Wednesday 15 August
This was the day to take Holt's Blue Ribbon Vest out on the town. So after a look-in at the Saul Steinberg show at the Art Museum, we went to Daveed's, which is both trendy and perfectionist about its food.
We started with an amuse-bouche: a spoonful of avocado-citrus salad (grapefruit, lemon, and lime) sprinkled with passionfruit juice and "ginger caviar" - ginger and basil seeds, I gather. There was also a wonderful white bean-zucchini puree served with rosemary bread to mop it up.
For our real appetizers, we had cold grilled shrimp with yuzu, seaweed, sweet chili, and little rolls of purple rice, and nicely-seared Digby Bay sea scallops, perfectly au point, topped with candied lemon peel, napped with yogurt and brown butter, and with a side of slightly pickled fennel. We split a split of Kenwood sparkling wine - appealingly appley, but a bit sweet, and should have been served colder.
The next course included a roast quail that had too many wildly different tastes going on around it: stuffed with an oyster dressing, but sitting on a bed of green curry, with coconut that sort of went with the curry, but shallots that went better with the dressing, and then an inexplicable (and to Holt, unwelcome) puddle of pink chicken liver purée - which Barbara took care of - and a fried quail egg on top. We liked the lamb chop better - succulence itself, it came with some actual fresh porcini that was not less succulent, and the shoestring, coffee, and vanilla potatoes were not bad alongside. We went with the suggested wine for the lamb, a 2004 Château Haut-Guiraud Côtes de Bourg; very tannic, but when our nice server decanted it for us, it opened up and became big, fruity and peppery.
We ended the meal with a clever dessert concept: creamy lemon panna cotta in a clear bing cherry soup with fresh cherries and almonds. Very refreshing, though we could have used a straw as well as a spoon. But that's Daveed's - surprising, and excellent.