We recently had the pleasure of attending the Black Truffle Dinner at the Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee. The dinner is an annual tradition of theirs, made all the more special this year because the week after the dinner in Milwaukee, they were recreating the meal for the James Beard House. Even more special (for us, anyway), was that we went with our friends Andy and Caitlin. Food can only make a meal good, it is the company that makes it memorable. Andy had been invited to the dinner because he is the man behind Rush Creek Reserve, which was the centerpiece of the cheese course.
Now, a seven course meal (plus hors d’oeuvres) is a fairly decadent to begin with. Add to that black truffles with every course and you’ve got a meal that would make Beau Brummell blush. Plus, being sensible people of moderation, we took a trip to the Milwaukee Public Market for a couple dozen oysters before dinner.
Despite the pig pictured on the menu, we have it on good authority the truffles were found by dogs.
The full menu is shown below. Highlights for me were the cauliflower soup and the pigeon rossini (my first pigeon, I thought at the time, but I’ve since remembered an earlier one). Upper right and middle right in the picture above, respectively. Leslie’s vote for best dish goes to the rice pudding– she’s still a little mad at the waitress who whisked it away before she was finished. Besides the chefs (a collection from all of the Bartolotta‘s restaurants, led by Adam Siegel) there was also a trufflist from France (I’ve made that word up) and the wine maker from Somerston (where all the wine pairing came from). Andy also got more attention than he liked when he was introduced as “one of the best cheese makers in Wisconsin, and therefore, one of the best in the world”.
We really don’t know Milwaukee that well, but we are really growing to like it. There is a great restaurant culture in Milwaukee that really respects ingredients and you can find so many of the wonderful cheeses, beers, meats and vegetables grown and made around us. I just wish it was a shorter drive.
Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro 10th Annual
Black Truffle Dinner
Wednesday January 16, 2013
Wednesday January 23rd at the James Beard House NYC
Joue de Veau – Strauss Veal Cheek with Black Truffles
Mousse de Canard – Duck Liver Mouse with Truffles
Gougeres – Gruyere Gougeres with Black Truffles
Tartare de St Jacques – Sea Scallop with Black Truffles
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Lobster Cream, Brussels Sprout Leaves and Black Truffles
Loup de Mer
Sea Bass with Crispy Potato, Truffle Jus and Black Truffles
Fried Soft Boiled Egg with Mushrooms, Mushroom Cream and Black Truffles
Roasted Squab Breast with Foie Gras, Carrot and Black Truffle Madeira Sauce
Priest Ranch Lamb with Mustard-Onion Compote, Cress and Celery Root Salad with Black Truffles
Fromage et Miel
Upland’s Rush Creek Vache Style Cheese with Somerston Honey and Black Truffles
Riz Au Lait
Creamy Rice Pudding with Amarena Cherries, Crème Anglaise and Black Truffles