Friday, September 4, 2009

Dinner at New Sammy's

Ashland, Sept. 4, 2009—
YES: THIRD DAY RUNNING at New Sammy's. Why not? Why would you spend a week in a town boasting one of the finest restaurants you know without eating there as often as possible?
I had a salmon paté, then a rib steak with vegetables. Sounds simple enough. Everything was direct, clean, complex.
"She's a cook, not a chef," Gaye said, revealing the genius of Charlene. Sure, there's an assistant, maybe two now, in the kitchen: but Charlene's role is not primarily to manage an equipe, a team of phenomenal cooks whose separate and individual passions and intelligences might stand as much in the way of a successful meal as in its service. Charlene primarily mediates between what she knows of cooking, which is considerable, and the ingredients she deals with, which she knows intimately.
The paté was beautifully textured, smoky and fishy, clean and focussed. The steak — some kind of perfect balance between marbled fat and lean texture, and fine flavor. I think there's only one other restaurant I know in this country up to this mark.
Vin blanc, Coteaux Varois "Chateau Miraval", 2007; vin rouge d'Anjou

1 comment:

rogue_librarian said...

What a small virtual world. I just found you while searching the net for a photo of the outside of Sammy's to add to a blog post I'm working on. I think you must have been across the room from us at Sammy's last night. We were the other couple seated in the old part of the restaurant, in the lower level. Your blog looks great! I look forward to reading further after I finish this post (my blog is called Foodlandia, by the way). Happy eating!