A couple of weeks ago I had the great fortune to attend the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Dinner” with Craig Thornton of Wolvesmouth, which took place during Comic Con and was . I didn’t actually go to Comic Con, but Jake and I did wander around Downtown before the dinner and saw many interesting people and things. It’s amazing to me how every year Comic Con swoops in and changes the landscape of the Gaslamp Quarter and the Convention Center. Just meandering Downtown during the Con was enough for me!
We arrived a little bit too early for our 9:30PM dinner time (late ass dinner, right?). But once we were let into the loft, this is what we saw.
A long table decked out, with the “Most Interesting Man” looking down at us. There’s an even larger photo of him off to the left, but I don’t have any good photos of that.
On the tables, there were antlers holding melting candlesticks, adding to the den-like decor.
There was a bar where we could get different mixed drinks, all made with Dos Equis. I’m sure you can guess which drink I *skipped*.
Jake tried the Dos-arita (too much salt on the rim but the drink itself was decent) while I had the Dos Sidra. I actually liked the mix of beer with the hard cider – it gave it a bit of a fruity flavor to it since there was a touch of raspberry liqueur, too. Much more my style than any of the other beverages listed here.
Jake and I were all anti-social and tired and sat on a bench in the far back of the room. I spied on the kitchen staff as they began the preparation for our meal.
Okay, blow-your-socks-off time. Go:
[1st course – ribeye – peach – corn salad – polano – squash blossom – tortilla cavatelli – corn puree]
Luckily everyone got their own plate, so no one had to sit around and wait for me to finish with my photos. The lighting was dim and above me, so I have a bunch of weirdly shadowed photos. Ah well. You will forgive me, yes?
Every plate looked like a piece of art, with swatches of sauces swirled about on the plates. The food is stacked together and you wonder what it is you’ll be eating.
Then you get over it and DIG IN. The ribeye was a perfect medium rare. The squash blossom was fried so it had a little crispy thing going on with it. Under the meat, there’s a combination of corns, sauces, peaches and these soft little cheesy pillow puffs (tortilla cavatelli) that were so melt-in-your-mouth good. I thought the cavatelli were gnocchi, though the consistency wasn’t quite right for it. In any case, it was damn delicious. The green sauce was a little bit spicy and counter acted against the sweetness of the peaches and the fresh, crunch sweet corn.
Damn, this was off to a good start.
[2nd course – zucchini – tomato – lobster – yuzu kosho – masago – green tea ricotta -nectarine]
It’s a green soup. With lobster, yo. The soup base made me think of pea soup, except that it was made with zucchini. I don’t know how to describe how pureed zucchini tastes to you. It doesn’t quite taste like zucchini anymore.
There were these luscious bits of sweet lobster sitting under the bright red tomato, with green tea ricotta. I don’t know how these things all work together to create this explosion of flavors in my mouth, but they do. The ricotta was soft and creamy – I don’t really think I detected it to be “green tea” flavored since there was so much melding of flavor going on.
I totally got to eat Jake’s lobster, too, since he didn’t want it. YES.
[3rd course – halibut – sungold tomatoes – blue lake – blt aioli – bacon profiterole – lettuce puree – onion jam]
Underneath that green stuff up there (which, by the way, is lettuce PUREE) is a beautiful piece of halibut. This whole dish kind of tasted like a twisted up version of a BLT. You’ve got the bacon profiterole, the BLT aioli, the tomatoes and lettuce all pureed up to just take the idea of bacon, lettuce, tomato to just another level. The halibut had this wonderfully smoky flavor to just add to that bacon idea infused into this dish. This was Jake’s favorite dish.
[4th course – crab – candied lemon gelee – squid ink pasta – sabayon – snap peas – snake bean – parsley – potato]
The fourth course was a bit more adventurous than the other courses. The mention of “squid ink pasta” seemed to raise a few eyebrows around me. Not to mention is looks a bit weird being presented a deep, darkly rich colored plate of food.
Peel back the pasta and you see the offerings underneath – a combination of fresh, crunchy vegetables, lemon flavor from the lemon gelee and crab to boot. The squid ink pasta was tender and soft. The lemon gave this dish a pure burst of bright flavors to pair along with the earthy veggies. I saw a few partially eaten dishes on this course, but I actually quite enjoyed it. The different textures and flavors just made every bite interesting to me.
[5th course – pork belly – beet – cheddar fritter – watermelon – pickled green tomato – beans]
This kind of looked like blood splattered murder on a plate – mind you, the most delicious blood splattered murder. I heard others refer to this course as the “Dexter” course which seemed quite appropriate when you see the dashes of splattered sauce all over the plate.
The pork belly was delicious. There were actually thinly sliced beets on top which I picked off. Bit of watermelon graced the plate to balance with the salty, tender pork belly and cheesy fritter.
If I could eat pork bellies and cheesy fritters every day I would be such a happy, happy girl.
[6th and final course – dehydrated strawberry – lemon lime verbena ice – yogurt strawberry steam cake – yogurt lime curd – almond crisp – black sasame buttermilk panna cotta – berry meringue]
This was dessert. I kind of stared at it for awhile trying to make heads or tails out of it until I figured the best thing to do was just DIG IN.
The amazing thing about this final dish was just the sheer amount of of things going on here. And how they all just kind of meld together to work. There’s so many textures – cold, icy, soft, crunchy, smooth with the flavors of strawberry, lime, lemon and berries. Every single bite tasted a little bit different, depending on where you were eating on the plate. You’d get a little of the lemon and berry, and then you’d dig into the panna cotta which sort of tasted like blueberry cheesecake but with a more gelatin-like consistency… it was all over the place and it was both awesome and confusing all at once!
Who knew one dish could just pack so much awesome?
I snapped a photo of the menu on the fridge, since I couldn’t take notes fast enough to get everything down.
Truly it was a most interesting evening. Each of the six courses was completely and truly different than the rest. We experienced all kinds of flavors and textures and I was thrilled to be invited!
* Disclaimer: I was invited by Edelman PR to attend the Dos Equis event and our meals and drinks were complimentary. I was not paid for this review and all opinions stated here in this ole article are totally my own.