Hello Moto Part 1, The Overall Experience
Hello Moto Part 2, The Food - You're reading it!
Hello Moto Part 3, The Wine
When we arrived at Moto, instead of being handed a menu of what we had to look forward to, we were handed a tasting. Literally, they told us, we were about to "Taste our Tasting Menu." It was just one very small bite that was somehow inspired by the dish it represented.
Included: 9 little bites, each foreshadowing meals to come.
The first real course was called "LOVE PINCH." The dish consisted of some aerated butter, spices and micro greens, lobster claw and pincher. Lobster is typically a very rich, buttery flavored meat, so the aerated butter underneath it brought this flavor out even more. The lobster pieces were tender and perfectly chewy.
The second course was called "ALLIUM 2.0." I was excited from the mention of the name, because the name Allium is special to me (I've been writing a Young Adult book for a year and Allium is a character's name, hint hint). The dish did not disappoint. It consisted of many onion flavors - including the Allium plant, an onion chip, and even onion ice cream - as well as some delicious meat in the center, which I believe was rabbit sausage, but I could be wrong.
I am a huge onion fan, so this dish really hit at my 'sweet' spot, as far as flavor profiles go. It also had an interesting mixture of not only textures but also temperatures, from the warm Allium root to the cold onion ice cream.
The third course was called "RIVER," and it was a delicious and creative three-part course. They came to our table with a long, rectangular glass container that looked to be filled with smoke. Inside the container were bite size pieces of fish that were sitting on rocks (smoked sturgeon, salmon, and trout). The container was covered in some kind of plastic wrap, to keep the smoke in, and they left it like that on our table for a few minutes.
Finally, the server returned and removed the plastic wrap, explaining that they had smoked our fish pieces table-side.
They also brought some Iranian Caviar on ice. I was pretty excited about this, because I enjoy caviar as a way to compliment savory dishes.
They also brought us each a plate covered in a miniature "everything" bagel crisp with cream cheese, a miniature house-made saltine, and a chive and potato flavored macaroon. The idea was that you combine one bagel/crisp/macaroon with one piece of fish (there were 3 pieces for each of us) and top it off with a bit of caviar.
This one was my favorite - the bagel crip, a bit of cream cheese, the light colored fish that tasted the most smokey, and caviar. The macaroon was also sinfully delicious (and the texture was just perfectly moist), but I think I enjoyed the fish I paired with the bagel more than the fish I paired with my macaroon.
By the time we finished this course, we were pretty darn happy. Some good food in our bellies, and a wine pairing by Moto's Sommelier, to boot - more on that tomorrow, though, because it deserves its own post.
The fourth course was called "DUCK A L'ORANGE." It featured an aromatic element, which I loved. We were each given what looked like a large jar (it reminded me of a terrarium), with a wooden top.
First, here's a peek at what's inside the jar. The minute our server took the top off, I was greeted with warm, spicy aromas that combined citrus smells with garlic and sage. But, it wasn't just for smelling - the clementine was hollowed out, and the Duck a l'Orange sauce was inside. We picked it up and poured it over the food that was on the wooden plank that had been used to top off the jar.
Here's the top of the jar, before I poured the sauce on top. It features small, very tender bites of duck, some delicious white sauce (I think it's a puree of some kind of vegetable, but I can't remember), a small, soft carrot, and a potato and thyme cylinder.
The fifth course was called "OAK TREE," and it was also a course that had an aromatic feature. The server brought out a very large piece of Oak wood, topped with pine cones and large cinnamon sticks.
Using a torch, he fired the wood, cinnamon, and pine cones for about 60 seconds. This became an aromatic experience, I kid you not. I was suddenly having flashbacks to sitting in the sauna my Uncle Brian built for my Grandma and Grandpa in Wisconsin. The hot, warm smell was perfect.
This was accompanied by a few delicious meat bites. I can't for the life of me remember exactly what it was... but I believe the very dark meat was Wild Boar, and it was so tender and juicy and delicious. To its left is Pork Belly, and to the left of that is some kind of pig topped with a house made onion ring.
The sixth course was called "BEEF AND CAULIFLOWER." It contained three very tender bits of meat with a savory sauce, broccoli and cauliflower puree, and a cauliflower chip in the center. The chip was delicious, though very salty. The meat was also very good, and I enjoyed dipping it in the broccoli puree.
The seventh course was called "MENAGE A FOIE." It was a three part tour of Foie Gras, hence its name. It included a foie gras mousse, which was stuffed with some delicious dark berry jam, and sat atop a house made ritz cracker. This was, by far, my favorite part of this dish (it's the piece on the right). It was like eating a rich ham, cheese, and berry sandwich - I know that doesn't do it justice, but that's how it tasted. The combination of textures, between mousse, jam, and cracker - was incredible. The rest of this dish, however, I could take or leave. Foie Gras has to be delicious for me to stomach it, because the concept of it is just so darn gross, so only that first piece was really worth it for me.
The eighth course was called "GREMOLATA." There was a house made lemon crisp on top. On bottom was some kind of lemon cream with an herb affect to it. Toasted pine nuts... delish.
That said, the ninth course was my favorite when it comes to desserts. It was called "RED VELVET," but I think they should have called it "Explosion of Goodness." It was a chocolate heart with dried, crispy Passion Fruit, some cream, and some delicious red velvet balls. When you cut into those red balls with your fork, they popped, and delicious red velvet flavors slowly trickled out. It was utterly delicious.
And I should mention that my fiance also loved it. He inhaled his plate within what seemed like 30 seconds. Seriously, it was like he was done before I was even finished taking pictures.
All in all, it was an absolutely delicious meal. My favorites, if I was forced to choose, were LOVE PINCH, RIVER, and RED VELVET.
I can't wait to share the wine with you!
P.S. Looking for my Yelp review? Find it here (and then follow me!).