Fall Bouquet – Safari-Style: Be Wild & Creative



I might be late to the table on this visit, but I thought this current (and highly profitable) food-fad wouldn’t hold up under the Smith & Wolensky high steaks and beurre blanc roasted veggies aficionados while the bull runs wild on the “other market” until we tested our milieu on weekend diners. I love them both but I’m an even quicker captive study when we see the exceptional RevShare points exceeding our impromptu test menu for the season. After all, it’s Fall and our regional guests have started to return to our southern climes, expecting a new and somewhat improvised menu setup. This is not your ordinary ham and bean soup, as served in the dining room of the United States Senate. Tradition is good – in its place; we merely follow the “Road Not Taken” (thank you Robert Frost).

Whoever said the taste kitchen lost sight of its textbook schedule to introduce what’s new for the Fall season has actually fallen on their tasting spoons (or worse), when we found the ingenue on this scene had been ready for the camera for some time. Our Fall catering kitchen exhibited a visually enticing menu of charcuterie boards laden with petite portions of the finest cheeses spread across a serving slate tableau to deliver pinch-perfect portions of walnuts, dried cranberries entwined with pomegranate seeds, quartered spiced Kalamatas and blue cheese-stuffed olives hugging Prosciutto Piccolo like a Met Gala entrant. Flat breads serve to collect the juices and tender morsels left behind. The well-rolled presence of thinly sliced and deliberately chosen salty cured meats share the space on an almost crowded presentation (to make sure the guilty fingers catch every succulent smorgasbord ingredient) – and then the passage of a full glass of Prosecco is habitually refilled by an attentive waitstaff. We consider this wine choice as prix sans oblige, a courtesy to our patrons who understand that this presentation is only the beginning of their dining experience with us. We follow up this petite entrée with a basketful of fresh-off-the grill Kobe (Wagyu) beef sliders served from our oversized, house-designed wooden bread bowls (complete with our dining brand seared into the handle). Individual portion dressing toppers fill an array of colorful shot glasses (color-coded based on their heat level). Accessorizing a small tabletop turntable ensemble with dip sauces, capers, scallions, garlic-infused petite Cornichons, Parmesan ribbons, petite mâche, and extra cocktail forks brings out the favoritism award for dining here. Once the sliders have been served up, the pre-ordered wine carafes are set to each individual place setting. This one is all for you.

An alternate seafood order for similar portion-controlled fare, is also available and does not diminish the calibre nor quality of service presentation.

What we emphasize is the quality of our small portions, their immaculate presentation to the diner, and the continuity with either sparkling fine wines or our private wine collection from our monthly vineyard selections. Of course, we take no risk when we can be assured of perfection in small bites and a grateful dining patron who has indicated advance reservations are worthy of the results. The tasting kitchen has successfully promoted “By Special Order” menus via bi-weekly email blasts and emphatic great photographs are a must.

Be prepared for this hearty Fall order to be a smash hit with delectable seasonings and visually exciting presentations. This delivery is for the novice as well as gourmet at heart.