Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: March 7, 2009 (Parcel 104)

Posted 8 March, 2009 at 1:30pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

I made some spicy ramen with egg for lunch.

For dinner, Tina and I attended an invitation only dinner at Parcel 104 called "Pastry Chef Goes Savory" featuring the cuisine of Parcel 104's Pastry Chef, Carlos Sanchez. Carlos has been with Parcel 104 for 8 years (ever since he helped open the restaurant) and once a year he prepares an entire dinner. This year's dinner was excellent. (Click here to read about our previous dinner at Parcel 104.)

Breadsticks and dill muffins were brought to our table. One stick was plain/salted, the other was a cheese stick. The dill muffin was soft and fluffy with an incredibly good buttery flavor that worked well with the dill.
Parcel 104 - Bread

The first of six courses was the sonoma foie gras kumquat fruit, sausalito watercress, raisin batard bread. The salty and intense foie gras worked really well with the sweet and sour kumquat. I really liked this appetizer, and it might be one of the best ways I've had foie gras. In this preparation, I was able to adjust (without even thinking about it) the amount of foie, citrus, watercress, and bread to have together so it tastes best to me.
Parcel 104 - Sonoma Foie Gras

alabama prawns maui gold pineapple chutney, curry aïoli
The breaded prawns were cooked just the right amount (I hate eating overcooked shrimp). Pairing it with the pineapple chutney with a (very) mild curry aioli was awesome. The flavors blended together really well. Tina didn't enjoy it as much as I did because she usually doesn't like pairing strong sweet flavors with savory dishes.
Parcel 104 - Alabama Prawns

maine monkfish spring garlic risotto, fine herbs salad
The monkfish was awesome - the edges were cooked until light brown and crusty, but the interior was still soft and tender. When a piece is eaten, the slightly chewy (but flavorful) crust blended with the mild tasting but silky flesh. It matched really well with the risotto, parsley salad, and briney foam.
Parcel 104 - Maine Monkfish

american "kobe" beef papas chorriades, guacamole, yuca frita
The beef was also excellent. Tina said it probably ties with the tenderloin we had at Chez TJ (which she has previously stated was the best beef she's ever had). My piece (which was a little thinner) was cooked a little more (to about medium-rare) than hers and provided a little resistance to the teeth when chewing. I thought it was great until I had a piece of Tina's beef which was cooked rare and tasted like perfection. The flesh was unbelievably soft and fell apart without effort. The beef flavor was stronger on Tina's piece and literally enveloped my mouth in a way the other piece did not. The potatoes, guacamole, and yucca were also perfectly prepared.
Parcel 104 - American “Kobe” Beef

carmody cheese3 bellwether farm cheese, beignet, grilled cheese sandwich
The cheese plate was a lot of fun. I think all three elements were prepared with Carmody, a cow's milk cheese made by Bellwether Farms. My favorite was the grilled cheese sandwich which had crispy (from the bread) and gooey (from the melted cheese) texture and was really flavorful. Tina's favorite was the beignet.
Parcel 104 - Carmody Cheese

colombian flan chantilly cream, coffee flakes
We've had Carlos's flan before. It was excellent before and it was excellent tonight. (I should point out that Tina doesn't usually like flan, but this time and last time she loved it.)
Parcel 104 - Colombian Flan

If you're in the Bay Area and you haven't gone to Parcel 104, I highly recommend you give it a try for dinner. I was just telling Tina how it was too bad that we dined at Parcel 104 only a couple months before we were leaving California. We could have easily eaten many happy meals at Parcel 104.

4 comments to What I Ate: March 7, 2009 (Parcel 104)

Nate, March 9th, 2009 at 8:54 am:

Michael Chu, March 9th, 2009 at 9:41 am:

  • Yes, I saw Carolyn and Akira near the end of the meal when Carlos gave a brief (and sweet) speech. After dessert, I went over to their table and we chatted about Carlos's excellent dinner and my "death march" through some of the Bay Area restaurants before my mid-April departure.

Carolyn Jung, March 9th, 2009 at 10:36 am:

  • Michael: See, I told you that your photos would be lovelier than mine. ;)
    I have yet to master the art of taking photos indoors in dim lighting in restaurants. ;(

    What a grand meal that was, huh? I hope the remaining dinners you have booked in N. California before you head off to Texas are equally stellar.

Michael Chu, March 9th, 2009 at 11:18 am:

  • Thanks Carolyn! I'm really looking forward to Coi this weekend. Check back to see how it went…