Thursday, December 3, 2009
Clio: Special Guest Review
Chef Ken Oringer and his crew at Clio.
This week I am very proud to say we have our first guest writer review from Mark at dutchgrub.com, a fellow foodie and food blogger. Mark's home base is Amsterdam. He travels frequently and food is an important ingredient on each of his trips. Mark spends much time researching the best restaurants of his destinations and likes sharing his experiences with other foodies. (Sound familiar?) One of his recent trips was to Boston and we are very enthusiastic about this, our first European cultural exchange. In Mark's words: "I am excited that The Boston Foodie has invited me to do a guest post on Clio Restaurant in Boston today. I hope you find it interesting and also invite you over to www.dutchgrub.com to find and share Amsterdam food experiences!"
We were in Boston for my birthday and I was looking for a special place for a foodie birthday dinner, willing to spend something extra for a great experience. As usual, I scanned the food blogs and news sites. My search quickly delivered a short list including Radius, No. 9 Park, and Clio. We decided to book a table at Clio which promised the high-end dining experience we were after but with a more trendy, innovative and daring style of food. And we were not disappointed.
The bar area at Clio.
The decor was somewhat formal as we had expected for a top of the line restaurant located in a hotel. But with sushi bar Uni in the other corner of the dining room and a large party of younger guests at the next table, there was a pretty cool vibe that nicely offset the subtle colors and starched tablecloths.
Interior Clio Restaurant at The Eliot.
We quickly made our dinner choice. As we learned from our friendly waiter, chef Ken Oringer had recently won the Iron Chef Challenge and was offering the winning menu to his guests. We went with the Iron Chef menu and then chatted up the sommelier who listened carefully to our preferences, broke out the extended wine list and made a perfect suggestion.
The food was extraordinary! Oringer really celebrated this dinner combining unusual ingredients and different styles of cuisine, using highly innovative techniques and constantly surprising us with unexpected presentations and textures. The menu was themed around espresso, the secret ingredient of the Iron Chef show.
The first appetizer, a cassolette of lobster and sea urchin was amazing and perfectly set the tone for the remainder of the dinner. The next appetizer was a slow cooked egg with parsley root, coffee puree and coffee glazed mushrooms. It not only sounds like a mouthful, but brought out an unbelievable multitude of flavors and textures that somehow magically all gelled, held together by the smooth, slow cooked egg. The final starter matched coffee with truffles in a black truffle and coffee fondue.
The main course was venison confit. The venison was slowly cooked in espresso oil, resulting in an oily smooth and slightly sweet outside and an incredibly tender inside.
Liquid nitrogen causes the smoky look of a Clio dessert.
Two desserts capped the dinner. They were not only good, but also a lot of fun. First came a milk chocolate and coffee geode, a hollow chocolate goodness shock frozen with liquid nitrogen. We then had espresso cotton candy with our coffee and this heavenly dinner was over before we knew it.
We loved our visit in Boston very much and were impressed with the food overall and Clio Restaurant as the highlight. Ken Oringer does an amazing job of combining formal and fun, delivering impeccable service with a relaxed attitude and bringing innovative cooking techniques and new combinations of ingredients to fine dining!
I hope that Amsterdam will be able to provide you with an unforgettable memory should you visit in the future! If you do, please drop by www.dutchgrub.com to read up on Amsterdam restaurants and to share your adventures!
If you have visited Boston and want to share your dining experiences please email us today. We'd love to hear from you.