Sunday, August 24, 2008

Heaven's Kitchen

I've been wanting to try Gordon Ramsay at The London, and reading Sable Crow's plea for me to go and take pictures and weatherjen's anniversary rave only heightened my desire to go. Naturally, when Diabolina asked if the Monkeys were free for a midday sampling, we jumped at the chance!
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For those of you who are scratching your heads, Gordon Ramsay is none other than the world-renowned chef who has earned multiple Michelin stars at five of his restaurants (including two three-star ratings). He is also the big personality on Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares.

Unlike these television shows, The London and Ramsay's restaurant are serene and beautiful.
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Monkey! They were everywhere!
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Sable Crow and Diabolina remarked that the dining room reminded them of the lovely restaurant on the seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman. I thought it looked very Marie-Antoinette-meets-the-21st-century. The alternating baby blue and pink with gold and chocolate brown was simultaneously elegant and whimsical.
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I loved that Sable Crow wore not one but two of his namesake!
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His whole get-up was rather dashing. We admired the lining of his blazer.
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Diabolina and I both sported Tarina Tarantino Pink Head goodies.
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Mr. Monkey and I were honored to join Diabolina on her traditional Mami Sunday.
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The company was glorious. The food was glorious. Everything. Glorious.

Sable Crow's first course of risotto of green and yellow zucchini with tomato water and mascarpone was divine. I was so happy he shares food! Instant friendship!
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Mami's first course of hand-dived sea scallops, cauliflower puree, and sherry vinegar reduction was delicious. She shares, too, and was a champ for accommodating my photos! We all giggled about the three cameras at the table.
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Mr. Monkey and Diabolina both opted for a first course of tuna tartare with chilled cucumber soup and Granny Smith sorbet. The tuna was fresh and luscious. The cool combination was perfect for a summer day.
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Mr. D's first course of smoked rainbow trout was too far to capture, but my own first course was obviously an easy target -- pan-fried dorade with gremolade, pickled baby cucumbers, and escargot. What is dorade? According to this New York Times article, it's "a small fish with tender white flesh, shimmering silver skin and, when grilled or braised, a rich, succulent, meaty flavor, similar to that of pompano or red snapper." Needless to say, I loved my new fish find.
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Mami enjoyed a second course of roasted Jidori chicken with sweet corn emulsion and creamy polenta.
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Diabolina savored her ravioli of roasted king prawn, fresh calypso bean, and seafood cassoulet.
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Mr. Monkey and Sable Crow had the roasted top sirloin of Sonoma lamb, confit shoulder, creamed potatoes, pearl onions, and lamb jus. Thanks to the Famous Monkey Mid-Meal Trade, I ate half of this and relished every bite. I especially liked the confit shoulder.
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Mr. D and I chose the broiled black cod, pig's tails with Kumamoto oysters, and celeriac puree. If you're wondering what pig's tails taste like, they taste like bacon! Yeah! Now pair that with some fresh tender fish, and you've got this beauty. Mmm.
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As we readied ourselves for our desserts, coffee arrived in these very zen pots.
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The Meyer lemon pudding cake with confit blueberries, tarragon, and buttermilk sherbet awakened my tastebuds with its tartness and fun. So happy.
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The Valrhona chocolate fondant with brown butter caramel and vanilla ice cream was rich and decadent. More happy.
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The pineapple souffle with toasted coconut and Thai curry ice cream was like a wondrous tropical fluffy cloud in my mouth. Bursting with happiness.
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And then there were the complimentary petit fours -- chocolate-caramel truffles and passion fruit marshmallows.
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Little bites that delight!
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Satisfied are we.
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Fashion show.
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Before we left, we explored the rooftop. Great space for an event!
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We've been having quite the dining extravaganza recently, and we couldn't have asked for a better end to the weekend than guffawing together about certain crotchety Muppet Show critics and the ridiculousness of foams and smears (particularly chocolate smears).

Mr. Monkey and I love eating good food, but we love eating with good people even more.

Today we did both.


  1. ugh i'm so jealous of the food and especially the company. gordon ramsay is my #2 chef crush (after eric ripert).

  2. yay for the london! totally on the list. the hotel looks pret-ty cute, too.

    totally sniggering at "chocolate smears."

  3. amazing photos. thanks for coming. thanks for the laughs. we make an adorably nerdy six-some.

    when's dim sum?

  4. fabulous recap! so glad you enjoyed the restaurant, too!

  5. You're killing me, Monkey, with all of your delicious food pictures.

  6. i may very well campaign for birthday princess dinner to be at the london. looks quite fab!

  7. Oh, it looks so lovely! I swear, give up the job as a lawyer and go be a food critic.

  8. So.very.jealous. The London has been on our list since it opened, but after seeing those pictures it might be moved straight to the top.

  9. Yay! I had so much fun today Monkey. You and Mr. Monkey are a blast, and your camera is enviable! I'll be posting my post--a behind the scenes look at Weezer and Diabolina in action--in the next day or two.

    Sable Crow

  10. droooling over the menu & pics. i can't wait to give the restaurant a whirl soon! and you're right... the gorgeous cabanas and pool make for an ideal event space. ideas, ideas!!

  11. Uh, yeah, totally on my list. That Meyer lemon thing looks divine.

  12. When I grow up, I want to eat just like you... :) That food all looks so fantastic.

  13. Any place that serves complimentary petit fours deserves to be michelin rated, in my humble opinion.

  14. Wow. I'm loving all the food and I want all your dessert. (starting to sound like a broken record)

  15. I swear, give up the job as a lawyer and go be a food critic.
    Totally agree.I even showed H your blog and he was positive you were a pro food critic. Seriously and a great photographer to boot!

  16. Oh my. Five star post. Except my mouth is now filled with saliva.

  17. i love pink head goodies.
    lovely, lovely photos. i love your skirt!

  18. Everything looks absolutely amazing - the food, decor, everything. One of these days, I am going to impose myself on you for one of these HC+L dining experience escapades.

  19. You had me at "they taste like bacon!"

  20. HA! very marie antoinette indeed. I could see Kirsten Dunst lounging in one of the booths in the background (with sophia coppolas choice of punk beats playing as well)

  21. Looks pretty awesome. I really love the decor.

  22. jealousE of the food and the company. great way to end the weekend indeed!

  23. I love your pictures!

    I just ate lunch and wasn't hungry but after looking at your pictures I could eat again.

    I could snarf down those truffles and marshmallows pretty hard core. Yum!


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