Tonight we took the night off and left to cooking to our good friend Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit. It was a delayed anniversary dinner of sorts. We've been wanting to go to Aquavit for nearly six years so tonight was quite a treat for both of us.
Please excuse the poor quality of these photos. They were taken in very low light with my iPhone. I didn't want to be one of those people taking flash photographs throughout the meal.
The first complimentary course was this tuna tartar with what appeared to be diced pear and cucumber. It is commonly known that I despise cucumber but this was the perfect quantity for me being barely enough to feed a dust mite.
Soon after the tuna and some assorted breads we received another tartare, this time with char. It was served with some sort of passionfruit puree. This picture doesn't quite display how tiny the elements of this dish were. I don't think it's possible that this was created by humans. I think it's more likely that they were created by a clan of Brownies from the movie Willow.
The herring sampler was exceptional. I can't remember what all four of them were but they were some sort of smoked herring, sour cream and dill, pickled, and curried (from top left in clockwise direction). It was also accompanied by a shot of aquavit, Carlsbad beer, boiled potato, and sliced cheese of an unknown type.
The oysters on the half shell were served with fennel cream, green apple sorbet, and caviar.
I had the smoked venison with huckleberry, dumplings, and morels. I would argue that it was actually morel (singular) but regardless it was fantastic. The chef recommended it medium rare. I accepted this recommendation but the chef undershot it by a bit. The rare venison was just fine by me.
Jen had the duck breast with parsley spätzle, radicchio, and root vegetables. The baby turnips were reminiscent of something we would be given on our farm share. The spätzle was reminiscent of something that would have been cooked by one of my nasty German chef instructors in culinary school.
He may have possibly been a member of the Hitler youth at some point but man could he make some spätzle!
After the main courses they brought us out this strange concoction made from what tasted like grapefruit (though the server described it as "orange") with a yogurt cream on the top.
This is not a mistake. After these were cleared, about two minute later, another server came by and brought us another round of the same.
Nothing cleanses your palette like two intermezzos!
My dessert was the "Arctic Circle" which was a goat cheese parfait, blueberry sorbet, and passionfruit curd. I didn't know passionfruit was so big in Scandinavia!
Jen had the Tomme Crayeuse with acacia honey, marcona almonds, and fried baguette slices. Who'd have thought fried baguette slices would make for such a delicious dessert?
It was nice of them to bring out these little "cookies" after dinner since we'd only had six courses up until that point (seven if you count the double course mistake). We were quite worried about leaving hungry.
Overall I'd rank this amongst the top restaurant experiences I've had. However, it's a bit of a predicament to have to simultaneously loosen and tighten our belts directly following the meal.