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Old 11-14-2009, 01:38 PM   #1
ehagerty
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Victoria & Albert - Dining Scheherazade Night #4 - "Table for One" - 17 OCT 09

I cannot believe how busy I have been since returning from my serendipitous getaway in October. As it is, I am supposed to be packing for a week away in London (UK, not Ontario, or Ohio - as my brother thought), with business clothes I haven't worn in 3 years (what size was I then???). But I want to let you know that - I have PICTURES - and even more importantly, I have detailed notes from my server JACK and the kitchen to accompany them.

With a little luck, I will get SOME pictures posted during my work evenings - unless I am required to eat, drink and be social with the London team (probably - poor me, eh?)
For those who may not already be aware, there are other nights to this story..
Night #1 - Victoria & Alberts - Picture Trip Report (January, 2009)
Night #2 - Victoria & Albert - A Once-in-a-Decade Dinner, for the second time in 2009 (May, 2009)
Night #3 - Victoria & Albert - My Dining Scheherazade (September, 2009)
Night #4 - Victoria & Albert - Dining Scheherazade Night #4 - "Table for One" (October, 2009)- THIS REPORT
Night #5 - Victoria & Albert - Dining Scheherazade Night #5 - "Table for One - Again" 23 FEB 10 (February, 2010)
Night #6 - Victoria & Albert - Dining Scheherazade Night #6&7 - "I could die happy, and I am only 20" (May, 2010) (February, 2010)

Table of Contents for THIS report:

Introduction - Post #1 - 14 NOV 09
Table for One - Post #6 - 16 NOV 09
Amuse Bouche - Post #10 - 17 NOV 09
Cold Appetizer, Buffalo - Post #20 - added 21 NOV 09
Fish - Post #32 - added 26 NOV 09
Lagniappe - Extra Course - Post #33 - added 26 NOV 09
Herb Bread and Butter - Post #37 - added 27 NOV 09
Scott Hunnel's Study in Duck - Post #43 - added 02 DEC 09
Lamb & Beans - Post #47 - added 06 DEC 09
Cheese - Post #48 - added 06 DEC 09
Dessert - Post #49 - added 08 DEC 09
Kitchen Visit - Post #51 - added 08 DEC 09
Final Thoughts - Post #52 - added 08 DEC 09



Here is a picture of Jack and Sherry - a most excellent serving team, among all very good serving teams. More on them later (after all, my excuse for signing on was to print my boarding pass!!)


Jack and Sherry - a wonderful serving team - and happily married, too!!







Jack actually graduated from CIA (Culinary Institute of America - around the same year as Bourdain) and can explain dishes in amazing detail. That kind of information and ability to explain what Chef Scott intends with each bite is makes for a very interesting dining experience!!



Stay Tuned (I mean "subscribe"!)

.
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Last edited by ehagerty; 08-08-2010 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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Tuned in..
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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Just read through your first three reviews. I'm hoping to eat here for our trip next year (DH and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary). The only meal I've had that seems close was eating at aquavit in New York about 8 years ago. It was probably the best meal I've ever had. Looking forward to having competition in that memory department!
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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Ok, first I thought this was a new report, than I got confused and thought that this was the fourth post of your September report, but now I finally realized that this is the first post of your October report. You got to eat at V&A twice in two months!! I am really looking forward to this!
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Last edited by Flossbolna; 11-15-2009 at 02:46 PM. Reason: being confused
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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Although Jack and Sherry aren't our usual servers when we dine at V&A, they are AWESOME (and cool to hang out with). Glad you enjoyed your evening with them.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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Table for One - literally

Racing the clock in my hotel room (where daily internet charge for hotel is roughly $30/day - or $12/hr - I bought one hour to Skype with DH - and I will quickly post this during the remaining 6 minutes. I used the 8 hour flight to prepare some of it in word..
--------------------------------------




Ruminations on dining alone

Dining alone at V&A is wonderful – not as synergistic as dining with others who are enjoying it as well, but infinitely better than the alternatives:
o NOT dining at V&A at all
o Dining alone ANYWHERE ELSE

Here’s some recent “history” for the younger crowd…
...When I first started traveling for work (1985) it was still considered somewhere between “odd” and “inappropriate” for women to dine alone in a restaurant. I was often the only single diner, and when other single diners were present, I was almost always the only single female. Most women still ordered from room service or fast food to avoid the “stigma” (perception of “easy mark”, “notorious undertippers,” "friendless" etc) of dining alone. I attribute my willingness / comfort to the fact that I had worked in restaurants (and grocery stores) and felt “at home” in them. Hard to believe 20 years later…..

I have also learned since than, that dining alone has its merits
o you can concentrate on what you are eating
o you can eat at your own pace
o extra attention - restaurants staff will typically spend more time talking to you (you get to learn things) to provide some friendly socialization to enhance your solo-dining experience, as opposed to thinking interaction might be an intrusion into the specific dining context of your meal (not all diners like to be entertained / interrupted… I know – I had many regular customers – some wanted limited interaction and speedy services, some wanted entertainment - I had an extensive joke list, rendered redundant by the internet - and a leisurely meal…)

Summary
o If you don’t like to be alone, dining alone probably won’t be your thing either
o If you like to be alone (which doesn’t exclude also liking company), you are probably already doing this
o If you are on the fence, try it



Menu






I’ve been asked in previous threads whether the pictures represented the “standard” (non-chef’s table) menu. My response was that I wasn’t really paying attention (lost in the moment). I made it a point to pay attention this time – this IS the regular, main dining room menu / dinner.


Just sitting back and enjoying the view…





Will respond to comments and provide next chapter as soon as possible.
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Last edited by ehagerty; 11-21-2009 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Hi Elllen! Looking forward to your review as always ... you take the most gorgeous pictures of food I've ever seen.

We had Jack & Sherry the following evening when we all dined at V&A ... they remembered you!
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:36 AM   #8
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Coincidence? I think not!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi View Post
Hi Elllen! Looking forward to your review as always ... you take the most gorgeous pictures of food I've ever seen.

We had Jack & Sherry the following evening when we all dined at V&A ... they remembered you!
Actually, after speaking with Israel about your love affair with food on the 17th, he instructed the staff to make sure you had Jack and Sherry as well, on the 18th. I also reminded him that you wanted to try the Early Grey whiskey - but I don't recall if he had been able to restock it.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:42 AM   #9
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Various

Quote:
Originally Posted by Symans3honeybees View Post
Tuned in..
Thanks for joining.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarak View Post
Just read through your first three reviews. I'm hoping to eat here for our trip next year (DH and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary). The only meal I've had that seems close was eating at aquavit in New York about 8 years ago. It was probably the best meal I've ever had. Looking forward to having competition in that memory department!
We look forward to your review!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Ok, first I thought this was a new report, than I got confused and thought that this was the fourth post of your September report, but now I finally realized that this is the first post of your October report. You got to eat at V&A twice in two months!! I am really looking forward to this!
It doesn't get more self-indulgent, does it!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gobbles! View Post
Although Jack and Sherry aren't our usual servers when we dine at V&A, they are AWESOME (and cool to hang out with). Glad you enjoyed your evening with them.
Where do you hang out with them? Are you a local? CM?
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:14 AM   #10
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Amuse Bouche

I decided to try to take notes this time. In fact, I have many – but gave up shortly after this point, because there are just so many finesse points to document – ingredients, source, preparation, presentation, etc. Jack graciously offered to supply notes – I graciously accepted




--------------------------------------------------------
Jack's Notes:

AMUSE BOUCHE; "A quartet of autumnal Amuse Bouches. Beginning in the bottom right quadrant (the component I'm most excited about: Alaskan Spot Prawns, grilled in shell /w it's natural roe, simply brushed w/ evoo. To its left, pan seared octopus over balsamic marinated, grilled Florida. melon. Above that, I call it "Scott's Smoked Salmon Shooter" (although, chef is NOT amused!) Starts w/ a celery root puree, marinated heirloom tomatoes, Scottish smoked salmon , then he hits it w/ a little chive oil, garnishing w/ curly-cress. Lastly, Scott’s Smoked Salmon Flan is a savory custard prepared w/ locally produced eggs (literally, less than a mile as the crow fly's from mine & Sherry's house in Ocoee)
-------------------------------------------------------

Wine Pairing: Pommery Royale Brut NV


I apologize in advance for the lack of commentary on the wine pairings. I do not have an educated palette - I know what tastes good, but I cannot tell you why. Let's just say, "It was all good."




The "Big Picture"






Eggshell & Cup






Cup




My notes indicate that this was my favorite - so good it was like an amuse bouche dessert.....



Octopus






Shrimp with roe




BTW - this shot was taken with a Canon D10 (a point and shoot designed for underwater use - which, as it turns out, is also very good under pretty much any conditions). Just wanted to make sure people know you don't have to have a fancy camera to get good pictures.





Eggshell




What you cannot tell by looking at an eggshell - the contents were light, fluffy, buttery; nothing fishy. The eggshells are sterilized before use (for those who think about such things.)

Here are my "Pauline Kael" notes for this course:
Once again, there were four items on the plate. Each item was comprised of multiple ingredients perfectly pairing and offsetting any one other. I really enjoyed taking small bites in different sequences to see how one followed the other. They were so delectable, it was almost illicit - each time I took a nibble of one, I felt I was cheating on the other 3 (not that I am the cheating sort, just saying...). I definitely didn't want this mini-scheherazade to end....


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Last edited by ehagerty; 11-21-2009 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:02 PM   #12
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I enjoy dining alone, but I do have to admit that it was intimidating at first. Once again, I can't wait to read about the rest of your experience.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:09 PM   #13
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I can't believe you're going to do this to me again. Drooling already.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:41 PM   #14
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We used to be locals but now live a bit too far away, but still make it to WDW 3 times a year. We went to a Tables in Wonderland dinner that they went to and ended up staying afterwards with them for drinks. We are looking forward to our upcoming V&A's visit in January to say hello. LOVE all of your pictures from V&A's. Looking forward to the rest of your review.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:37 PM   #15
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i can't believe you're going to do this to me again. Drooling already.
ditto!!!
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