Last night had a great food and wine experience. It was a dinner with Jean Trimbach (above right
) providing the wines (some of Alsace's best) and the wonderful Trinity restaurant
in Clapham providing the food. Chef Adam Byatt (above left
) began the evening with a pig butchery demonstration, which I'll cover separately. It really was an embarassment of riches.
I was one of two wine journos, along with Tim Atkin. Also present: Robert Mackintosh (@thirstforwine), Denise Medrano (@thewinesleuth), Douglas Blyde (@foodguardian), Helen Graves (@foodstories), Niamh Shields (@eatlikeagirl) and Ben Smith of Enotria. It was a jolly crowd.
On this showing, Trinity is a superb restaurant of Michelin star standard. Truffled white onion and thyme veloute (above) was really beautifully flavoured and textured, and nicely presented.
This is about as pretty and funky as we get with food,' says Adam as he introduces the next course. It's a combo of smoked eel, steamed osyter and goujons of sole with a leek terrine and horseradish sauce. Brilliantly executed: I particularly liked the leek.
The best course followed: the pigs trotter on toasted sourdough with fried quail egg, sauce gribiche and crackling. Byatt describes the pigs trotter as a signature dish, and says its the best selling starter on the menu: people feel they can take a chance with their starters. 'Eating out should be about new experiences,' he says.
Then it was the belly pork with black olive oil mash, braised celery hearts and cockle and saffron vinaigrette. This wasn't quite up to the stellar standards of the other courses, IMHO. The old spot belly was cooked for 16 hours in a water bath at 68 C. Then the skin and fat is removed, and the pork glazed in maple syrup and pan fried. For me, it lacked the texture and softness of the best belly pork, and I actually find the fat the most delicious bit.
We finished off with quince tart tatin and honey ice cream that was just about perfect.
The Trimbach wines were really good. They're one of Alsace's leading producers, and make their wines in quite a precise, drier style. The Riesling 2007 is pretty good, in a fresh, citrussy, slightly mineral style. Pinot Gris Reserve Personelle 2002 was just superb, with rich, intense fruit with some sweetness but finishing dry and a bit mineral. Pinot Noir Reserve 2007 was really good for an Alsace Pinot, but that's not saying much. It's an attractive, slightly leafy Pinot but not as good as the other wines. Then three vintages of the wonderful Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling. 1997 is fresh, limey and mineral, just starting to peak. 2004 is beautiful, with lovely freshness, focus and complexity. The star, though, was the thrilling 2001 375th anniversay cuvee, which is perhaps the very best dry Riesling that I've tasted, with lovely precision and minerality. This was kindly provided by sommelier Rupert Taylor from his list. Then we finished with the wonderful Gewurztraminer Selection des Grains Nobiles 1989: beautifully textured and spicy without too much sweetness.
Labels: Alsace, restaurants