GT Fish and Oyster before and really liked it. When I saw that they were going to be doing a collaboration dinner with a chef from El Ideas, I jumped at the chance to go because, while I have not been there, I have met the executive chef, and I like the idea of the restaurant, to turn fine dining on it's head. It's irreverent and experimental and lets diners ask questions. I was interested to see where a very good seafood restaurant and an experimental restaurant would meet. The dinner was held in the Whale Room, a private dining room in the basement of the restaurant. On the wall was a silhouette painting of a sperm whale and the quote, "The biggest fish is the one that is almost caught." It had a large communal table with an anchor on it and marked place settings, letting individual diners know where they would be sitting. With the place settings were our menu cards giving the diners an idea of what we would be having for dinner. There were also a series of numbers listed after each course. The numbers were a bit of a puzzle. Also on the table were several large and thick cookbooks (all the same) that looked to be cooking textbooks. I guessed that the numbers had something to do with the cookbooks and were something like the recipe number in the book. I also noted that the menu was much less seafood heavy than I would have expected from a seafood restaurant (not a complaint, simply an observation).
Moto. There were three parts to this course. On the left was a Mushroom Sauce served with a Manchego Cheese Chip. To the right was a Fried Carrot with a Maple Creme (that kind of reminded me of marshmallow creme). The center recipe started as Broccoli Almondine. It used broccoli florets and blanched almonds, but was finished with a White Broccoli Soup (not shown). There were a variety of flavors and textures in small bites and it was a great stage setter for the rest of the meal.
Our first meat course was served communally and was called Pork Belly and Black Rice. When Giuseppe Tentori was the Executive Chef of Boka, there was a dish on the menu that consisted of Pork Belly and Black Rice which I had and really liked and thought I might have had a little familiarity with the dish. While the flavors were similar, the presentations were definitely not. The Pork Belly was served as a cut, but it had been cooked for 36 hours and was incredibly tender and flavorful. It was served with Greek Yogurt and another sauce with Asian spices. The Black Rice was served in Arancini form (fried Risotto Balls) with a crunchy exterior and very tender interior. Admittedly, they didn't look exceptionally appetizing, but they did taste good.