December is one of the happiest months of the year: Christmas, bubbly, parties, family time, gifts, joy and deliciousness at my favorite restaurant Pat’e Palo. They’ve been doing the GastroTour festival for a few years now. This festival consists in a prix fixemenu that changes every week 10 days during the month of December. Each year they pick a theme, this year’s festival is inspired by all the french brasseries chef Stassi visited during his last trip to Europe: Brasseries du Mond.
What’s new this year? Besides the 6 course menu and the optional *but necessary* wine pairing by their sommelier Simone Pinto, you will find these gorgeous bread and cheese tables:
I tried the Fol Epi which is produced in the Loire Valley of France. Loved the nutty and delicate flavor. I also had some blue cheese recommended by Saverio [he said it was his favorite so I had to try it!]. I’m not a big cheese fan but I know this will make a lot of people happy. Cheese and bread tasting is included in the prix fixe menu.
Let’s get to the good stuff GastroTour’s first course - warm lentil shot with balsamic vinegar, smoked bacon and foie gras ice cream:
Let the foie gras ice cream melt over the lentils, take a spoonful, close your eyes and enjoy. I feel kinda guilty whenever I eat foie gras but my relationship with food can be defined with one word: moderation. I eat vegan most of the time to the point that people reply shocked whenever I tweet or instagram dishes that contain meat. I tried to be 100% vegan but it was really hard because what I love most in the world is FOOD. So instead of torturing myself over my food choices I’ve gotten to this happy place where I eat very healthy most of the time and don’t feel bad whenever I indulge. Food is beautiful and it’s meant to be enjoyed and shared
Second course - gravlax drizzled with espelette pepper infused olive oil, avocado chantilly and corn bread:
Gravlax was delicious with the capers and the infused olive oil. I was expecting a more rustic cornbread, this one was fluffy almost like cake. Tasted better with the gravlax and avocado chantilly than on its own.
First two courses were paired with a glass of Gloria Ferrer blanc de noir [yay for bubbles!]
Third course - escargot vol-au-vent with roquefort butter and pecans:
Even though I am very adventurous with food I must confess I had never had escargots before. Somehow I’ve managed to avoid them… till today. I have these childhood memories wired in my system of me looking for snails at my grandparents’ house as a kid and thinking they were disgusting with all that slime and those retractable antlers… weird creatures indeed. I feel the same about eating conch which my parents love.
I just couldn’t say no to a dish prepared by Saverio so I closed my eyes and took a bite. The puff pastry and roquefort butter helped a lot but I don’t see myself ordering escargots any time soon. Crossing this from my list of strange food bucket list.
Fourth course – marseille bouillabaisse with prawns and aïoli provençal:
The bouillabaisse was absolutely great. This was my favorite dish
Third and fourth dish were paired with a glass of Chablis Louis Latour.
Fifth course - short rib boeuf bourguignon with pea and pistachio cous cous:
Boeuf bourguignon makes me think of Julia Child. Chef Stassi‘s version with short ribs was delicious, I didn’t finish my plate because I wanted to save room for dessert. I’m also not crazy about red meat [I would trade this for gravlax any time] but I’m sure this fall-of-the-bone meat dish will be a favorite in this week’s GastroTour. The cous cous was very good too, I love me some pistachios :)
This dish was paired with Beringer cabernet sauvignon Napa Valley.
Finally time for dessert: white chocolate dôme glacé with hazelnut brittle, mixed berry and grand marnier coulis.
Dôme glacé is french for ice dome. I crumbled the pretty hazelnut brittle on the plate while letting the ice dome thaw for a minute. The ice cream alone was ok but with the sauce and crunchy bits of the brittle was a whole different thing. Loved the sauce with berries and Grand Marnier ❤
This menu will be available all week until Saturday Sunday. Can’t wait to see what chef Saverio will have for us next Sunday Monday!
It’s no secret that Pat’e Palo is my favorite restaurant, and chef Saverio Stassi my favorite chef. Way before being on the TV show with him I used to visit the restaurant a lot. It was such an honor to work with him and can’t wait to start shooting season 2 [we are both judges on Mazola Academy] here’s a pic of us:
Thanks to Anabel for taking this pic! Turns out Anabel [who was a contestant on the show] is doing her second internship at Pat’e Palo. Pablo Rodríguez, runner-up and owner of the sweetest smile was also there. He started an internship a few days ago, so happy for him I know he will learn a lot at Pat’e Palo’s kitchen. Here I am with Anabel and Pablo:
Time to say goodbye, thanks so much for visiting my blog and if you’re in Santo Domingo don’t miss Pat’e Palo’s GastroTour. Best food in town
Friendly reminder: tomorrow is Meatless Monday. Do you celebrate meatless days?