This is How It's Done
by Baby Huey

chbo250604_04.jpgWe interrupt your regularly scheduled amateur recipe, metal review, and porn to bring you this special bulletin.

I felt like doing something different this week, and inspired by Uberchief's review of the Roots concert yesterday, I'm gonna tell you about the best meal I ever had, and a concert I saw that very same weekend.

December, 2005. I had a free plane ticket and heard about a concert in Philadelphia I wanted to see (more on that later). I called my buddy Ace in Cleveland, and he was down too. As I was thinking about the trip and how it wasn't going to cost anything to get there, I decided I wanted to go to Morimoto while I was there. I called my friend Liz in DC and she was in. I made the reservation.

Friday night was the concert -- Children of Bodom headlined, with Trivium offering direct support and Amon Amarth opening. Finland, USA, and Sweden all represented. That's my kinda show. The show was Friday night, and Ace and I went to a little Vietnamese Pho place across the street from the Trocadero theater, where the show was. We saw one of the editors of Bare Words and Bloody Knuckles magazine. We chatted a bit, and left the restaurant, and HOLY SHIT. We went into the restaurant and the theater entrance was bare. 40 minutes later and the line was a block and a half long.

Unfortunately, that line kept us from seeing Amon Amarth's set. They were just finishing up as we got in the door. The labels are really cool about hooking me up with tickets, but they can't quite just get me in the door.

Trivium was up next, and hooboy, they ruled. They played mostly stuff off of Ascendancy, and it was still shocking to me how amazing these guys (who at the time were still just 19 and 20) were. Their technical expertise was amazing and they just had stage presence. They RULED that stage. The coolest part of the entire set was the fact that it happened the day after the first anniversary of Dimebag Darrel Abbot's murder, and Matt and Corey were both playing guitars from Dimebag's personal collection. When they covered "Walk" the entire audience LOST it. The nice thing about the Troc is that there's a balcony for over-21ers where they served beer and you could actually sit and enjoy the show. We did that and watched the pit down below go insane.

When Children of Bodom came on, the first thing I noticed was how glam-rock Alexi, the lead singer and shredder, looked. It was pretty awesome. They actually did a set very representative of their entire discography, which was awesome. I generally don't like when bands stick to their latest release, so they definitely came through there. Some big in-song jams and all the hits (Needled 24/7, Bodom After Midnight, In Your Face, etc) made it a fun show. Not the best I've ever seen but it was a hell of a good time.

The next day Ace felt like shit so just Liz and I went to Morimoto. We both ordered the 9 course omakase menu, along with the accompanying 8 course drink omakase. If you're not familiar, omakase is just a chef's tasting menu. The entire meal was $185 + tax/tip, and it was worth. every. penny.

First Coursemorimoto.JPG

Toro tartare. Toro is a cut of tuna from the belly. It's fatty and rich and delicious. It was chopped fine with wasabi leaves and crispy fried shallots, and served in a light soy broth. It was accompanied by a fresh lychee (a tart Asian fruit)

Drink: Champagne

Second Course
3 pacific oysters on the half shell. Each had their own sauce -- a black pepper vinaigrette, a chili sauce, and a champagne sauce

Drink: Sake-tini

Third Course
An oil-blanched sea scallop in a yuzu-soy broth. "Blanched" is the only word I can use to describe this scallop. It was just barely cooked on the outside, and still cool on the inside. The broth was tart and salty, and was served with slices of plum tomato and matsutake mushrooms.

Drink: White wine

Fourth Course
Thinly sliced Amberjack (a fish kind of like halibut) sashimi over a bed of microgreens and served with a creamy vinaigrette. I never figured out what was in it, but it was fuggin awesome.

Drink: White wine

Fifth Course / Palate Cleanser
Raspberry - wasabi sorbet. Sweet, tart, just a bit of heat. AWESOME.

No drink

Sixth Course
Jerk-spiced, grilled half lobster with steamed baby vegetables and creme fraiche. When a lobster dish is the weak point of a meal, you know how awesome it was. That's not to say it was bad. The whole meal was just that good.

Drink: Light red wine

Seventh Course
Two roasted baby potatoes with a slice of seared foie gras and American Kobe-style beef. Succulent, rich, and hearty, this was a perfect deep, rich dish.

Drink: Hearty, dry red wine

Eighth Course
Sushi Course. It was six pieces of nigiri sushi. Some standard stuff: tuna, salmon, mackerel, and a couple of pieces that I'd never had before, haven't had since, and no longer remember the name of.

Drink: three different sakes from Morimoto's distillery

Ninth Course / Dessert
Rich chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla and white miso ice cream and a shmear of sour apple puree. Sweet, creamy, deep, a little salty, tart ... it was complex and simple at the same time, and very representative of the meal as a whole.

Drink: champagne

There it is. Two hours and $240 later, the best meal I'd ever had. Would I do it again? You bet. Do I recommend you do something similar? Absolutely. Find a fancy restaurant that offers a prix fixe or chef's tasting menu, and do it. They will love you.

I want to know -- what's the best meal YOU ever had, either at home or in a restaurant?

Baby Huey can still taste that scallop. God DAMN it was good.



Two course, Great Northwoods-style.

Just a few mouthfuls of raw, white-tail deer heart, removed immediately after the kill.

Drink: Water, out of a canteen.

Second course: White-tail deer backstrap, removed and cooked to barely rare, over a small fire 10 minutes later right there in the field.

Drink: Water, out of the same canteen.

Best meal I've ever had and ever will have. I only wish someone had been there to share it with me. I had a second backstrap...


Raw meat makes any meal better, Pirate.


For me there's nothing like a couple hot dogs, a bag of peanuts and a few beers at Fenway Park.

-------------- I need to get some sushi...I mean NOW.


Mmmmmm sushi. Gimme anything but the mackeral. Oh, there's one other thing I don't like, I can't remember the name of right now. But I'll eat most anything sushi...when we go out I usually get the chef combo so I'm surprised at what's on my plate.

Now I want sushi for dinner.


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