Sunday, February 20, 2011

Medici Restaurant Baden-Baden

Now that the hype is gone . You know,  valentine's day? Day of love, roses, chocolates ,  diamonds ( a big yes to this if FF's reading) and  angelic cherub in loose diapers and tiny wings ( it's a miracle that they could even fly!) holding a bow and arrow while smiling sweetly?! Hmmm picture doesn't looked right here. Babies with pointy sharp weapon aiming at random stranger? Okaaay  let's leave it at that!

 Ms. E and FF decided to get all cheesy and celebrate the day of Love days  after Valentine's day. I know, it doesn't make any sense but I rarely make sense anyway.  It all boils down to this. Ms. E was  looking for a perfect excuse to pig style. I happen to buy an adorable dress and got absolutely NO idea when or where to wear it.  Yup, Ms. E could be as shallow as a  fish pond during  drought and proud of it! What can I say? I'm a girl! Anyway, we have a number of good local restaurant in our town, but people here are somehow more laid back and practical . Reading between the lines, nobody  wears a little black dress and stilettos while dining out .  It's all cotton no satin here baby. And so I've searched high and low for a satin friendly place. You know, a place where you could step into  a restaurant without feeling overdressed. Not the going-out-in-a-cocktail-dress-only- to-see -other-guests-in-jeans-and-pullover-scenario. It's a personal choice anyway, to each her own, some might even say .  Luckily enough, I found out that I don't have to search long and wide for such a place. Just 20 km away from where I lived is a little cozy city where women walk in pavements in furs and wear dark sunglasses even if it's gloomy and sunless. Oho! This could be the perfect place! Two stressful and  work filled  weeks later  ,we found ourselves (me in my little Satin dress and FF in his cotton and pullover , to each his own, right?!)   in this  dreamy, romantic , dimly lit, carpeted, and filled with ladies in satin restaurant: The Medici . On some parts of the restaurant were posters and framed photos of prominent people who had once patronized the place. Like him..

Richard Branson

 I don't know most of them but another face I did recognized was the Dalai Lama! Isn't he supposed to be vegetarian?! Okaaay I don't want to say much about THAT either. Lets talk about food shall we?

Medici uses classic local recipes and combining it with some Mediterranean  touch. The fusion leads  to a contemporary , refreshing and satisfying menu which is a nice alternative to the usual food you could get at most restaurants in the area. Menu may vary and may depend on what local product is in season. Medici also houses a famous Sushi Bar ,known for its top quality sushis made by Osaka raised sushi master, Hiroshi Akutsu. We made our reservation at this sushi bar, wanting to know the reason why his creations were renowned. Plus, the sushi bar's looking rather posh.

picture taken from Medici Restaurant website

Unfortunately, the sushi bar is close until early March, looks like Mr.Akutsu needs a long break from kneading and shaping lukewarm rice and slicing octopus tentacles. So sushi's off the menu. Hmpt! ( Not overly disappointed, since I have another PERFECT excuse for coming back. Hah!)
We were instead ushered to the restaurant area which looks equally opulent. With pillars  constantly changing color I felt like stepping into a snoozle room somehow enticed.
picture taken from Medici Restaurant website

Even the bar looks inviting and I don't even drink!  It's the place to hang out and be seen.

picture take from Medici Restaurant website

Once seated, the culinary adventure combined with the excellent service begins. The whole place was filled with black suited service personal who are quick to perceive their clients' needs. One has to only look up and you can actually see  one zooming in your table like fork attracted to magnet. They are quite happy to explain  about everything on the menu. Even how the meat on your plate was raised. Which makes me less guilty knowing my meal was once a happy cow. You had a happy life and have served your purpose my friend. I thought while looking at my wagyu. All those grazing and beer drinking did you well.

The dim candle lit surroundings make it is very difficult for me for to take good pictures. I somehow felt that the shots didn't do the food real justice. Plus German , most if not all , have aversion to camera pointed at their direction while eating. After few flashes, I'm starting to elicit some curious and some not so friendly glares from other tables. I almost feel like standing and saying out loud.'' I'm a food blogger! I have responsibilities to my readers and 3 followers! ''Ok, that babbling to the core. LOL. Anyway, it won't stop me from sharing some shots.. So here we go.

FF and I decided to try different things . Each of us choose an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert. Luckily for us and the rest of the patrons, Medici offers few Amuse-gueule  in between courses. These tidbits are meant to excite the taste buds so bitteschön, excite me! After placing our orders, the first hors d'oeuvre  arrived at our table.

It is in itself a simplicity but each element is made of top quality ingredients. Two types of bread slices was served with some complimenting dips and spreads . Two kinds of olive oil, one fired up by some chilies, a tomato based quark spread and the other a creamy garlic based. Among the four, the rich and smooth garlic spread was my favorite. Everything in this spread was subtle and  not so overpowering.

FF's starters. White curry soup. The pastry shell was stuffed with diced tomatoes, champignons and tiny shrimps tossed in some spices FF couldn't name. It was first presented to him like an lone flower begging to be watered and the curry soup was slowly poured on his plate. Don't you just love it when professional play your food?! The soup was very  tasty  with a very sublime  hint of curry and lemongrass. FF was very happy with his soup, can't blame him.

My starters.As it reaches our table I want to swap it with FF's curry soup. The menu sounds promising: Salad ,,Medici'' with cherry tomatoes, olives, anchovies, marinated onions and Provolone cheese. Add a whooping 4 euro for every piece of shrimp or scallops. Since I love everything mentioned above except the olives, I excitedly ordered it. I didn't know, it comes with grass. Lots and lots of grass. I have to do some serious digging excavation on my plate to look for my cherry tomatoes and anchovies and marinated onions and Provolone cheese.  I manage to eat most of my greens along the way but I admit, I'm not a salad girl. It was good actually and  my shrimp was excellent and ginormous. Looking at FF's minute shrimps, I suddenly felt better.

On the house as entree. Vegetable praline with creamy curry sauce. Tasted waaaay better than my grass to  be honest. How come free foods always tasted better than the one you actually have to pay for?!

My  main dish:  Tri-Tip Steak of Wagyu Beef aka happy cow on creamy Polenta and baked Oxtail. If you are a certified carnivore, you could never go wrong with wagyu beef. It was soft as  butter and so juicy you could almost slurp it. I have a thing for oxtails. So I was almost spreading everything on my plate looking for it. I was setting the small fried ball aside thinking it was some leftover vegetable praline the chef wants to give me. When my plate was almost empty ( portions are not excessively big), I actually thought the kitchen forgot my oxtail! Feeling a bit rubbed off, I sunk my teeth into the ball and tadaaa it was made up of these tender, almost jellyish yummy oxtail meat. What a relief. They could have added another ball as it was rather tiny. Oh well, I had my protein so I'm happy.

FF's choice. Saddle of veal, glazed sweetbread with Perigord truffles, Veal ravioli and leaf Spinach. The meat was so pinkish it looked raw ( to me a bit unappetizing) but FF said it was very tender and delicious so I believed him. Since he's not the kind of guy who easily gives compliment, I presume the dish was good.

Another Amuse-bouche given to us after ordering some dessert. Raspberry sorbet and  quark cake with chocolate drizzle. If you are to bake something this microscopic, then it would naturally turn up hard (like this one). It was OK but nothing to shout about .

Now comes dessert. I personally treat dessert not just as some sweet to end the meal but to me, it is the food of my very soul. When dinning out and when I start to feel sated, I will eat only half a portion of the main dish to leave some space for dessert. I won't mind eating dessert first if allowed. Yes, most women have serious issues with sugar.

FF's spread. Cheesecake with mango ragout and spice ice cream. The ice cream made me curious, sure I've tasted not-so-usual-flavors like green tea or sea salt but using spices in an ice cream? I took a nibble and honestly it was not for me. FF however almost wipe his dessert plate clean .

My spread consist of Creme Brulee a la Vanille with sugar flambeed before our eyes. There's something exciting about  seeing sugar burnt to a caramel crust. If I made some video, I will play it again and again.( ssshalloooow) I don't know if this tiny flamey show that  caused me to like this flan so much. It was the best part of our entire meal. Dessert comes in three here so here's mine.
Creme Brulee a la Vanilla. I even saw some vanilla seeds as I dig in. No bottled vanilla aroma here , only pure vanilla-y essence. It was not overly sweet and had no absolute egg-y hint to it. Just cream, good vanilla and sugar crust flavour.  If their dessert bowl get any bigger, I will bathe in it.

 Chocolate foam. It's like mousse, light and fluffy  with a hint of bitterness. Goes perfectly well with the sweetness of Creme Brulee.

Cherry ice cream with Krokant. Love the presentation using spun sugar. The ice cream have a strong Kirschwasser tang to it. It somehow reminded me of a black forest gateau. Not my kind of cake. FF happily finished it off for me. Yes..we share plates.

It was a very satisfying  dinner. If I smoke, I will lit a Cuban cigar and sit on the cozy couch in the Cigar cabinet. Unfortunately or rather fortunately I don't .

Medici Restaurant
Augustaplatz 8
76530 Baden Baden

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