Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ren's 30th Birthday - The LAB Dining Session

Best. Meal. Ever.

A few weeks ago a good friend/soon-to-be Ren & Rob groom, Virgil, introduced us to Chef Arquines and one of his open-invitation tastings via "The Lab - Dining Sessions." Needless to say, we had a great time and enjoyed the food. Since then Chef Mike and I (Rob) have been planning a surprise dinner for Ren for her 30th birthday with a small group of her closest friends and family. Basically, I told Chef Arquines a few of Ren's favorites meals, desserts, and drinks. Chef and his brilliant team did the rest by coming up with not only some imaginative takes on her favorites (oreos and milk = "faux"reos and horchata) but also just plain perfect execution on others (seared foie gras and raw uni). With great company, great food, and great service Ren and I had one of the best meals of our lives.

Unfortunately, you can't taste the food from that night but at least you can see art he created below and more on his awesome site: and be on the lookout for some collabo work between Ren & Rob and The Lab.

Ren's personalized menu
"Oysters and Sago 23" - Carlsbad Blonde Oysters | Sago Tapioca | Hackleback Caviar
"Uni in Three" - "Risotto" | "Cappuccino" | Salad
Arborio rice permeated w/ black truffle which we got to keep!

"Foie Gras Au Torchon" - Hudson Valley Foie Gras | Fig & Aged Balsamic | Peach Fluid Gel | Sauternes | Black Summer Truffle | Brioche
Chef Arquines schooling us on the meals, ingredients, prep and presenting the "push-up" palette cleanser: "Cleanse" - Pickled Watermelon Rind Sorbet

"Piece de Resistance" - Whole Roasted Hudson Valley Foie Gras | Duck Grastrique | Lentils de Puys | Roasted Wild Mushroom | Artichoke Terrine
"Milk and Cookies" - Borchata | "Faux"reos
Extra brûlée for Ren
Meeting the awesome Lab team
The perfect birthday meal
From Ren: Chef Mike, thank you and your team for taking us on this unforgettable food adventure. You truly have a gift and I feel honored that you've shared it with us. Here's to more amazing meals in the future!


  1. It was an honor cooking for you guys! Love the pics! Till the next time : )

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