Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Return of the Mike...

So it was Big Mike’s return to Thursday Club duty last week after an absence that he officially attributes to a post-wedding weight loss program. Doesn’t he understand that marriage signifies the time in a man’s life to cancel the Crunch subscription and to only ever eat food-stuffs with a higher fat content than Britney’s ass? He must love his wife or something…weirdo.

The Italian influenced, flesh heavy script for the night was…

Serrano Ham and Taleggio Cheese crepes
Roman Style Onion Soup
Oxtail Ragu over Tagliatelle
Braised Pork in “the black” with Gorgonzola Polenta
Chocolate Macadamia and Hazelnut Tart with Dulce de Leche ice cream

The night’s assault on the belly started with a fantastic amuse bouche of the Serrano Ham and Taleggio Cheese crepes served al fresco (standing up with the window open). Light, fluffy, home made savoury crepes filled with nice salty piggy and fatty Italian semi-soft cheese that served the dual purpose of taking the edge off my perennially hungry state and getting the drinking juices flowing (like they need encouragement).

The soup course was an Italian version of the classic French dish, onion soup. Rich brown in colour and laced with juicy plump onions accompanied by a veritable cruise-liner of a bread floater that I felt I was fighting in a battle of who could soak up the liquid faster. For the record, I won…and then ate my opponent. In your face carb chump. Top soup but I think most sane people call that a full meal.

Not Thursday Club members though so on we moved to the pasta course. Mike’s Oxtail Ragu was super-rich (spot the recurring theme here?) and uber-tender with enough sauce to coat the meat without bathing the pasta. Served on a mound of perfectly al-dente tagliatelle, this was another hearty course that had the table blowing and a few plates may have gone back with food on but that was more a reflection on the sheer volume of food rather than the quality which was, as always, top.

Continuing the meat and carb theme (don’t Italians do veg?), next up was the braised pork with the cheesy polenta. Mike was a bit worried about the pork in the run up to service but he needn’t have been as it was everything you want from a braising…fall-off-the-fork tender and juicier than velour track-suit. Polenta isn’t really my bag but the subtle addition of some pungent gorgonzola really made it work for me and I happily snarfed the lot.

Now this stage of the night is always tough as participants are full of rich food and fine vino yet low on energy but, fortified by a few smokes in the sub-zero temperature, we moved onto dessert. My memory of these events may not be the most reliable memoir but I remember a mound of chocoately goodness laced with golf-ball size macadamias accompanied by a blob of Haagen Dazs’ finest (did you know that Haagen Dazs was founded in the Bronx?).

Things get blurrier after this and I remember a bottle of unidentified Czech herbal booze being magically produced from the freezer and subsequently nailed. Magic Mike then produced a platter of fantastically salty Wisconsin blue cheese with slices of apple from behind someone’s ear and he finished his routine by putting his missus into a trance that nearly cost the life of a big-eared rat.
All-in-all a fantastic return to the fold from the Italian stallion. Cheers Mike…just need to convince you to come over to Manhattan for a night out now.


Teddy said...

The Czech absinthe stuff is called BECHEROVKA, a Prague staple and probably the only reason the Czechs survived the great war.

Adams said...

Meat, Cheese, Starch.....repeat

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