Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Paul of Sacramento Epicureans set up a dinner for the group at The Kitchen on Friday evening. We arrived at 7 just as the doors opened. I don't know how many of us there were from the Epicurean group but my group of 4 were seated at the counter, so we had a great view of the whole show. It really is a show, Chef Noah Zonca is very out going and funny. He reminded me of Emeril Lagasse, that type of personality.

After we were seated we ordered a half bottle of the Rodherer sparking wine, just the right amount for the 4 of us to get started. 3 of us also opted for the wine pairing. We were invited to chat with the chefs, check out the kitchen, have drinks on the patio if you were so inclined and generally just make yourself at home.

At around 7:30 we all returned to our seats and Chef Noah gave us a presentation of the selection of ingredients and preparation of the dishes. We were invited to have as many helpings of each dish as we wanted. We were encouraged to ask questions, look at the ingredients, help cook, sample the decorations on the counter(those little tomatoes were delicious), what ever struck your fancy. While Chef Noah was presenting this the wait staff passed out little bowls of truffle oil drizzled popcorn. It went especially well with our sparkling wine. They also passed out baskets of the best bread. The baguettes are from the Grateful Bread Co. They get it partially baked then brush it with butter, garlic and thyme before the final baking.

The opening dish was: Blistered Burrata stuffed tomatoes (heirloom),Nicoise Olive Pesto,Soft Shell Crab Legs, on fresh Yellow and Red Tomato Soup. The soup was simply chopped tomatoes marinated in olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper for 4hrs and put through a food mill.. so simple and so delicious. Wine pairing: CrauforD Sauvignon Blanc.

Second Plate: Roasted Chantrelle Mushrooms and Rabbit Confit w/Blue Heirloom Potato (tiny blue potatoes) Caramel-Vanilla Flan, Argentine Sardo Broth and Thyme. Wine pairing: Broadley Pinot Noir.
I wasn't sure about the Flan but it was so delicious with the mushrooms and rabbit. The sweet with the savory was a perfect combination.

Intermission: We all moved out to the patio where they had tables loaded with huge platters of Japanese Hamachi, Wild Salmon, Yellow- Fin Tuna, French Balones Oysters from Canada on the half shell(a little larger than the Kumamoto Oyster), Battered and Fried Soft Shell Crab,Seared Diver Scallops, Spicy Tuna Roll, and Tempura Vegetables. I don't know what the Wasabi sauce with the sashimi was but it was really good, there was also plain wasabi. My scribbled notes say something about Ponzu sauce and a soy wrap w/ vanilla bean. I think the scallops were seared in Ponzu and the soy wrap was for the spicy tuna roll.. what ever they were for, everything was so fresh and delicious. I would have been perfectly happy with just this course. Who knew Tempura vegetables could taste so good! Wine pairing: Walter Hansel Chardonay.

After all this we were ushered back to our seats for the main courses. Whew!
Are Ya full yet?

Fish Course:Pan Seared Wild Salmon, Maine Lobster Bolognaise and Black Pepper Ravioli of Wood Scented Leeks,, Marscarpone and Rock Shrimp with Vodka-Lemon Stock. Wine pairing: Lamborn Zinfandel.
Meat Course: Crisped Duck Enchilada and Wild Boar Rack with Cabernet Braised Treviso,Prosciutto,and Smoked Chili Consomme. Wine pairing: Ojai Vineyard Late Harvest Viognier.

Tea, Coffee and Desert~
Warmed Apple-Walnut Tart Tatin with Bittersweet Fudge Sauce, Raspberry Peppermint Compote and Coco Nib Ice Cream.. I loved the ice cream and I'm not a big ice cream fan. This whole desert like everything else was fantastic.

By this point I don't think any of us were capable of even thinking, we were so over whelmed with the amazing food, the performance put on by Chef Noah, and the wine certainly.

The whole experience was over the top wonderful. Food was again amazing.. I have no words for how good it was. It all sounds complicated with so many ingredients but actually it was beautiful and simple to show case the main ingredient and everything harmonized wonderfully.
Presentation of course was simple and beautiful.

There wasn't as much actual cooking done as in the past. When Randall Selland ran the show he did most of the cooking right up front. Now most of it is done in the back with a few items prepared in the demonstration kitchen. Mostly it is a presentation of the food items and explanation of preparation. Of course I could have been too busy eating and missed some of the cooking part. No matter, it was quite entertaining.
I know The Kitchen is relatively expensive but I think every one should go there at least once just for the experience. It is interactive, comfortable, classy , delicious and totally fun. You certainly won't walk (or roll) out of there thinking you didn't get your moneys worth.
When we left it had started to rain so the wait staff all had umbrellas to escort us to our cars! How classy is that.
Again.. AMAZING!!

The Kitchen
2225 Hurley Wy
916 568-7171 for reservations
miscellaneous pictures:


What is Curry? said...

I have been hearing abt it, I should make it there..

Anonymous said...

Wow! Nice review Eileen, and great pics!!

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