Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Treat: Dinner at Elements

Elements, Princeton NJ

Gary and I love amazing food, and have flown everywhere in search of it; from celebrity-chef-owned restaurants like Moto in Chicago that use molecular gastronomy to create avante-garde cuisine, to historical restaurants like The Olde Pink House in Savannah that improve upon quintessential comfort food. For obvious reasons, we haven't indulged in such gastric delights in a long time.

One of our favorite restaurants in New Jersey is Elements in Princeton. When we learned that they had a tasting menu during the month of October to celebrate their 2-year anniversary, we decided to take the dive back into fine dining.

If you've never eaten at Elements and you live anywhere near New Jersey - go. Firstly, the space is unbelievable; they actually transformed part of a garage into an architectural marvel. Secondly, the food is incredible. Dinner was perfect, and I've done my best to remember all seven courses, listed below.

Amuse Bouche - Champagne, Coconut-Broccoli Cream Soup, Winter Barley Salad
First Course - Hamachi Tartare with Cilantro
Second Course - Squash Soup with Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Caraway Ice Cream
Third Course - Pacific Halibut with Chopped Geoduck, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Broccoli, and Pumpkin Puree
Fourth Course - Wild New Jersey Mushroom Risotto with Mushroom Froth
Fifth Course - 48-hour Short Ribs with Red Potatoes and Kale
Sixth Course - MY FAVORITE - Bacon and Eggs
Seventh Course - Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Sorbet
Complimentary Dessert - Chocolate Plate (6 homemade chocolates...the best being caramel peanut-butter filled dark chocolate truffle)

"Bacon and Eggs" at Elements

Ok - that sixth course deserves a pause and further description. It is the chef's signature dish that serves as a bridge between the savory and sweet courses. On one side of the plate is a hollowed out eggshell with three layers of gooey goodness inside: the bottom is brioche French toast, the middle is bacon custard, the top is maple foam with smoked sea salt. On the other side of the plate is a mini French toast with homemade bacon and bourbon maple syrup. It's insane.

Although my appetite is much smaller than it used to be, I took my time and managed to at least savor a little of everything. It was an absolutely wonderful night.

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