Wednesday, March 30, 2016

COUNTER 3 . FIVE . VII wows once again

If you live in Austin or visit here, and if you are interested in great food, you need to book a dinner reservation here.  COUNTER 3 . FIVE . VII, which from now on I'll call "Counter," offers only three menu options:  a three-course, a five-course, or a seven-course meal.  Each totals about the same amount of food, but the larger the number of courses, the more work for the restaurant's half dozen or so chefs, so the higher the price.

I've tasted one each of the three- and five-course menus, and I've now eaten the seven-course option three or four times.

Every single meal has been fantastic, and tonight's was no exception.

The menu relies heavily on local ingredients and always leaves a bit to your imagination.

Click an image to see a larger version.

Every bite of every dish was delicious.  A particular standout was the dish titled "Rhubarb,"

which blended Newsom's ham with brown butter and many presentations of rhubarb.  I had no clue how good that vegetable could taste.

As you eat, you get to watch the chefs both prepare and then present your dishes, so it really is dinner and a show.

I've now been to Counter enough times that I recognize the chefs and a few of them recognize me.  Tonight, while talking with the pastry chef, I mentioned that growing up I thought the only way people ever ate cauliflower was as a stringy, snot-like mass, and so I hated that vegetable.  I was in my twenties before I ever tasted a piece of the vegetable raw.  One of the chefs heard me and treated us to their cauliflower dish,

which presents the vegetable almost as a main meat course.  Various takes on cauliflower are all over that plate, and they combine into an amazing, rich, meaty dish that was also a highlight of the meal.

Go to Counter.  Pick the menu you want--I'll always recommend the seven-course--sit back, and trust the chefs to present you with amazing dishes that you would otherwise never have experienced.

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