Thursday, February 7, 2008

Year of the Mouse and Dinner in a House

Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Rat... Gawd that sounds awful doesn't it? I think I prefer saying Mouse...

To celebrate Chinese New Years Eve last night (ok, not really) I FINALLY went to Chez TJ! Chez TJ is a highly regarded, award winning, Michelin 2-star restaurant in downtown Mountain View. It's very quaint in that the restaurant is in an old Victorian house and the diners are seated in different rooms inside the home. Maybe not an entirely polished feel - but still comfortable. I have been wanting to mark Chez TJ off my "Michelin Star List" for literally years and finally made it in JUST before chef, Christopher Kostow's departure to Meadowood in St. Helena. Actually, Chef Kostow has already left ~ as of 2/4 ~ but his menu is still being served for the next week. Chef Bruno Chemel is already on staff but is apparently not serving up his own Chef's Tasting Menu until Kostow's menu finishes running its course. THEREFORE: we were not offered a [12 small course] Chef's Tasting Menu last night ($112) and instead were forced to choose the [4 course] Menu Gastronomique ($80). Forced is a strong word. I've actually come to the realization that when I "super fine dine" I seem to enjoy the food more when I chose my own courses yet enjoy the experience more when I do the Chef's tasting menu. But not like it was a bad experience in the least! Actually it was AMAZING. The service needs some polishing and the amuse bouche was unimpressive but the main courses made up for it! Foie gras and scallops and prawns and beef tenderloin - all prepared exquisitely! It was likely the best piece of beef I've ever eaten...Delish!!

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