Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Restaurant Review: Catalan

Last Thursday night Scott and I enjoyed our first dinner at Catalan. As we were browsing through the menu we quickly realized that narrowing down our choices would be next to impossible because everything sounded so good. We inquired about the Sandbox Tasting and discovered it was 7 courses of the chef’s choosing. This was the perfect solution to our problem. However, we were warned in advance that we should not have plans to go out afterwards, fortunately for us we did not. We also requested to have a wine paired with each course so that we could have a perfect complement to the meal. 3 hours later we made our way home with very full bellies. I highly recommend this option if you want to try some new culinary delights.

The Sandbox Tasting:

Market greens tossed in a local citrus vinaigrette with strawberries, goat cheese and Marcona almonds
Adelsheim Rosé of Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

This was the perfect starter with all my favorite components. I would definitely call it a taste of spring.

Raventós i Blanc L’Hereu Reserva Brut Cava (Penedes)

We couldn’t quite figure out the details of this since it was not on the menu, but it had a spicy kick to it, some chile oil perhaps and we think the fish was tuna but maybe not…it doesn’t really matter anyway because it tasted excellent.

Roasted Oysters topped with gruyere cheese on a bed of cauliflower puree
Ermes Pavese Blanc de Morgex et De La Salle (Vallée D’Aoste, Italia)

I think this might have been Scott’s favorite course since he is a big oyster fan. Once I figured out how to get them out of the shell I enjoyed every bite. These are the chef’s favorite however they aren’t a regular menu item since he’s very picky out his oysters.

Snapper with jumbo lump crab meat and tomato rice
Dom. de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhône, France)

Earlier in the meal the waiter brought out a whole snapper for our approval, it had just come in from Galveston that afternoon. I’m not much of a fish person but will branch out and eat it if I have to. I was pleasantly surprised…and wow it was a lot of fish.

Lamp Chop with chickpea, tomato, and zucchini salad
Marimar Estate “Dona Margarita Vineyard” Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)

I love lamp chops and had we not ordered the sandbox I most likely would have ordered this from the menu….I was not disappointed.

Duck Confit with pickled red onion topped with fried duck egg
Miner Vineyards “The Odyssey” Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre (Napa)

Duck is one of those rare finds on restaurant menus but I love it…although I let Scott have my duck egg. The wine paired with this was very yummy and a great compliment.

Local Meyer lemon cream tart, Texas pecan crust, and sweet tea ice cream
Chocolate Espresso Bread Pudding
Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port (Portugal)

We got the best of both: Scott loves Chocolate and I love citrusy desserts.

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