Went out to the eternal FnB for my farewell dinner in Mesa. Gorgeous low-lighting offered me an excellent playground for the new Canon S90.
Believe it or not, this is at dusk. Dusk. I pushed up the saturation slightly to adjust for personal taste, but goodness me. What an apparatus.
Unnnnnf. Low-light no-flash food photos – my very favorite, and now waaaaay less of a crapshoot. Can’t you just taste that texture? Conjure up some exceptionally fruity olive oil to go with it and you’re there, baby.
Momma digs on a Sundowner, FnB’s take on an aperol spritz. We make appropriate references to the Italian coastal regions.
We’re feeling garbanzos, but Emily expertly slips in a present of fried zucchini. They’re wafers of sweet squash and oil, slight crunchiness outlined by the sporadic presence of slightly wilted mint leaves. Totally addictive and an incredible beginning.
We get the garbanzos also, because, you know. Smoked paprika is near impossible to resist. They are crispy and starchy and popcorn-esque and do you see those lights in the background, holy mother mary I adore my new camera!
Burrata is a must, and this olive-oil and tomato drenched version accompanied by fried eggplant and piquant arugula turns out to be my very favorite iteration thus far in my creamy mozzarella career. It isn’t quite the buttercheese goo that we’ve experienced previously, and it is for this reason that I favor it – the slight chewiness allows the taste of the cheese to develop rather than simply melt, and paired with a tangy heirloom tomato plus a spring of spicy arugula is divine. How about that, I’m already making good on the name of the blog!
Magnificent roasted quail atop a cushy bed of fregola mixed with butternut squash, (pumpkin?) seeds, and snappy green beans is devoured before I think about accessing the camera – hey, I usually have a photographer with me when I go tasting! Ditto for the subtly acidic bucatini, house-cured pancetta tesa, and savory mushroom plate.
This is a perfectly singed crème brûlée, tasting first very strongly of fire, and then playfully of creamy lemon with herbaceous undertones. It is exactly what the dish ought to be in terms of torched – in fact, we were continually fascinated throughout the night by Chef Charleen sparking up the fire with the irons used to create the gorgeous mottled crusts.
The chocolate, although perhaps less impressive of a photographic capture, is the one that will go down in the history books. Dad repeatedly remarked that it was so overwhelmingly decadent that it felt forbidden, like eating fudge icing straight out of the jar (only better: butterier). The whipped cream cap is, in fact, salted, which entices the chocolate richness eagerly towards full bloom.