Vaping Queen

Per Se 4.0

Hello, my name is Carbunkle Trumpet. I am one of those Food Snobs that you read about who travel the world eating endangered or banned species. Relax Francis…we weren’t eating the banned French Ortolans like they ate on the show Billions. Confession – I may have enjoyed the fuck out of my Fois Gras but was still legal to consume as of the 22nd of December. What makes the last Saturday before Christmas so great? The service, the wine pairings, the food, and the overall experience are top notch but it is the company that sits at the table that makes it so special.

Back story – if you are just stumbling on this blog and the Per Se part of it let me recap for you. Homeless Tim and a group of barristers about 12 years ago started having an annual dinner at Thomas Keller’s 3 Micheline Star restaurant on Columbus Circle named Per Se. Keller also has French Laundry on the west coast and TAK Room here in Hudson Yards but Per Se is considered one of the pillars of gastronomical dining here in New York. When we moved her we got the chance to dine at Le Bernardin with Baby Fine Hair and her mother the first month of living here. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister inquired if we like fine dining. We told them yes and they said they would see if they could extend an invite to us for their Christmas dinner group. We didn’t’ really think much about it as this conversation was going on over drinks in Lower Manhattan and as you can guess…..alcohol was being consumed.

So in December of 2015 we attended our first Per Se Dinner along with Asian Fireman and V.Q. (She gets the full title retired since we didn’t have a repeat this year) and a cast of others. We attended every year except for 2 years back due to a scheduling issue but it wasn’t until this year that I really took stock in the table.

The crux of the Christmas Dinner Cast are; Homeless Tim who is the scheduling /’knows the guy’ to get us the primo table. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister, you may have heard me speak of them before. Then you have the Asian Fireman/Grey Suit guy and his wife V.P.. But let’s not forget Bobcat (another barrister) and her husband the Professor. Then you throw in Geranium and myself and you have a unique dinner experience. Oh we had some dessert guests joining us later but more on that later.

This year we were celebrating not only Christmas but we were celebrating someone who kicked the shit out of cancer. As we were siting there, by the way, this dinner took 6 hours from start to finish. I really enjoyed the conversation and what I call “peeling the onion” with the different cast of characters at the table. I could try to explain but I know I can’t do it justice.

Put it this way; how can you explain the conversation dynamics of the table with someone who is a high School history teacher, a person who has been sober for 25 years and yet still enjoys our conversation while we get loose tonged during the course of the night. There is a couple who have 3 knuckleheads at home, meanwhile the other 3 couples only have 4 legged kids at their homes and don’t know what it means to have kids banging on their heads with a Stage 4 Hangover. And then there is that guy who hates white wine.

Again, I am going to stop and put up some pictures so Iuka Mississippi’s own can shame me for posting food pictures.

I mean we get our own menu for this gig.
Total Menu with the different courses and supplements.
Grey Suit Guy didn’t have any white wines on his list
Oysters and Pearls – If Keller ever takes it off the menu….. Travesty
Egg and Black Truffle Ragu. It is a labor of love to make this dish that you consume in less than 5 minutes.
Per Se’s General Manager, Sandra Schaeuffele, one year brought out the egg topping machine and raw egg for us to try to whack off the top. Bobcat got to do it last year but this year was my time. No pressure at all. By the way that was a great Sherry they were serving me for the next course. Notice the attention to detail that they do while my fumbling ass is about to make scrambled eggs.
I did ok! Carbunkle for the Win! Thanks Sandra for the pre-cut egg!
No lies were being told at the table.
You know what Bill – F you! I am going to have Fois Gras after your silly ban! This was the Fois course but notice the casing for the forced goose liver.
And I wondered why my Sodium was sky high on the following Tuesday.
Entrée Course
You can’t steal them either!
Chocolate Course – I went with the Dark & Stormy They are made in house
But now I know how they can tell what is what.
Pastry Chef Anna Bolz made this for our dinner. English Fruit Cake but all of that on top was edible.
I am always interested in what quote is on “The Pass” in the kitchen.

Like I said, the meal, the wine, the service is over the top but the folks at the table make it all the better. Honestly – I would be ok if Homeless Tim one day called and said that he got our Christmas Dinner at Waffle House. Sure I would be disappointed but knowing the cast of folks at the table and I would be ok with that.

Again, Thank you to Tim, Jess & Dan for the invite.

Ashley B is about to have a $hit Fit

Many Many moons ago one evening Mary Louise, Ashley “The Pride of Iuka” B. and I were having dinner at South of Beale. Long Story short AB brings out the camera and takes a picture of the burger. Needless to say I have always referenced anytime that I take a picture of a plate of food I am about the “AB the shit out of this” blog post. Today’s post is going to one of those. 

This year we were lucky enough to be invited to the 11th annual Christmas dinner at a small little restaurant on Columbus Circle. Homeless Tim, Bobcat, The Professor, Bobcat’s sister and husband, Mr 3 First Names, The Landlord, Asian Fireman, The Vaping Queen, Mary Louise and I assembled at 6:30 to partake in the 11 course meal with a wine pairing. I really should have put a napkin over my head so that God did not see the decadent meal that I enjoyed.

Ok enough with the words, here are my “Pride of Iuka’s” barrage of pictures;

The Amuse Bouche – Salmon Tartare with Creme Fraiche (Not pictured Pimento Cheese Cracker) 
Hen Egg Custard with Black Truffle Ragout 
It was good and I didn’t break the egg shell (trying to lick the inside of it clean) 
Oysters and Pearls – a Thomas Keller Classic
Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Foie Gras
According to Jake the guy who shook me down for stolen silverware – Foie Gras is best with Rock Salt
Rouget 
“There once was a man from” Nantucket Sea Scallops
The Bread and Butter Course (aka fancy Fruit Cake)
Here is Scooter’s offering in the way of butter
Chicken Course
Wait for it…..
Whats up with all the Dirt on the plate there VQ? It was divine and oh so good! 
Venison Course with Parsnip Cream
Some old ass Steak that Mary Louise got
Cheese Course 
Baked Alaska for the 11th Annual Celebration
Dessert Course – Chocolate
Dessert Course – Citrus Cake
The Baked Alaskan
Cappuccino and Donuts 
Went with the Double Espresso
Chocolate Course – I went with the Mint Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cup

Like I said. If you are still with me, I apologize for the Photo Overload. At least I didn’t take pictures of each of the glasses of wine. Then again I was sitting between the VQ and MLG…