TNs -- A Taste of Russia at Le Notre Bistro

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Tran Bronstein
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TNs -- A Taste of Russia at Le Notre Bistro

#1 Post by Tran Bronstein » December 1st, 2018, 9:23 pm

Berserkers,

Board members Jay Shampur, Jeff Wong, yours truly and Jay's good friend Deborah gathered at Le Notre Bistro for a special event entitled "A Taste of Russia." Owner-sommelier Sergeui Kourokhtine who is Russian by birth and was raised in France by a chef mother flew her in to teach his staff how to cook traditional Russian cuisine which they then gave their own upscale French flair. The result was a fantastic night of fine food and some great wine to go with it:
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The evening's menu

DUVAL-LEROY NV BRUT ROSE CHAMPAGNE -- My second and final bottle of this sparkler. Soft bead in the body, a bready nose with hints of strawberry, strawberry and watermelon fruit flavor with a touch of lees and very high lemony acidity. Good starter.
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Duval-Leroy Brut Rosé
LITTORAI 2013 SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR -- Strong sour cherry nose belies a sweet entry with flavors of cream, sour cherry, pencil lead, black raspberries, and some strong tannins still. This is obviously a bit young, but was still quite good.

CELESTINO PECCI 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO -- A difference of opinion at the table as I rather enjoyed this but Jeff felt it wasn't really showing anything and he has a lot more experience drinking Brunello than I do. I found roasted coffee and black currant in the nose and body, some smooth tannins and a nice medium body. Super smooth wine, was great paired with the verinikis.
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Littorai Pinot and Brunello
FERREIRA 10 YEAR OLD WHITE PORTO -- Burnished orange-brown in color. A little heat on the nose. Smooth and sweet caramel rancio flavors with a slight touch of orange peel, but just barely. A bit unexciting in that it was lacking in complexity. Jay was a lot more blunt, calling it boring.

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Bread bowl
And on to the accompanying food. This was especially a treat for me as my late grandmother on my father's side was Romanian and I grew up with both Borscht and varenikis. Our amouse bouche was a pickled herring and foie gras parfait inspired by one of Serguei's personal favorite restaurants, the White Rabbit in Moscow.
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Herring and foie gras amouse bouche
Next was a homemade Borscht soup served with a pair of cabbage and beef pirozhikis on the side. These are essentially the Russian version of turnovers made using bread dough and baked instead of fried.
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Borscht with mushroom and meat pirozhiki
Our second course was potato stuffed verinkis with pickled honey mushrooms and served in a mushroom consommé broth.
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Varenikis in mushroom broth
The mains were served in traditional Russian family style, all coming out at once to be shared together at the table. The first was a shish-kabob of yellowfin tuna loin.
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Tuna Loin
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Tuna loin
Alongside this came some sous vide chicken and beef short rib served with a side of buckwheat kasha each.
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Sous vide chicken and beef short rib
Served on the side was a Georgian salad of torched tomatoes dressed with balsamic, basil, cilantro and pine nuts.
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Georgian tomato salad
Our final dessert course was a pair of dessert cakes: a flourless chocolate "potato" and a Baba au Rhum.
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Dessert cakes
A thank you to Serguei and chef Stephanie and her sous-chef for the fabulous evening. We look forward to our next visit.
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

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Ian Sutton
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Re: TNs -- A Taste of Russia at Le Notre Bistro

#2 Post by Ian Sutton » December 2nd, 2018, 1:38 am

A very interesting food selection - many thanks for posting this. How was the herring and foie gras? In my mind it sounds an incongruous match, but such matches can surprise.
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Tran Bronstein
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Re: TNs -- A Taste of Russia at Le Notre Bistro

#3 Post by Tran Bronstein » December 2nd, 2018, 2:14 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 1:38 am
How was the herring and foie gras? In my mind it sounds an incongruous match, but such matches can surprise.
Very good, actually. The creamy foie gras tamed down the vinegary sweetness of the herring so that the foie gras was actually the dominant flavor and the pickled herring more subtle a flavor.
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

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Mike Grammer
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Re: TNs -- A Taste of Russia at Le Notre Bistro

#4 Post by Mike Grammer » December 4th, 2018, 11:42 am

Good work, Tran and others. Sorry I couldn't attend this one. If you just popped-and-poured the Brunello, I'm not surprised it didn't show too much. Sounds like another good night at one of our favourite haunts.

Mike

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