Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Power of Cheese

Hey it's B.  So this past weekend I proposed to JM at The Inn at Little Washington (if you read her last post that's probably pretty obvious) and while at The Inn we had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderfully prepared dinner.  They have a fantastic menu, but there was one item that specifically caught my eye and had me at hello.  Who'd have thunk  it…you go to one of the most prestigious restaurants in the area and right there under the second course listings was Mac & Cheese.  Could have ordered the chilled petals of veal tongue ravigote with fresh horseradish or perhaps the pecan crusted soft shell crab tempura with Italian mustard fruit and marinated cabbage slaw, but nope, I'm going Mac & Cheese; and that has made all the difference.

Have you ever taken a bite of something and had a physical reaction (and I'm not talking about the bad kind where you get stuffed with a breathing tube and have to be rushed to the hospital)?  I'm talking about the kind of reaction Elaine had when she tasted the Soup Nazi's soup and says "Oh God, I gotta sit down".  Well this was kind of my reaction, except luckily I was already seated.

The component of the dish that was like a karate kick to my pallet was the thin sliver of finely-aged parmesan cheese placed vertically on the plate.  For my first bite, I neglected to break off a piece of the parmesan cheese and combine it with the cheesy noodles and summer truffle bits, and therefore, my initial thought was that it was good, but I didn't feel overly impressed.  The second bite, however, was a whole new ballgame.   This time I included some of the parmesan and was absolutely blown away.  I'm pretty sure my tongue took a break from the festivities so that it could go write me a thank you letter.  It…was…incredible.  There were a couple seconds where I went to speak and had to stop to gain my composure.  Unfortunately for me, this got JM's attention and I then was forced to begrudgingly share some of my plate with her (I had to; we had just gotten engaged!).

It made me think, is there some element of every dish that might give a recipe that "makes your knees buckle" taste.  I've been telling JM for years that all you have to do to make anything better is add cheese and bacon to it (they even make vegetables taste good!).  Maybe after this past weekend, she'll heed my words more seriously.  Of course now that we're engaged and soon to be married, she'll probably just start tuning my words out completely. 

Thanks for reading everybody.

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