One of the only courses that remains a constant at Saison: Brassicas.
Once again we bring you a lovely slideshow from our compadre The Ulterior Epicure (recently unmasked as Kansas City attorney Bonjwing Lee), who spent the last week dining around the Bay Area. He had a great meal at Sons & Daughters, was most impressed with Michelin three-starred Meadowood, had a swell lunch at Cotogna, and today we bring you the amazing sixteen-courser he enjoyed at Saison, at chef Joshua Skenes’s in-kitchen chef’s counter. “Skenes has a unique culinary voice and imagination. It was an exciting meal,” Mr. Lee tells us. “Can’t wait to go back.” He also says that based on this meal, Saison definitely merits two stars from Michelin, and we fully agree — but he should know … this guy’s eaten everywhere. We shall see on October 25!
Sardinian “music paper” with trout roe, bottarga, smoked creme fraiche,
artichoke citronee, hand-foraged flowers, and, dusted with gold leaf.
Also served with the first course,
California white sturgeon caviar, slightly smoked.
Miyagi Oyster Cucumber and pekay. Carrot, Parsnip, Warm Egg Grain of paradise, and radish foam. Radish Nasturtium butter and pig ear terrine. (not pictured)
Bluefin tuna with fat and sinew
roasted over the embers, shallows, and heirloom onions hacked with
scallop shell, topped with tuna cerebral spinal fluid. Shot of tuna bone marrow (at left).
Smoked every two days, finished on the grill with a touch of yuzu.
A Skenes signature, with toasted grains and quail egg.
One of seemingly a dozen poured by sommelier Mark Bright (that’s his hand). Paul Pernot Bourgogne Aligote 2009
Corn pudding, avocado, tomato-basil consomme aspic with eggplant and okra, eggplant, favas, peas, and rehydrated basil seeds.
Wrapped in “sacred pepper leaf,” with onion escabeche, anise hyssop, sea
beans, and sauce of roasted bones with clarified butter. Salmon skin
dusted with squid ink powder.
Dungeness crab, sea urchin roe, lobster quenelle, Meyer lemon cream, and
lobster-cardamom broth. Spot prawn with spot prawn roe salt.
This is another Saison signature dish.
“On the upper deck, 32-day dry-aged pigeons, salted within. On the lower deck, 70-day dry-aged pigeons, unsalted.”
Slowly roasted over embers; buttermilk, quince, citron, butter melon
puree, lovage, and braised celery, with quince braising liquid.
Berber spices, yogurt sauce, herbs. (Heartbreads are glands, like sweetbreads but more delicate, found around a cow’s heart, and are a delicacy in France but rarely seen here.)
A saddle of Japanese Sika deer, slowly braised in oil, served with sunchoke, chestnuts, walnuts, roasted deer bone jus with alium and coffee, quinoa, essence of thyme.
Smoked with cherry wood, with deep-fried cherry leaf, cherry blossom
petals, and salted cherry paste. Served with Pinot Noir rose, with
cured cherry blossoms and cherry blossom salt.
Honey-glazed brioche, honeycomb, gold leaf.
Meyer lemon cream, lemon sorbet, candied lemon.
Sesame, chocolate, and caramel tuiles; caramelized white chocolate mousse, and soy salt.
“A common scene at my table.”