooms (maitake?) and a deep purple aronia berry puree
Chocolate/mushroom ganache with hay infused ice cream, pomegranate syrup and broken tuille
Tiny peanut butter bar and chocolate cookie
Bon Bon with clove and chocolate (and ?? more mushroom?)