Kevin and I don’t get out much without the kids Particularly when we are on vacation. See, our vacations pretty much always include family. And this last one was no exception.
I did try to arrange for us to meet up with Lenn from Lenndevours, but schedules conspired against us. We even hoped that Champagne Rory would join us for a day or two…. but again, no such luck.
So we did what sane grownups do all over the world.. We escaped. We went out to dinner.
And what a dinner it was!
We went to our favorite romantic dining place in the Hamptons:
The Plaza Cafe
As always, our dinner was amazing. We enjoyed the tasting menu and asked for a wine pairing with each course. The wine list consists of Chef Doug Gulija’s personal collection and has in years past been exclusively American wines. This year the list has been amended to include one European wine, a Croatian selection, Bibich which represents Chef’s heritage.
Amuse bouche of a seafood sausage over braised cabbage and topped with a lobster sauce
This we ate while finishing our cocktails (me: lemon drop; Kevin: Campari and Soda)
Tuna and Crab Tian which is a crab ceviche and tuna tartare layered with an avocado puree finished with a yuzu sauce. This was served with a Kung Fu Girl Riesling
Local Lobster Corn Chowder finished with basil oil and corn shoots
Sauteed Local Day-Boat Scallops served with a sweet corn polenta, shiitake-sea bean ragout, basil oil. Have you ever had a sea bean? You are missing out! They are crunchy, salty and a bit like asparagus at the same time. If anyone knows how one lays their hands on a sea bean I would love to know.. though no doubt, I would screw it up.
Striped Bass served over black beans with a tangy mango salsa and chipotle aoli. This positively exploded with flavor.
The chowder, scallops and bass were all served with a 2006 Grigch Hills Fume Blanc. Divine.
Next up was my favorite dish of the night. A soy-acacia honey marinated black cod served over an edamae puree with a yuzu vinaigrette. The flavors permeated the cod making it both sweet and savory at the same time and it was topped with a crisp slice of lotus root. I have every intention of trying to reproduce this back at home. Wish me luck! It was served with a 2004 Martinelli Vineyard Gewurtraminer.
Jurgielewicz Farms Duck Three Ways… or as called by the wait staff, Duck, Duck Goose. It consisted of sliced breast, leg confit, and a savory foie gras bread pudding.
Pesto Crusted Rack of Lamb served with ratatouille and fried goat cheese and a port wine reduction.
The “red” meats were served with the Bibich, which according to our server, the very knowledgeable Bari Citron, is made along the Dalmatian coast of three local varietals: a Babich, a Lasin and the Plavina. The wine was full and soft and perfect with meats.
Our dessert came in two parts… first a selection of sorbets. Blueberry, raspberry and white peach. For the final part of the meal Kevin selected a cherry bread pudding with cherry sorbet and candied cherries whereas I selected the tried and true (and exceptionally luscious) chocolate mousse cake.
Will we be back to the Plaza Café? Your darn tooting! Chef Gulija’s staff was attentive and friendly.. even putting up with my oddness (like bringing a big camera into the restaurant and taking pictures of all of the courses) and the food? Wow. It was the highlight of my vacation.
Remember that if you are in the Hamptons, do yourself a favor and have dinner there. And tell Chef Doug that those crazy Chicago people sent you!
61 Hill Street
Southampton, NY 11968