Amuse. The bottom layer was ginger yogurt. The middle layer was a red currant and tomato mixture. The top layer was a caramel vinegar foam. Chef Barbot emphasized that we should get all three layers in each spoonful. There were a lot of flavors going on, all very refreshing. While I wouldn't say that this was a dish that was really yummy and that I would want more of, I think it was a great first course and really opened up all our taste buds.The second course is Barbot's signature dish at L'Astrance. Layers of mandolined mushroom sandwiched two layers of cold foie gras that was marinated in verjuice. According to wikipedia, verjuice (from French vert jus) is an acidic juice made by pressing unripe grapes. I think Barbot's description mentioned something about using grapes from after the wine-making process, but it could have been a language thing. The multiple layers were kind of like a mille feuille, and it was flavored with yuzu, salt, and pepper. The yellow dot is a lemon puree with hazelnut oil.
In David Chang's own words, "I think this is an ingenious dish. He combined rich and poor ingredients, and yet, the rich ingredient is not the focus of the dish." That's exactly on point with this dish. It's hard to have a foie gras dish where the foie isn't the center of attention or doesn't steal the show. This dish is impressive in that it really is about how all the flavors and the textures of the different layers just combine together. Perfect balance in every bite.
For Part 2, click here
For Part 3, click here