Skip to main content

Tantalizing Tapas at La Crème

Last night we celebrated Brian's 40th birthday with a surprise party at La Crème in Pacific Grove. Though he suspected something was up - and claims to know that he knew I was lying about it - Pia managed to keep the scale of the bash under wraps. Brian had no idea friends from near and far would be in attendance to celebrate the start of his fourth decade.

Once again, Chef Jon Moser and La Crème owner Tamie Aceves whipped up some culinary magic. Here's what was served...

 Scallop Crudo
An über-fresh scallop was perched atop a poached garnet yam with a dot of lemon salsa and fresh mint. I think I ate half a dozen of these myself!

Tarte Flambée
I wondered why this appetizer was called a flambée since it was obviously not flambéed. So I did some reading. A Tarte Flambée, from the Alsace region in France, is a "pie baked in the flames." Chef Jon's version was smeared with an herb fromage blanc mixed with caramelized onions and topped with applewood smoked bacon. Creamy, salty deliciousness.

Stuffed New Potato
I didn't get to try this but it looked fabulous: a potato filled with braised fennel and roasted pepper.

Blood Orange & Almond Salad
After the passed hors d’œuvres, we sat down and started with this salad - County Line Farms' winter greens tossed with succulent blood orange segments and toasted almonds, dressed with an orange-balsamic vinaigrette.

Grilled California Rock Cod
I thought these were parsnips, but when Chef Jon sent me the menu, I realized that it was actually a puree of celeriac. I loved the sautéed cavolo nero and the drizzle of mixed citrus butter. This might just have been my favorite course. 

Slow Cooked Angus Beef Short Rib
These ribs were so tender we could have eaten them with a spoon! That they were on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes only added to their magic. Oh, and the black pepper infused braising juices didn't hurt either.

Roasted Apple Crostata
By the time these made it out, I was stuffed. Completely stuffed. But that didn't stop me from devouring the entire crostata with a Fiscalini cheddar cheese crust and its side of vanilla bean ice cream.

What a great night! While this was a special dinner and menu, La Crème's Tapas and Wine Bar - which has been open for just over a month -  provided the first three items on our menu. Jake and I will definitely be back there for a date night soon.

Happy birthday, Brian! And thank you, Chef Jon and Tamie, for another amazing evening. La Crème is fully cemented as one of our favorites. 


Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas