Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dinner at Otto's, 20th May

On Friday evening, G, D and I went for dinner at Otto's. This was D's first visit, my second, and about G's hundredth!

Past experience indicated that the Canard a la Presse served more than two, so we had it between three of us on this occasion which worked perfectly. En aperitif we drank some Arteis 2002 champagne which was pleasantly mature, and then Otto recommended a white Pernand-Vergelesses 2011 from Girardin with our starters, which went nicely with my first asparagus of the year. I made sure that I limited myself to one piece of bread, remembering what happened the first time we went to Bocuse.

G had made a special arrangement that we could bring along a couple of bottles from our own cellars. D contributed this Sterling Vineyards cabernet sauvignon from 1973 which was really interesting. It had a heady nose of sweet fruit, then rounded out on the palate and ended very dry indeed with some serious tannins still present and correct.

I wrote about the duck press process previously, so won't repeat that here, but once again it was all very theatrical and D even got up to try his hand at operating the duck press! The results were as delicious as I remembered. I'd actually forgotten all about the pommes souffles which were like cushions of air inside a potato casing - like potatoes which have gone to heaven.

There was a much-needed lengthy pause before we were served the second course of duck, the legs along with curly bits of skin.

Finally, with the cheese course we had this 1907 Malvasia from D'Oliveiras which G had been keeping for this occasion. It had been standing open in my flat for a couple of weeks and transporting it safely to the restaurant was my key task of the day - fortunately I had my trusty bottle bag, made by Maman AduV, which did the job perfectly. G tells me that it was bottled in the 1970s so had spent around 65-70 years in cask and it was a deep brown colour. This was textbook Malvasia with notes of marmalade and toffee. We reserved a glass for Otto and had no problems polishing the rest off between the three of us.

Altogether it was a splendid evening and while the wine list at Otto's is excellent, it was lovely to drink some of our own things alongside the amazing food. I think this may become an annual event, because one of these days we must get round to trying the Poulard de Bresse and the Homard a la Presse! Until next time...

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