You may already know that the Gastronomer is extremely biased towards Thirty Acres. What with the copious fresh seafood, inventive pairings of flavors and textures, and friendly local staff and patrons (we saw three people we know!), what is there to dislike?
In short, I loved my meal so here is the quick and dirty on the dishes I enjoyed (with pictures lifted form the Thirty Acres tumblr page:
Raw bar - sweet fresh sea scallop dressed with a slightly creamy salsa verde, thinly sliced radish, watercress (it said cilantro but I am pretty sure that watercress was substituted), ample salty trout toe, and sprinkled with sweet earthy pumpkin seeds.
Raw bar - arctic char belly, a cousin of salmon and lake trout with firmer fatty pink flesh and a bit leaner flavor, paired side by side with a swathe of metallic golden beet puree sprinkled with the salty, spicy Japanese chili pepper garnish.
Rich petite smoked quail (whose delicious smokey smell still haunts me) accompanied with salty crisped baked kale (a recipe I will soon try to recreate at home - this has to be a healthy chip alternative) and a velvety herbed bread pudding evoking Thanksgiving stuffing.
Housemade cavatelli tossed with salty spicy chorizo, tiny cubes of zucchini and tart green apple, mint, and ample ricotta salata sprinkled across. This was perhaps my favorite dish - I am a sucker for homemade pasta and the Mediterranean-ish combination of salty, sour, and mint made for a complicated yet satisfying flavor profile.
Thick juicy bone-in pork chop accompanied with stewed fall fruits like spiced seckel pear and apples. Although delicious and well done, this dish was my least favorite of the night. Perhaps because it was last and I was absolutely stuffed?
One taster noted that this “luscious,” “melt-in-your-mouth” Belgian butter tasted “just a few steps short of crème fraîche.” This plus a little sea salt, several tasters noted, would be perfection on bread.
Today I prepared my first batch of hard cider. Why? Why not, I ask you? I want to get in to home brewing beer but in the mean time, I am starting with the simple task of brewing hard cider. I ordered a kit online which is really just a bottle, champagne yeast, and a special filter cap. I added to that a gallon of apple cider and sweetened it with maple syrup and turbinado sugar. To create a lighter aroma, I added lemon oil to the cider. I finished following the easy instructions three hours ago and already I see bubbles of carbon dioxide coming through the special filter cap. Ferment on! The total fermenting time is four weeks but I will try to post a few photos of the cider’s progress.