It was worth the G train home, the $300 of credit card debt, the looks of disdain as I slunk out of the office at a painfully punctual 5pm.
I write this at the end of the day, nearing the end of a long week and an even longer month—ruminating over the transcendent last four hours. It started on the first of the month, after a rushed conference call I woefully scheduled during the hour the Blanca reservations were made available. I dropped a line at 10am, which miraculously went through without fuss and was met with a calendar full of possibilities. Weeks later I arrived with trepidation off the Morgan Avenue station on the L, promptly at the designated 5:45pm. I was first at the table, with some moments to myself to take in the pristine and subtle hustle of my surroundings.
Instead of chronicling the procession of 26 and a takeaway, I’ll relive here some of the more fantastical aspects—every bite of the night part of a rhythmic cadence of thoughtfulness and ingenuity.
The first dish was in fact heralded by a mother-of-pearl spoon. A dainty dollop of Osetra caviar arrived, and my mouth filled with rich, oceanic flavor gently tempered by champagne and the parsnip topping. That however, was only a shade less memorable than the glass shrimp that followed, set atop a vibrant celery oil and adorned with a sparing pop of seeds.
The next small plate was a bombshell of flavor – fried sweetbread with a kefir lime sauce. The two generally prima donna flavors vie fruitlessly for your sensory attention, coming up even and all together creating a memory to savor forever.
A couple mind blowing plates later, we get to the pine nut ravioli. My friend, a two-time Blanca veteran stops me before the first bite, and prepares me for what she deemed a “religious experience.” Sure enough, with each tootsie roll sized ravioli, I felt the pop, and was inundated with the textually light but unspeakably rich liquid filling.
Between that and the heavy proteins we were given a sparing dish of almond milk, one from which a kitten might lap a taste or two. A trio of grapes swam with some granola-like chunks, which came together bite-by-bite so bright and refreshing that we were well primed for the next movement.
The next three protein plates made sure that we walked away more than intellectually satisfied. The first was a duet of lamb, one pink and lean, the other unadulterated fat and flavor The mint gelee was a great twist on a classic combination, but the watermelon daikon was certainly not there just for the touch of pink.
The second was by far the flavor combination of the season—pork and wild kiwi. The next time I walk out of Eataly, I will be leaving a very serious appeal for some non-farmed fuzzy fruit. The soft, almost jam-like kiwi, was a shock of acidity that was so novel but so perfect. Bravo.
The final meat was the beef, delicious and delicate in a way that somehow tames the cravings developed by porterhouse binges. The richness of the fat, at the end of its utility, is cut swiftly with a slice of bitter melon. Perhaps a bit much for some, but a solid full stop to a sinfully decadent trio.
The desserts will be described without skips, as not mentioning any component would be criminally untruthful.
Goat cheese started with a crisp apple, what one would consider a mundane combination was so rich with honey it was the ideal bridge between the savory and the mild altering sweet to follow. The sweet procession starts with a sake soaked cake, quince, and red cabbage ice cream. Not only did you hear that combination right, you will learn to crave the subtle bitterness of the cabbage, the moist sweetness of the cake, and all together with the acidic bite of quince. Maddeningly complex and crave worthy.
Celery sorrel soup. More than alliteration, this was perceptually difficult to process as a dessert. Definitely a noteworthy piece, but truthfully, the buzz from my artfully paired liquors has hazed my memory somewhat. Not enough however, to make me forget the apple granita with sunchoke puree—the gentle touch of savory eased us into the end, cleansed with the metaphorical crisp of the apple.
The finale was a demure piece of carrot bubble gum. My only regret of the night was not blowing a bubble.
Having been at this food hunt gambit for a while, not only have I run short of appropriate adjectives, the occasional lack of innovative subjects dulls even the most wonderful classics. All it takes is a place like Blanca, where one can always expect the plates to pursue all permutations of the possible. As November 1st rolls around, ready your hand and your credit card, and help yourself to the wonders of this Brooklyn chef’s table.
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261 Moore St
Brooklyn, NY 11206