Sunday, May 7, 2017

SBK - Lamb Dinner

I have been lucky to make it to many of Sauce and Bread Kitchen's dinners recently.  Their latest was a Lamb themed dinner.  I thought going in that all courses would include lamb, which did make me a little nervous about dessert.  These fears were luckily unwarranted.  As SBK is a BYOB and cider goes well with lamb, I decided to bring a couple of ciders that I had on hand at home, Ember and Glow from Alpenfire Ciders in Washington.  They were both lightly sparkling, semi-sweet, and went very well with our meal.

As SBK is both a bakery and the place where Co-OP Hot Sauce is made, bread and/or a good use of spices will figure into many of the courses in the meals of their underground supper club. The first course in our lamb supper featured both.  We were served Lambschweiger (Lamb Braunschweiger or Liver Sausage) with Methi (Fenugreek)/Green Rhubarb Mostarda, and Shaved Asparagus on a Seeded Rye Cracker.  The cracker was thin, very crisp, and had a nice rye flavor.  The Lambschweiger was smooth, flavorful and went very well with the very tart mostarda.  The shaved asparagus added some green freshness that cut the possible heaviness of the sausage.  It was kind of funny that there was another piece of sausage hidden under the cracker, so if you were trying to give yourself enough sausage to spread across the cracker, you could easily end up with surplus sausage (not that that would be a bad thing because it tasted pretty great.
Our soup course went with a Lamb Consomme with a Parmesan Crispy, Dried Ramps, and Chili Oil.  I am generally not a fan of consomme because they can so easily go wrong.  It is a very simple soup, consisting of a clear meat or vegetable broth.  It could easily be pretty flavorless (except for salt), but this had a good lamb flavorful, which was added to with the Parmesan Crispy and the Dried Ramps.  The chili oil, which was used sparingly, provided a spicy finish.
While the greens were very fresh, the salad was the least exciting part of the meal.  It was a Frisee Salad with Shaved Fresh Radish, a 5 Minute Egg, and Bo Peep Vinaigrette.  The frisee and radishes were very fresh and crisp with the bitter flavor that fresh greens will have.  The egg was very good.  It was soft boiled and cutting it up spread the yolk around which added flavor.  The Bo Peep Vinaigrette seemed to have some lamb flavoring as well, but it was pretty subtle, and probably wouldn't have changed my opinion had it not been there.
The main course was very interesting and probably my favorite course.  Called a Farinata, it was XO Braised Lamb Shoulder with Ramp Kimchi, and Fresh Mint on a Chick Pea Pancake.  XO is a Spicy Seafood Sauce used in Southern Chinese cooking which is something that I head to look up after dinner.  I knew that XO also means extra old when referring to cognac, but it didn't exactly apply.  This makes much more sense since it was pretty spicy and the flavor went well with the shoulder, which was pulled, and the kimchi.  The pancake was flavorful and reminded me of a thick tortilla, so this was eaten like a taco, and it was a very good, if unusual, taco.
For dessert we had a lamb cake which apparently went through several last minute iterations before service do to availability of things.  What they did turn out though looked like a lamb and was very good.  What we were served was a Basque Cake topped with Coconut Cream (for the lamb's fur) and filled with a Cherry Filling.  The face of the lamb was a Scallop Shell shaped Cookie decorated to look like a Lamb's face and it was served with Matcha Tea Powder and Black Raspberry Powder for extra flavors to go with the cake.  It was a very nice finish to a very good dinner.  I really enjoy SBK's dinners and their creativity and I have already planned on going to their next one.  

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