The night following the cooking demonstration, said friend and I returned to the Kellogg Center for the second night of the Cathy Whims Visiting Chefs series. This time it was dinner and it was served in the State Room (where I have never eaten. I'm not sure why.)
We were seated next to a pompous asshole who insisted on the waitress showing him the label of every wine bottle from which she poured. He would then make ridiculous comments to his wife like "Ahh yes, I thought this was a Vietti Barbera." What... a lucky lady. The table behind us boasted a professor-type who was talking loudly about an "aggressive atheist and his life partner." His combover spoke for itself.
This was the night that two amazing things happened- I rekindled my love for chicken livers and I ate a massive quantity of the most tender beef I have ever had in my life. Here was the menu:
three crostini- tuscan chicken livers, candied tomatoes and ricotta, chickpea and potato.
peposo (peppery beef hunter's stew) with caramelized turnip puree.
mint straciatella gelato.
all three of them were delicious, but I could have made a meal out of the chicken livers. They were unbelievable. The candied tomato was a distant second, mostly interesting because the tomato was roasted into actual sweetness.
this is a white bean stew. I absolutely love beans. It was good. As per usual, I added a lot of salt.
The beef was THE BEST BEEF I HAVE EVER HAD. I took my first forkful (the meat was so tender that I never picked up my knife) and I died. The texture was absolutely incredible and my friend, who doesn't eat red meat, suddenly became the best dinner companion in the history of the world when it occurred to me that I get to eat hers, too! The thought of taking up stomach space with turnip puree never crossed my mind as we switched plates and I gorged myself on beef. Out of this world.
The mint gelato was also delicious and I have never been more knocked out by the taste of fresh mint. The wine was actually an afterthought for me, but don't get me wrong- I drank it. We were served four wine pairings, including a great sparkling dessert wine.
I am obsessed with the Visiting Chefs series now. I want to go to every single one. The tickets to the dinner were $75 per person, which is actually kind of inexplicable to me because we definitely ate a comparable amount of food the night before. Whatever. I will pay them whatever they want for beef like that.