It was another terrific meeting of Scott Joseph’s Supper Club at Hamilton’s Kitchen last week. The entire Alfond Inn staff made all of us feel welcome and treated us to excellent service in one of the beautifully appointed private rooms next to the restaurant.
And chef Marc Kusche and his crew put together a five course feast — not counting a pretty substantial amuse bouche — perfectly paired with wines and, in the case of the first course, a special cocktail.
The amuse bouche was a take on chicken and waffles, with shredded duck meat standing in for the chicken. The sweet meat on top of the heart shaped waffle with a drizzle of syrup could have been its own course.
But the first official course was a white gazpacho, with fruitier notes than a traditional gaz. It was topped with crisped Iberico ham and had a drizzle of creme fraiche and a few almonds. The almonds were a nice complement to the cocktail that accompanied, a mint-infused sake with Lazzaroni Amaretto. Quite refreshing, both soup and drink.
Next we moved on to a risotto blended with basil pesto, topped with creamy burrata mozzarella and oven roasted tomatoes. I’m a fan of risottos when they’re done well and this one was perfect. Patient Cottat Sancerre, with very nice fruity notes, was the paired wine.
The fish course had a duo of pan-seared snapper atop a warm lobster salad drizzled with blood orange olive oil. The snapper had a wonderfully crisped crust, and the pairing of Laguna Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley was spot on. It had great forward fruit and just a touch of oak. The blood orange oil, by the way, was from Ancient Olive, the store just off Park Avenue, and it was a treat to have the two owners of the store in attendance.
Rabbit fillet made up the meat course. Served in a wonton-like wrapper, the gamey meat was atop lentils infused with balsamic vinegar and accompanied by endive braised in orange juice. A Chateauneuf du Pape from E. Guigal, full-bodied with flavors of plums and black cherries, was the accompanying wine.
Dessert was a peach cobbler served hot inside a Mason-like jar, topped with pistachio ice cream made in house by the Alfond’s pastry team. Sonoma-Cutrer’s Late Harvest Chardonnay made a sweet pairing.
It was nice to see so many Supper Club regulars, many of whom declared this one to be among the best so far. I agree.
Watch for the announcement soon of another Supper Club and come join us.