Truffle Fest at Muse Restaurant

Do you like truffles (aka the mushroom variety)? If so, you have until the end of November to try out Muse’s 6 course Chef’s tasting menu during their mushroom and truffle fest! As K and I love truffles dearly, it was a no brainer for us to go.  In fact, we made reservations in early October just to ensure we got the time we wanted to go! The restaurant is certainly not new to us – we’ve been here for drinks and light eats before and then it just occurred to us that hey… they do a tasting menu too.  Why have we never thought of coming here? Well, we will definitely come here way more often after experiencing such a wonderful dinner!

Our server told us that the menu will be pretty consistent for the entire truffle fest so please use my pictures as a guidance below as to what you can expect! Chef Pedhirney is a master at plating – just look at the attention to detail on each plate.  We also got a chance to meet with owner Heather Wighton who warmly greeted and welcomed us.

6 course tasting menu: $98

Muse - Popcorn

Truffle Popcorn

Our favorite starter to date! Light, fluffy popcorn tossed in truffle oil… highly addictive.  Good thing popcorn is healthy… right?

Muse - Amuse

Mushroom Flan (Custard), Green Onion Tapioca Pearls, Chiffonade (finally chopped leafy greens) of Tarragon, Charred Onion Salsa (on top of flan)

I can’t say I’ve ever had a custard that tasted like mushrooms, but it was tasty as the texture was spot on and the flavors weren’t overwhelming.  The tapioca pearls wasn’t too strong on the green onion which is appreciated as it can be if too much is used.

Muse - Biscuit

Cheese Biscuits
Warm, flaky, cheese biscuits served with butter and lemon gel.

Muse - Shot

Owner’s Amuse
Double Cross Vodka Mini Martini Shot with Blue Cheese & Black Truffle Spanish Olive

Muse - Cold Appetizer

Cold Appetizer
63 Degree Egg Yolk, Slice Radishes (Easter, Black, Watermelon), Hearts on Fire Greens, Flower Pedals, Pickled Radishes, Croutons, Slice of House Cured Pancetta (Italian Bacon)

This is such a pretty salad… and delicious too! The leafy greens were so fresh and had a nice pleasant flavor to it.  The egg yolk was a bit more solid than we thought – it wasn’t gooey/runny and stayed in a creamy, paste state.

Muse - Hot Appetizer

Hot Appetizer
Seared Quail, Mushroom Duxelle, Dehyrated Swiss Chard, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Ricotta Gnudi, Dehydrated Buckwheat, Sherry Emulsion, Viola Flower, Micro Swiss Chard, Shaved Burgundy Black Truffles (France)

I love quail.  I don’t know why but I just do.  The most Asian way to eat it is deep fry it and it is just simple and delicious.  Many years ago K and I worked in the same place and we would be very excited when T and T Supermarket occasionally had their four quails for $6 in the cooked food section and oh… I miss those days.  Anyhow, the quail here was seared nicely with the meat still being very tender.  I didn’t even think it needed the purees and sauces so I ate them with the greens and flowers instead.

Muse - Ocean Course

Sea Course
Striped Bass, Mushroom Dashi Broth with Ginger (poured table side), Mushroom, Black Bean and Scallop Dumpling, Braised Cauliflower Mushrooms, Fried Chicken Mushrooms, Nori (seaweed) Vinaigrette, Green Scallio, Nasturtium Greens

The fish was buttery smooth and seasoned very nicely.  Even though the mushroom dashi broth stood out on its own, it did not take away the flavor of the fish at all.  The dumpling was certainly interesting – the scallop was not the least bit overcooked and still had a succulent bite to it – the black bean was flavorful yet not overpowering as it can be if used too much.  I would say this dish has great Asian influences to it.

Muse - Land Course

Land Course
48 Hour Braised Short Rib, Wagyu Flatiron, Caramelized Pomme Puree, Crispy Fingerling Potato, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Shaved White Alba Truffle, Cippollini Onion Pedals, Brussel Sprout Leaves

The wagyu was melt in your mouth delectable, while the tender short rib had a sweet glazed to it which reminds me to the glaze used on BBQ pork.

Muse - Housemade Soda

Palate Cleanser
Housemade orange soda

Bubbly with intense orange flavors – we were left wanting more after sampling this!

Muse - Cheese

Cheese Course
Truffled Brie (from Burgundy, France), Honeycomb, Lemon Gel

I never pay the supplement to get the cheese course with tasting menus b/c I’m not a cheese person, but if I was served this every time I would totally go for it! The brie was ultra creamy laced with intense truffle flavors – the lightly sweet honeycomb neutralized yet complemented the cheese incredibly well.  The edible flowers added a dash of vibrant color to complete the pretty plating.

Muse - Sourdough

Grilled sourdough from Aviv Fried (Sidewalk Citizen Bakery)

If you’ve never had bread from this bakery… you are missing out! Crusty, chewy bread that paired extremely well with the cheese and honey.  I am still thinking about this weeks later.

Muse - Dessert

Dessert Course
Caramelized White Chocolate, Coffee and Chanterelle Mushroom Crumble, Rosemary Powder, Pine Nuts, Cremini Mushroom Milk Chocolate (dipped in liquid nitrogen), Burnt Lemon Gel and Burnt Lemon Grape Sorbet*

I’ve never had grape sorbet before and I’m not sure if I like it.  Maybe b/c I don’t really like the taste of grapes in any other form except in its actual fruit form (I just found it a bit artificial).  The rest of the components were well thought out and put together very well.  I mean mushrooms in a dessert? Talk about innovative!

*Muse has commented that they don’t serve a grape sorbet although I thought I heard that’s what our server said, but either way, I’m happy they read my entire review and clarified it for me!

What a fabulous meal! Our palates definitely got a real treat tonight.  Everything was just perfect and I can’t wait to come back and try their regular tasting menu… even the vegetarian one! I didn’t really review on the truffles as I’m no expert on them.  I mean they don’t taste like anything in particular except kind of earthy but it’s the pungent scent that accentuates your entire dish.  It’s so quite an acquired thing so you either like it or hate it… I definitely love it.  I think there has to be a lot of testing and tasting to ensure that the use of truffle doesn’t become overwhelming with the rest of the ingredients you are potentially using.  Anyhow, very successful tasting menu, and be sure to try it before time runs out…!

Muse Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon

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