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Sidney Street Cafe 10th Anniversary Party

Last night Bob and I spent four and half hours eating dinner. Nope, that isn't a mistake. That's exactly what we did. SSC celebrated its tenth anniversary by having fourteen chefs prepare an eight course meal (not counting the appetizers). We started getting there early. Those of you who know Bob do not find this an amazing fact. However, a good portion of our time was in the bar. We had a seat at the bar and watched expert chefs prepare a raw bar and a charteuterie bar that was delicious both in taste and sight. The home cured ham was being sliced from the leg, including the hoof. Homemade sausages and chutneys were served with a round artisan bread that was sliced and toasted.

At the raw bar, we were given a choice of scallop served with a watermelon vinaigrette, oysters, and a redfish salad.  The scallop was my favorite as the vinaigrette was so refreshing.

Do you see the whole redfish, crab and sea urchin?
We sat at the bar for 90 minutes, grabbing tasty treats and watching the bar tenders do their thing.  All drinks were included in the price.  I had my first dirty martini on the rocks.  It seems to be a new thing in the world of drink.  It is important to note here that each course had its own wine pouring.  Bob loves the wines every bit as much as the food.  Me, not so much.  In fact, at one point I had had enough wine and requested a (Mexican) coke.  It was the perfect cleanser between the rich meals!

We were seated at a table for two, set beautifully with brown tablecloths and cream napkins.  Candles were placed on each table.  Looking across the restaurant, the candlelight sparkled off the glass.  SSC is decorated with streetlights on short, dark wood columns. The streetlamps were lit, casting a soft glow in the room. 

Our first course was raw scallop cured in herbs, with butter, mustard and an elderflower jelly.  The texture of the scallop was creamy.  The scallops were small and were eaten with a bit of butter, mustard and jelly all at the same time.

The elderflower jelly is the pretty,  clear dollop on the plate.  

The oyster course was very good.  The oysters were from the bay (the pan seared on) from the pasture (the fried one) and from the earth, the vegetable that tastes like oysters. Under the oysters is a smear of cauliflower.  The piece that looks like a stick was the vegetable.

The third course is by one of our favorite chefs and was in our top three favorite courses.  A cauliflower base, with lamb jus, lamb crispies (my term!)  lemon brown butter, creme fraiche and an egg placed perfectly on the top.  You break the egg,  where the yolk is perfectly cooked and only slightly runny, and eat all the ingredients together.  Such a great bite!

The next course was the most different.  It was a plate of different grains, tofu and homemade hoisin sauce.  The grains were crunchy, crispy, soft and chewy.  It was a delightful plate.  Something I could see me making at home.

The next course was by Chef Kelly English, another favorite of ours.  He prepared butterfish, shrimp, cornbread cake with potlikker.  Again, in our top three.  

The butterfish holds to its name.  Such a delicious, buttery texture, with large flakes, similar to walleye.  The shrimp was spicy and perfectly cooked, a bit of a bite and then the fresh seafood taste.  The cornbread and collard pudding cake was so good and it absorbed the potlikker and was delish.

The next dish was a pasta dish.  The pasta was made with a little bowl where there was fresh masa.  The ground meat is chicken liver and the whole thing is drenched in a sorghum like I have never had.  It had a smooth taste, similar to maple syrup but with a depth of taste far different than syrup.  Different but very good.

Delicious combination of flavors.  I liked how the sorghum thickened up, grabbed up the bits of chicken liver and became a tasty bite all by itself.

The last savory course was Russian hog with pumpkin and black truffle and then farro, which I was unfamiliar with.  Crunchy like rice krispies.  

The ham was delicious, the traditional salty taste of ham but with the consistency of a pork chop.  The balsamic vinegar and honey mix was a wonderful sauce.  You can see the small beads of farro, and those were crunchy.

The last dish, and appropriately so, was the dessert.  So perfect!  The dessert was freeze dried ice cream which appeared like powder on the plate, with Satsuma orange slices (tiny!) and pistachio nuts, truffles and meringues.  There were two truffles made with chocolate but these truffles are the dark chocolate truffles you've had before.  These were chocolate but seemingly of a gelatin that melted in your mouth. Such fun to eat!  I could eat another one now!

One of the reasons we moved to the St. Louis area was to be close to remarkable and amazing food.  We look forward to more wonderful events and applaud SSC for a wonderful night of food!

Would you like to comment?

  1. What a fun evening! Everything looks so beautiful.... and absolutely delicious :o)


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