Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bread Service

The bread service at Avenues is enormously successful. One of our daily tasks at the restaurant is to bake all of the breads in house.
Currently, we offer five different breads that are paired with specific, individual courses throughout the meal. We have put a great deal of thought behind these pairings.

At the beginning of the meal, we focus on an Italian Como Bread that we "break". This concept reminds us of the idea of "breaking of the bread".

Next, is an English Muffin that is infused with black mint. The size is a little larger than a silver dollar.

Then, we transition to a very rich Goat Butter Brioche. This bread is made in the same traditional way as a cow butter brioche, but the goat butter is much lighter.

Pretzel Bread is made with black lava salt from Hawaii. This salt gives the bread a nice crunch and it conveys a very earthy flavor.

Our last bread is a Coconut-Basil Waffle that is served with powdered lime-sugar. A sweeter bread has been chosen to finish our pairings so we can make an easier transition from the savory world into the sweet world.

Hato Mugi

Hato Mugi (Japanese Job's Tears) is one of the world's oldest grains and has been cultivated for thousands of years in both the East and West. It was the staple of Egypt under the pharaohs, ancient Greece and Rome, the Holy Land during Biblical times and Tibet. This heirloom barley is chewy, extremely easy to digest, and nourishing. In the Far East, Hato Mugi is traditionally eaten to dissolve excess protein and fat from animal food consumption and to clean up blemishes of the skin. Hato Mugi is often times marketed under the name Pearl Barley, but should not be confused with pearled barley, which is regular barley that has been partially milled.

We prepare the Hato Mugi in the style of risotto using a light vegetable stock. Then, we mount the mugi with manchego cheese ala minute.

After it is in the bowl, we add red wine pudding and cover the mugi with a very thin slice of manchego cheese and place it under the salamander to melt.

The dish is finished with additional red wine pudding, sorrel puree, sorrel leaves, red sorrel leaves, puffed hato mugi and young daisy flowers.

The service team pours the "Manchego Tea" table side to finish the dish.