5th Course: Watercress
A bundle of wattercress wrapped in tart white anchovy filets sat on a Maytag blue cheese panna cotta. There was a mandarin orange section and crumbles of Maytag blue cheese.
Notes: When I saw this salad offered on the a la carte menu, I promptly asked the server if I could have this instead of the Hot and Sour Soup on our tasting menu. Happily, the kitchen obliged.
I was not disappointed. This salad featured some of my favorite things all together - vinegary Spanish white anchovy, peppery watercress and pungent blue cheese. Usually, a tart or sour element is added to a dish to help cut through fat - like lemon in butter. But, here, in a stroke of genius, the chefs sued the creaminess and cool blue cheese crumbles and panna cotta to help offset the vinegar-sour anchovy, sweet citrus and peppery and crisp cress.
Grassy-tasting little parsely buds garnished the plate along some powdered orange zest, which added a floral and clean element to the feature bold flavors.