Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Capaldi at Matteo's

Tuesday nights for the next month or so are featuring Raymond Capaldi as guest chef at Matteo's cooking a series of meals featuring different national foods. Last night, being July 14th, Bastille Day, was a French night. The place was packed for this degustation dinner. Three courses for $60 an extra lobster veloute with Pui lentils $18, matched wines $36 add a free Kir Royale if you take the extra dish. Very reasonable. From the start the waiters were under pressure and the kitchen wasn't always helpful, taking an extra 15 minutes to serve the third veloute when we slightly rearranged our menu. It was worth waiting for, very rich and creamy, too buttery for some, served luke warm, it had a great aroma from the lobster.

The lentils had been blended into the soup and provided a distinct but not too strong additional flavour and the tender pieces of lobster tail made for an excellent dish. The next course was a mixed terrine

of largish pieces of pork and chicken, white asparagus and carrots bound in a lightly salted bacon. Not the usual but another good variation. The main course as a beef daube

slow cooked for 14 hours 19 minutes and 12 seconds, yep some chefs do have a sense of humour, and it was the BEST daube I've ever eaten, served with a rich wine jus, I loved it which has not been the case on most occasions I've had it. I couldn't resist the side dish of Joel Roubochon mashed potato,

he's famous for these super creamy delights with a light brown sauce, and a Nicoise salad,

both $8. If the salad did not look like the usual rendition it did make me think of the delights of a night in Nice. Another Capaldi variation on the traditional it had most of the usual ingredients with sardine in place of anchovy. Dessert had another surprise a sorrel cream with a piece of baked apple and a hot apple pie
Beaut. Coffee/tea added $4 to the bill served with a very ordinary Madelaine. On the down side the bread was stale and the waiter forgot to bring the sauterne that was matched to the dessert. Service was slow. Despite the crowd it was not excessively noisy and apparently Capaldi was in a bad mood but it was a good night with a meal quite different from what gets served up at the usual Bastille Day dinner. Next week, July22 it will be Spanish!

Comments: I find these 'one night stands' high risk and often disappointing but Capaldi's innovative spirit infused this meal with interest and a pleasing overall quality.
We found the wines pleasant but uninspiring.
Score: 16/20


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Elliot and Sandra said...
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