Introducing my parents to Journeyman
This included visiting the Ryan and Wood Distillery and the Taza Chocolate factory (both of which I highly recommend); watching the July 4 Nathan's hot-dog eating competition (which I highly don't); and dining at Journeyman.
I've written about Journeyman before. We don't go often, but when we do there's a feeling of quiet celebration about it.
We were pretty sure it would be a whole new world to my parents, who don't get a lot of exposure to the latest gastronomic trends. If you want a fantastic Sunday pub lunch, my native turf will oblige, but there's not much call for foams and charcuterie.
Or, for that matter, asparagus ice cream, which tasted exactly as you'd hope.
Next came a salad, everything fresh and crunchy and vivid with just-picked flavor.
My mom said, "It's like when you're a kid and you're wandering through a field, just pulling up things you know will taste good."
Next came a lettuce soup. The Boy and my dad had it with a single tender oyster, finished with tapioca balls:
My mom and I had the alternative, mustardy squares of potato; I because I'm not supposed to eat raw stuff (immuno-compromised as I am) and my mom because even she has limits.
It was good, though I'm convinced the oyster was probably better.
Then the fish course: a very nice piece of mackerel, to which ham had been fused (using what the server called "a protein enzyme," probably transglutaminase. There, go learn something). Whatever, it was delicious.
The blueberries were a surprise, and at first seemed a little random and nouvelle cuisiney. But their sweetness actually worked very well with the ham and the fish.
Next came rabbit two ways: sausage and roularde.
The meat was light and tender; not what we're used to from bunny (which is usually baked into pie).
Then there was cheese; unfortunately I don't have good photos, but I do remember that the Corsican L'Empereur was fabulous and should be sought out.
And then a strawberry sparkler as a sorbet to cleanse the palate:
And on to dessert, which involved black locust flower ice cream. Our server described it as being from a tree with very hard, durable wood, with a flower that blossoms for a short period. (Wikipedia describes the flowers as toxic until cooked and causing anorexia and depression in horses, but thankfully our server left that part out.)
This was definitely a first for all of us.
The ice cream was ... well, woody. "It's like when you're sawing something and you get wood dust in your mouth," said my dad, and he meant it in a good way. And it was good, in a slightly sweet, tree-reminiscent fashion.
Alongside the ice cream was honey cake, a milk-and-honey sauce, something white and fluffy I don't recall (eek!) and delicious toasted marshmallows.
But of course, that wasn't really the end of the meal.
Almond financiers, intensely chocolatey bouche noir brownie squares, salted caramels, strawberry jellies.
Even my mom, an unrepentant member of the Clean Plate Club from childhood rationing days, wasn't able to finish them off.
My parents loved dinner at Journeyman.