Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Sake Education at Dd33

Last weekend we met friends for dinner at Dd33 in the Far West End. The snow thwarted our first attempt to try this Asian Bistro.

My husband and I arrived early. We decided to have a cocktail at the bar - a mojito for him (exactly what a mojito should be - limey, minty, rummy); a green tea martini for me - Ketel One, sake, green tea syrup (very refreshing, very unusual).

We watched Joe our bartender mix a few cosmos for the girls-night-out group at the end of the bar. When he had a free moment, we asked him about sake. Dd33's menu featured several different bottles. We had never tried it and didn't know what to expect. Joe, and Al (who turned out to be our waiter for the evening), informed us that sake did not need to be consumed warm or hot - this serving method could hide impurities of the beverage. And then Joe did something that put him on the A-list for bartenders: he served us a sample of Wandering Poet. And Joe was smart, too. This sake was very mild with melon and banana undertones. Wandering Poet would be a fantastic summer time aperitif.

Our friends joined us at the bar. When we raved about the sake, they ordered a flight to sample (and generously shared!).

Rihaku “Dreamy Clouds”

Rihaku “Wandering Poet”  crisp and clean, with notes of banana, melon, and herbs

Mukune “Root of Innocence”  soft and crisp, with white pepper, cedar, clean finish

All three were different, but tasty in their fruity or woodsy way. None were harsh. And a big shout out of thanks for educating us!

We made our way to our dining table for the evening. I liked the Asian-influenced decor; colorful, yet clean lines.

As we perused the menu, the sake receded and we ordered wine - A Merryvale Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon ‘05, Napa and a Monmousseau Vouvray '07, France. Both were great and added contrast to the food.

For starters we shared:
  • Grilled duck quesadilla with roasted squash, aged cheddar, spiced hoisin
  • Crisp calamari with ginger-citrus aioli, smoked sea salt, thai sweet chili
  • Lump crab spring rolls with southeast asian herbs, candied ginger, nuoc cham dip
All very tasty. Each dish contained some type of sweetness (hoisin sauce, sweet batter for the calamari, sweet crab) and the Vouvray paired well. But Wandering Poet might have been a better choice?

For entrees we consumed:
  • Coconut curry shrimp with roasted plantain, carrots and bell peppers, ginger-coconut sticky rice, tropical fruit relish - The shrimp were sauteed, not fried. The rice was lovely.
  • Seared sea scallops with puff pastry, ginger sautéed gailan, sweet potato, bourbon-ginger cream sauce - The scallops were perfectly prepared.
  • Steak frites harris ranch hanger steak, smoked chili fries, hanover tomato and papaya ketchup, red miso aioli - Medium rare yumminess. The red miso aioli was akin to a wasabi-influenced mustard and was a most excellent pairing with the frites. The cabernet was definitely a good match.
  • Miso glazed alaskan sablefish with grilled seasonal vegetables, shiitake mushroom and gruyere croquette- A nice white fish. The grilled zucchini was quite tasty. The fish did not pair well with either wine. Maybe the Root of Innocence with its woodsy characteristc would have been better?
Definitely a night of discoveries and well worth the trip our west. The next time I go, I have to experiment with the pairing of sake with food.

Reservations for Dd33 can be made on OpenTable.

Dd33 Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

And don't forget the 500 + 4 = 1 Giveaway now through April 1.

No comments: