Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wit & Wisdom Preview Dinner

Last week Eric and I were invited to enjoy a tasting at the brand new Four Seasons in Baltimore. Wit & Wisdom, a Michael Mina tavern, is one of three new restaurants at the hotel in Harbor East. I enjoyed a site inspection earlier in the month while the team was undergoing rigorous training to prepare for this week's opening.

Boxes were being unloaded, Four Seasons team members were in from all over the world and dust was swirling while getting the restaurant ready. The space has an open floor plan with a hip coffee shop at one end called La Mill, The Wit & Wisdom bar anchoring the center and the restaurant space with open kitchen at the far end.

Lounge seating is also available for casual dining.

We recognized friends we worked with from our Mandarin Oriental days in DC at our tasting. Eric and I met while working there over six years ago.

The open kitchen boasts of wood fire grilled items and top-of-the-line appliances that other chefs in the city will be sure to covet.

We were seated in the lounge area for our tasting in front of our own private fireplace. 

La Mill is just beyond Eric in this photo. I love the ode to Poe at the coffee bar.

I started with the peanut soup, which came deconstructed.

The toasted marshmallows and chicken cracklings were the perfect balance of sweet, salt and crunch to this simple peanut soup.

I made sure to mix in the sweet marshmallow so each bite had this unique, melting flavor.

E. started with the crab au gratin. It was deliciously light. Nothing that you would expect from the term gratin and allowed the sweet crab meat to shine.

I went to visit the kitchen expediters who were doing extremely well for the very first day of service.

The bar wasn't operating just yet, but believe me, this is going to be the place to be seen in Baltimore.

Our favorite surprise of the meal were the hush puppies. This side was perfect. 

These nuggets of delight were crunchy on the outside and remarkably moist on the inside.

They were served with a sweet and spicy sauce that came warm in a petite little jar.

E. enjoyed the Rockfish.

I had the rabbit boudin with country-fried rabbit loin. The sweet potato puree was fantastic and the slices of apples and braised shallots were a perfect marriage on the plate. It was a lovely nod to fall.

The coffee is Lamill but does not get "pulled" from the cafe space. 

This was the most playful Red Velvet Cake I've ever seen plated. The ice cream, chocolate mousse, spiced pecans, chocolate nibs and velvet cake were a delightful combination. The cake wasn't too sweet either. As a whole it worked beautifully with every bite.

E. had the Apple Crisp which was perfect in every way with the gorgeously curled apple laces and cinnamon ice cream.

It was fun seeing the hotel in it's nearly ready stage. We went to the opening party last Friday and magically everything was in place, all dust had vanished and the staff was at full attention.

The flags are now flying and the Four Seasons Baltimore is open for business. We look forward to many more special occasions in the future!

Thanks again Martha for the wonderful tours and Julien for our gracious invitations last week. Here's to your continued success!


Bethany said...

Yum! That looks delicious! I especially like the look of the peanut soup and the hush puppies. I'll have to plan a trip soon.

Anonymous said...

My pleasure as always!!!