L'espalier Fantasy Tea
Yesterday I was able to take my mother to L'espalier for the Fantasy Tea. It was her first time, and I think she'll be coming back again soon!
Cynthia Gold, the brilliant tea sommelier responsible for most of my tea knowledge, started us off with a beautiful blooming tea. It was nice and light, and a great way to start the afternoon. I ordered my favorite tea blend, L'espalier's Afternoon blend, which is now called the Anniversary blend, in honor of L'espalier's 35th Anniversary this month. So good.
We each ordered a Little Red Riding Hood's Basket, which comes with tea sandwiches, pastries, petit fours and tea. Pictured above you can see the smoked salmon sandwich on nori brioche with yuzu kosho creme and the English cucumber sandwich with candied lemon and herb cream cheese on dill bread. Both amazing, but I think I liked the salmon best.
Lobster on a fingerling potato, which was absolutely wonderful, and a mini ham and cheese, which was deliciously flakey.
I love deviled eggs, and this was a great one: Maine crab salad with gribiche on a deviled egg. Yum. Also, check out the roasted guinea hen croissant with garlic aioli. It was very tasty!
We finished up the sandwiches with these gorgeous examples. Check out the gelee in the first picture; I think it was made from black truffle. The caviar in the second picture was so savory!
The petit fours and pastries were up next, and we started off by scooping some honey, jam, and cream onto delicious scones.
After the scones, we had to focus on the desserts! We had Greek yogurt panna cotta with kalamansi gel, chocolate decadence cake with mint foam, pate a choux swans with espresso Chantilly cream, lemon frangipane cake, an apple mousse trifle, and even a little birthday cake, which was sweet, since my birthday was about two weeks ago.
It's almost impossible for me to go to L'espalier and not sample a bit of cheese. We started of with Rocchetta, a sheep, cow, and goat's milk cheese from Piedmont, Italy. Awesomely creamy.
The next cheese was Pecorino Ginepro, a sheep's milk cheese from Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The rind is rubbed with juniper berry and balsamic vinegar, and it was very tasty. Then we tried Caccio di Bosco, a sheep's milk cheese from Tuscany, Italy, that is studded with white truffle. Yum!
Next was the deliciously gooey Harbison, a cow's milk cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont, followed by Monte Enebro, a goat's milk cheese from Avila, Spain, that incorporated Roquefort mold into the rind. Very good!
Red Hawk, a cow's milk cheese from Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes, California, was amazingly creamy. We followed that with Hoch Ybrig, a cow's milk cheese from Zurich, Switzerland. Delicious and nutty.
We finished up the lovely afternoon with two more cow's milk cheeses: Jersey Blue, again from Switzerland, and Bayley Hazen, from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont. Both great cheeses, the first wonderfully creamy, the second, deliciously bold. A great ending to a great meal!