The event was like this: art was going to be showcased, art that was inspired by food, and in turn Chef Abhijith Saha had prepared a 4-course meal that was inspired by the art (that was inspired by the food)... see where I'm going with this? :) Every dish was to be paired with a wine from the IGM, a consortium of wine producers, and also needed to have pasta, provolone cheese, or extra virgin olive oil. Each course had two options and each diner could select which one of the dishes they'd like to be served.
In the first course, there was a green apple, arugula and walnuts with provolone cheese salad. The crunchy apples, mildly acidic, combined well with the oily nuttines of the walnut, and the cheese added a new angle to the taste. The dressing seemed to be done only with olive oil (extra virgin), and it was a pleasant surprise that there was no vinaigrette added. I guess the zing from the apples' acidity was sufficient. The photo I took of this came out blurred, and so apologies - but then again, it's a salad, so I'm sure you won't have to let your imagination run wild :)
The other dish in the first course was a seafood soup, a Ligurian seasfood stew (Liguria is a coastal province in the north-western part of Italy). The seafood stew was a rich, thick, tomato-based soup with (our soup had) fish, prawns, and squid. To my mind, the squid should've been in the form of the usual squid rings, but by using just a chunk of the squid in the soup, I thought it spoiled the 'tenderness' of the soup because the squid was just rubbery. Served with a piece of toasted bread that was lightly moistened by a pesto, the soup was a delightful dish, save for the squid.
The second course began with diners having the option of choosing from a fettucine aglio, olio e peperoncino with cherry tomatoes and green peas, topped with a some cherry foam. Since Caperberry brands itself as a restaurant that dwells into molecular gastronomy, it was a classy rendition of a foam, but personally, I didn't see the need for it with the pasta, although it still was a superb foam. This was otherwise a simple dish, but then again, with just olive oil constituting the major part of the 'sauce' component of this dish, it's very easy to go wrong with it.
If the cherry foam on the pasta was classy, then the alternative dish to it, rotolo di lasagna al prosciutto with pesto, along with chilled melon cappuccino was classier - the chilled melon cappuccino at least. The prosciutto was a shade too thin for my liking, but that aside, it blended in superbly with the rotolo, while the melon cappuccino was simply mind blowing - cool, light, and airy.
The third course consisted of a potato gnocchi and provolone stuffed morels in a mushroom sauce. The thought of trying out morels was very tempting, enough to make me almost order for this. This is a very simple dish - not simple in terms of the effort it takes to make it and make it right, but simple as in it's almost a commoners dish. There was a musty/earthy aroma that wafted from the dish, perhaps enhanced by the drizzling of olive oil (extra virgin I think). Mushrooms have always occupied a special place in my gastronomic heart, simply because I think they are more of a bridge between veg and non-veg food, even more than eggs are, and what's more, they're freakin' delicious. Too bad I opted for the other dish!
After reading about the dish that I opted for, there'd be no points for guessing which one I had hoped to have actually ordered. The other option for the third course was the lemon zest and garlic marinated leg of lamb in a red wine jus with baby potatoes. The meat was absolutely tender, and it was so lovely to have actually gotten lamb, and not the leg of an old goat or sheep! However, the taste was something even I couldn't get my tongue around. To me, and the other two guests at my table (a rockstar who's the founder member of the band Thermal and a Quarter and his wife :P), the dish was lacking some basic seasoning. That aside, for me the red wine jus and the lemon zest just didn't seem to gel with the lamb, but the Italians at the other tables felt it was done absolutely flawlessly. So I guess this is very evident of the fact that food is such a subjective, personal thing, that at times, in spite of a dish having been executed flawlessly, there could still be someone who may not appreciate it. Damn! I actually felt bad when I learnt that the dish was actually executed the right way because I pride myself in having a palate that is very adaptive to subtle flavours. Well, there are always exceptions.
For dessert, it was a common dessert for all - a red wine poached fig tart (r), passion fruit panna cotta (c), and a tiramisu (l). I absolutely loved the passion fruit panna cotta - a delightful execution of the panna cotta. The amount of gelatin used was dot perfect, leaving the texture of the panna cotta in a state where a slight tap with the spoon would make it quiver, like a 16th century French courtesan whose inner thigh would quiver at the touch of her lovers fingers. I have no idea how or where I got that line from, certainly not from Jane Austen, but you get the idea about the desired texture, don't you.
The fig tart and the tiramisu were pretty decent, but I was going back to polish of the glass that had the panna cotta. I was just so glad that I got the opportunity to be a part of this event, and from what I heard, this was by far the most formal and 'official' Page 3 event, something that I absolutely loved. It's also made me want to go and try Caperberry again, since a lot of water seems to have passed under the bridge since my last visit.