Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the sweetbread barrier has been breached

I never got to properly post about our spectacular dinner at mason's last week because of stupid blogger, and now the time has kind of passed, but I'd like to say thanks a bunch to our friends that work there for the special treatment which made us feel like VIPs and also to mention that I finally got sweetbreads and they were the bomb! They were not gross at all, even though I was fully aware that they were a thymus gland or pancreas. The texture was the best part, slightly mealy (in a good way) and soft on the inside and pleasantly crispy on the outside, served with a sweet sauce and morel mushrooms. The duck was unbelievable. It was two cuts, a succelent roasted breast and a crispy leg confit, which tasted and had a texture just like carnitas! My arctic char came on a bed of mushroom oyster risotto. The tiny bits of oysters had such a strong flavor that it was like tiny oyster bombs were going off in your mouth. Everything was so good! My only complaint is that five or six of the dishes on the menu contained applewood smoked bacon. That is too much! I think of bacon as a cheat that lazy chefs sometimes overuse. I'm guilty of this myself (hello, bacon fat cookies?) but I am not a chef. We also got a bottle of chenin blanc from Ehrhart Estates in Clarksburg and this is the new variety of wine that I am in love with. The Bogle one is really good too.

Speaking of wine (and do I ever speak or anything else?), 58 degrees and holding is having a sauvignon blanc tasting tomorrow from 5-7 for ten bucks. That might be a good excuse for me to try it out.

And most importantly-congratulations to Michele on taking her wine mastery test in NY!!! I know you will pass with flying colors.

28 comments:

Smitty said...

I asked my sister if she was working the wine tasting, but it's going to her co-worker that sells to 59 Degrees.

She said on Wednesday and on Friday at BevMo they're doing a Canadian beer tasting where the beers are brewed Belgium style. Those are from 4-7pm.

She also told me to get off my ass and walk down to Longs at 17th & K to buy beer. The beer guy there is friendly and buys neat stuff. I'll go there before the SRD meeting and bring some beers.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the wine tip, my mom and i really enjoyed the chenin. my mom described mason's as a food museum! i got the beet salad and the sea bass and i'm still on like a crazy food high from how good it all was. moms got the trout and she said it was one of the best diners she ever had.

~homzee

Anonymous said...

Can two people get out of Mason's for 50 bones including wine? I owe somebody dinner.

I don't think $50 would be enough at Mulvaney's, right?

gbomb

beckler said...

gbomb-
mason's and mulvaneys have very similar prices. 50 would be stretching it for either. i know, that's lame. at both places the entrees run in the 20-30 range

homzee-i'm so glad you liked that wine! try the bogle one if you can find it. it should be under 10 bucks but safeway doesn't carry it. maybe you can come when i go back to bogle this summer for the release of their moscato d'asti.

Anonymous said...

More like $80-$90 bucks at Mulvaney's
Lucca might be more in the $50 range but it isn't that great.

Anonymous said...

What about Firefly? Is that good?
gbomb

beckler said...

nah, not good enough. fuck, folks where can she get her best 50 dollar dinner? my mind's a blank for some reason. i'd say it would have to be a place with entrees in the 10-12 range. has anyone been to milazzo lately? i used to go but now i don't anymore.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Michaelangelo's. It's not the best, but it's pleasant. Or what about that place on J st. where Shakey's used to be?

Brew

beckler said...

Besides the salt problem, Luccas is quite a pleasant place to have dinner. The food is just not that consistent.

Ally said...

33rd street bistro?
La Tratoria Bohemia?

beckler said...

Both excellent suggestions. I especially find 33rd street bistro to have consistently excellent food.

Lisa D said...

Sorry friends but 50 dollars spent at Mason's is a way better value than spending it at Mulvaney's. They blow B&L out of the water. The menu contains much more rare items of food like fresh garbanzo beans (ever had one of these?), spotted prawns, house made pickled ramps, barracuda, fiddle head ferns and a trio of foie gras. Also the cooking crew is much more qualified. Don't get me wrong, I like Mulvaney's, but perhaps it should be compared to Paragary's which is a bit more pedestrian.

beckler said...

That's kinda immaterial because 50 bucks won't go far enough at either place. Gbomb wants to take her friend out for 50, total. What are they supposed to do, order an entree apiece and tap water? That would still probably be more than 50 with tip.

I don't want to start a mulvaney's vs. mason's contest, especially because I know people who work at both. There's room in the Sac dining scene for both, and I enjoy the casual and cozy atmosphere at Mulvaneys more than the upscale ambiance of Masons. I feel underdressed at Masons (cuz I am), so I liked the way Mulvaneys is similar to the Waterboy in that I feel comfortable there and not like I should be wearing a business suit or spangly halter top. Mulvaneys has a quirky wine list that I like, and Masons has a good wine list, too. It doesn't have to be one or the other, and in gbombs case it will probably be neither.

katymonster said...

i agree with Alisha. and i think, if you go for the sangria, you can easily walk from Aioli for that price. request the patio and you'll still impress your friend.

beckler said...

Another good suggestion! I've been there before and just gotten salad and a glass of wine and been satisfied. Add a small plate or two to that and it should still be under 50. Their salads are really good!

alice said...

i second aioli. the paeyella (totally blanking on the spelling of that word) is amazingly good. the desserts are excellent. you'll walk away under $50 if you play it right. oh, the tapas are pretty filling too so you could easily dine off those as your entree.

Ally said...

except be careful at Aioli. The dishes are very small and they add up. The vegie paella that you ordered with Alice cost $21. That is just the one dish....

Anonymous said...

I like Michaelangelo's but Leon and I go there for appetizers and drop $50-$60 pretty easy.

What about Takas for under $50?
Niki

Anonymous said...

Those are great suggestions. Thanks, everyone.

gbomb

Anonymous said...

Oh and I found Aoli to be a bit more expensive. I had dinner there with Leon and we had 2-3 small plates, veggie paella, a pitcher of sangria and dessert. I remember the bill being over $50, maybe closer to $70. Though, that is a lot of food.

Niki

Lisa D! said...

I guess it’s just a difference of feelings. I feel that it’s more of a need to dress up going to the Waterboy more than going to Masons (even before I’ve been employee there). Even so, my comment was more of a technical one than comment about rustic atmosphere. As a food connoisseur, I feel my comments were more directed to the food itself. People were asking for opinions right?

Anonymous said...

I think sangria is one of the biggest ripoffs at restaurants. It's good and all, but I make a version using Gallo sangria and it tastes JUST like the sangria at Tapa. I'm convinced that most restaurants use cheap wine sangria, fancy it up with fruit & charge $20-$25.

miller

beckler said...

i second that, sangria and margaritas are two of the biggest ripoffs around.

Anonymous said...

They're the orange juice of dinner.

miller

katymonster said...

oh, it's a total rip off!

but, gd, i love my sangria. and for me, it's worth the extra cash to sit on the Aioli patio and drink it in good company.

beckler said...

the trick is to just order a bottled water and bring your own flask of sangria. and a foil-lined purse filled with bologna and cheese.

katymonster said...

the buffet purse!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with Niki on this one. Takas for 2 is perfect. 3 large rolls, 2 kinds of Nigiri, 1 large Kirin, 2 large hot sakes and a good 18% tip comes to about 48 bucks.

Or you could take him to Cookies 3 times.

charvey