I just had a very enjoyable meal at Journeyman. Part of it was the food, as always, but part of it was that I finally cracked open my copy of the Acme Novelty Library #20, by Chris Ware.
As the first course served, a boy was born. Between each course, he grew and changed. There were happy moments and regrets; marriages and childbirth; contemplation and time passing silently; memories and premonitions. Rusty Brown appeared for about two panels. By dessert, the man who was born on the first page slipped back into the unconsciousness of death. A whole life lived over seven courses.
The food was consistently good; briefly:
Amuse was crab + nasturtium, as it has been for a while now. And I'm glad of that, because the spiciness of the soup continues to pair nicely with the crab.
The Tomato course was similarly excellent to previous iterations, and was visually tip-top today; the heirloom slices had wonderful color patterns and interesting internal structure.
The Zucchini Soup continues to be excellent. This time the pickled rind was cut differently (and maybe was a milder pickle than before) and the count of blueberries had risen from two to four. This gave me more of a chance to appreciate how the blueberries pair with the soup flavor. Everything in this dish works together.
The Cod, which was watery and really not good last time I had it, has become most excellent with the addition of a bit of salt. Also, this version included some sauteed mushrooms that played nicely with the overall flavor profile. I think Tse Wei might have been over-compensating after our pre-meal conversation because this version was just on the edge of too salty. Basically, if you squinted at the comment card enough in my last post to read anything about the cod, well, it's all been revised and the dish is now pretty much just excellent.
The Whipped Egg came in a glass over large hominy, topped with a pepper foam and garnished with chives. This is a most excellent revision of the whipped egg over mushrooms that used to be on the menu. Such a warm and rich dish, and filled with mystery as well (the egg obscures all within it). Fun to eat and good tasting.
I had Carrot with hazelnut at this point in the menu, even though it's generally a third course. This has had great flavor every time, and this time was no exception.
For the main, I had the Steak again, because I hadn't had it in a while. To be honest, I think I prefer the eggplant main very slightly, though the presentation and garnish on the steak is wonderful. (Indeed, both have improved since my last time with the Steak main.)
I skipped the cheese today. It just didn't feel like a cheese-having kind of night.
The Black Locust Sorbet with chokecherry and oxsalis continues to appear as the pallet cleanser, and I continue to love it. The portion keeps getting smaller, which makes me fear that it may not have much longer on the menu.
Dessert was that old friend Roast Peach, paired up with shiso ice cream and a whipped ricotta cream, surrounded by crispy cobbler-crust-y crumbles, and sauced with a sesame and a raspberry sauce.
After dessert the standard collection of bits and bobs appeared. Tomato pate de fruit has returned, though without basil sugar. The caramel is back to a traditional caramel (it's been white chocolate for a while). The macarons are still lacking a bit of the chew I like in the meringue, but I saw a new batch coming out today so I have hopes for the future.
Overall, it was a very pleasurable meal -- artistic and culinary stimulation interleaved.