This week, friends, Matt and I had a wonderful dinner at an equally wonderful wine bar. Mulberry, owned by Michael Polumbo who also owns Haddington's was a fantastic experience. This entire month on Mondays, they are having chef tasting menus where they let executive chef, Jacob Weaver, and sous chef, Chris Kirby, explore and play with the food they serve. Frankly I strongly recommend you make one of these tastings if you can because if this past Monday was any indication, its going to be a good month.
When we looked at the menu we were informed our tasting would be three courses, mussels in a tomato fondue with gruyere glacage , pork belly with fava beans and rainbow chard and for dessert, beignet with coffee ice cream. This all sounded like a great tasting menu, what we weren't aware of was that the chef had a little surprise in store for us by way of an amuse bouche. This little mouth teaser was a crostini with garlic parmesan butter, diced tomato and crispy prosciutto, an Italian cured ham. Wonderful flavor, it tasted like the best mini pizza ever. This was a nice way to wake up our palates for the meal to come.
The first course served was broiled mussels in a tomato fondue with gruyere glacage. I'll admit, not speaking French or chef very well, I had no idea what to expect here; boy was I pleasantly surprised. The dish consisted of a nice, flavorful blend of acidic tomatoes mixed with the salty mussels, salty in a good way, and the mild and wonderful gruyere. This dish sang me an absolute aria of wonderful flavor and texture; I was truly in love from the first bite.
Next we were served a pork belly with rainbow chard over a fava bean puree. The pork was cooked to spot on perfection and seasoned incredibly well. I almost did not need the knife I was given to cut into the pork it was so tender. If you're like me I apologize. Joking, what I mean is if you're like me, you have never tried chard before, I wasn't sure exactly what it was. As it happens, it’s a leafy bitter green, akin to kale or collards. This was a fantastic pairing to the salty and slightly sweet pork belly and the very mild fava beans. This was yet another dish that gave me an operatic range of flavor and texture. I felt that if it kept up, Puccini might fall out of my mouth at some point.
Some of y'all are probably thinking that the last course was my favorite, right? I mean how can a chef please me more than to serve a perfect cutlet of pork? Is it even possible to have greater culinary enjoyment? I'm here to tell you it is friends. How so? Doughnuts, perfect little fancy French doughnuts. I positively adore beignet, and everything about the wonderful little doughy balls of goodness, coated in confectioner's sugar and cinnamon that they are. How can you dislike them though? Any food that's last syllable is pronounced YAY! has to be great, right? These were fantastic, crispy exterior with a soft, doughy center that was not overly sweet and perfectly balanced by the cinnamon, sugar coating and dark chocolate sauce underneath. As an accompaniment, we were also served coffee ice cream topped with chocolate espresso beans, a nice touch. This was definitely a great end to a fantastic meal.
I highly recommend you go check these guys out on a Monday this month, you will not be disappointed. If you can't make it this month for a chef's tasting I understand, but make sure to put Mulberry on your list of places to eat at soon. This was an absolutely stellar experience and I want to extend my gratitude to chef Weaver and the entire staff at Mulberry, so thanks guys!