Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Glowing Hotness at The Ember Room

We decided to celebrate our Two Year Wedding Anniversary by redeeming our Thrillest Reward Dinner for Two at Ember Room. This tasting menu pitted Todd English's dishes against Chalermkittichai's. We were ready to be official judges and took our responsibility quite seriously.
We each got 3 cocktails so we started with the Gingered Sapphire (Bombay Sapphire Gin, Cucumber, Ginger, & Fresh Lime) and the Ember Julep (Jameson, Campari, Thai Basil, & Fresh Orange). Ok, so the cocktails weren't part of the face-off, but the Gingered Sapphire won hands down.

Gingered Sapphire & Ember Julep 
The first two dishes were Todd English's Thai Pastrami Meatballs with Peanut, Tamarind Glaze and a side of Chinese Mustard (Mm, mm, good!) and the Roasted Sea Scallops with Smoked Bacon, Pea Shoots, & Kohlrabi. English was off to a strong start.
Thai Pastrami Meatballs & Roasted Sea Scallops
Next came English's Berkshire Pork Belly with Maple-Soy Glaze and Fuji Apple-Celeriac Slaw. Unlike English's Pork Belly at CrossBar, this one was everything pork belly should be. Crispy and delicious and the slaw was a really nice complement.

Berkshire Pork Belly

Then came the first f the Chalermkittichai dishes: Shrimp Satay with Finger Chili, Cilantro and Lemon Grass. Good, but not as exciting as the English dishes so far.

Shrimp Satay
Chalermkittichai's next dishes were Thai Chicken Wings with Mint, Thai Basil, & Palm Sugar Caramel and Blackened Ahi Tuna with Sriracha & Wasabi Aioli. These dishes sound exciting, but the flavors were way to subtle and wound up just tasting like regular wings and ahi tuna.

Thai Chicken Wings & Blackened Ahi Tuna
The final Chalermittichai dish was the popular Chocolate Baby Back Ribs. This really split the Newbie Foodies camp. The Mr really enjoyed it, and thought the chocolate was subtle, but I found it overpowering. To me it literally tasted like dousing Hershey's Syrup on some ribs- ugh.

Chocolate Baby Back Ribs
English's final dish were the Crispy Gingered Oysters with Miso, Sesame & Spinach topped with a delightful fruit salsa.

Crispy Gingered Oysters

For me there was no question, Todd English was the clear winner with some really interesting flavor combinations. The Mr wasn't as cut-and-dry, but after some deliberation announced English as his favorite too. 

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