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Monday, December 23, 2013

La Truffe Sauvage in Lake Charles, LA

La Truffe Sauvage in Lake Charles, LA
La Truffe Sauvage in Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles not only impressed me with the tour around town, boudin and cracklins, and seafood feasting, but at night we also got to experience a spectacular meal at Lake Charles' premiere fine dining restaurant. La Truffe Sauvage is a French style eatery that clearly puts a lot of passion behind their food. We went through a culinary journey on a wine dinner the night before Lake Charles' annual Rouge et Blanc wine festival. I'll attempt to walk you through all the courses as I salivate while I remind myself of all the deliciousness. The Hors d'Oeuvres, not pictured here, included octopus with extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and oregano, Parmigiana Reggiano crusted asparagus with sauce verte, white truffle macaroni and cheese with beef tenderloin, and duck confit with onion marmalade. Served with some bubbly, a Gosset Brut Excellence, the passed appetizers prepared us for our sensational meal from Chef Mohamed Chettouh and wine pairings by D.C. Flynt.

Louisiana Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and Shrimp Bourek
Louisiana Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and Shrimp Bourek
Our first seated course came in the form of a shrimp stuffed Turkish pastry atop a luscious crab cake and a red, green, and yellow tomato relish. The dish paired with a Fevre et Fevre 2011 Chablis. I really appreciated the combination of flavors and techniques between south Louisiana and a dish like Bourek which dates back the Ottoman Empire.

Crispy Red Snapper, Porcini Mushroom Risotto, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon
Crispy Red Snapper, Porcini Mushroom Risotto, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon
Course two stayed in the seafood category and again combined a classic Louisiana protein with a European starch. The creamy porcini mushroom risotto gave an earthy flavor that contrasted the brightness from the lemon and the acidity in the wine, a Meursault Clos du Cromin 2011 from winemaker David Moret in the Burgundy region of France. The dish really dazzled even more due to the true crispiness of the skin on the red snapper. It added a depth of texture next to the risotto and flesh of the Gulf fish.

Double Duck Consomme, Poached Quail Egg, Rice Noodles, Asparagus Tips, White Truffle Oil
Double Duck Consomme, Poached Quail Egg, Rice Noodles, Asparagus Tips, White Truffle Oil
For a soup course we feasted on a duck consomme. The flavorful broth conjured up memories of duck hunting and my childhood... not that I ever ate anything quite like this growing up. A couple 2010 wines from Roland Rapet were served with the duck conomme: a Aloxe Corton and the Corton Grand Cru. Both were stellar accompaniments to the delicious consomme. The poached quail egg also added a great richness in the soup.

Colorado Lamb Two Ways: Roasted Rack & Braised Shoulder, Spanakopita, Ratatouille, Natural Jus
Colorado Lamb Two Ways: Roasted Rack & Braised Shoulder, Spanakopita, Ratatouille, Natural Jus 
I looked forward to this lamb course the most and fortunately it did not disappoint. Getting back to eastern European flavors, Chef Mohamed used lamb to create a magical dish. The spanakopita is a Greek style savory spinach pie, which this time also included braised lamb shoulder. The ratatouille came wrapped in cucumber and the lamb chops were delightful. I love lamb. I think I remember sneaking another chop off somebody else's plate to get more. They were full already anyway! The lamb course also came with a pair of wines for us try. This time from Bernard Gros, we had the Vosne Romanee 2008 and the Clos Vougeot Grand Cru "Musigni" 2006. I need to learn more about French wine. I just know it was red and delicious.

Warm Montrachet with Thyme, Heirloom Tomato, Arugula, Herb Cracker, Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
Warm Montrachet with Thyme, Heirloom Tomato, Arugula, Herb Cracker, Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
The salad and cheese course finished off the savory part of the meal. I liked having the salad toward the end as opposed to at the beginning of the feast. I still had a little room for some greenery, so I made it work. The warm cheese worked extremely well with the green tomato and the spicy arugula with the roasted shallot vinaigrette. 

Rum Savarin, White Chocolate - Passion Fruit Mousse, Almond Tuile
Rum Savarin, White Chocolate - Passion Fruit Mousse, Almond Tuile
The savarin is a yeast cake soaked in rum (or it could be a different hard liquor) and filled with cream. I personally did not find the texture to be all that appealing as it was like a soggy donut, but the flavors were certainly well conceived and delicious. The dessert came served with the Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese. Yes, that's really what it is called. Mr. Kracher is apparently one of the bigger names in Austrian wine and the Trockenbeerenauslese is a style of German and Austrian wine making that produces a very sweet dessert wine from dried grapes with high sugar content. Like I said, I could really use some lessons in European wines, so if anyone is reading this and wants to send me on an adventure around Europe doing "professional development," just let me know!

Assorted Truffles
Assorted Truffles
Second dessert? Yes, please! The meal didn't fully end after the rum savarin course. We still had time for coffee, and along with coffee came some assorted truffles for our dining pleasure. I ate a couple for research purposes, but by that time I had reached my limit and was stuffed. What an amazing meal. Thanks to Chef Mohamed, D.C. Flynt, and everyone at La Truffe Sauvage for having me, as well as the Lake Charles CVB for lining it all up for us. The next day we were off to Rouge et Blanc. More on that later.

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