Oh my crap. That was, quite possibly, the best dinner experience I've ever had. And it had nothing to do with the fact that I started off the night with a Cucumber Gimlet and followed that up with a half bottle of wine. All I know is that Logan - An American Restaurant, at 115 West Washington Street in Ann Arbor rocked me to my crabby core.
Fuck the set-up of the evening and all the preliminary exposition bullshit -- we drove the hour to Ann Arbor, eventually found parking (we forgot that it was the fucking Art Fair weekend and the streets were awash with assholes buying mixed-media weather vanes and batik jodhpurs) and we made it to the restaurant.
On to the food:
1. A savory Antique Gruyere custard served with handmade poppy seed crackers, and a quenelle of warm soffritto: onions and tomatoes that are caramelized for ten hours. A solid app that we order every time we go there. I don't know what a "quenelle of warm soffritto" is, but I think it has something to do with shoving a onion-y glorb of rich, cheesy pudding into your drooling face-hole, over and over and over again. Only complaint: more crackers! Enough with the cracker-rationing in this country. I realize there's a war on, but let's ration some other dried flatbread... like Chicken in a Biscuit.
B. Logan Sashimi
Sliced yellowfin tuna* served with a coconut curry sauce, organic micro cilantro, and lotus root chips. Garnished with a Serrano chili “caviar” and citrus foam.
Stellar. The tuna was like butter, and when all the shit was piled together onto that root chip and shoved face-holeward, it was like an ocean-y fishgasm exploding in my quavering maw. And even if the iodine from the tuna causes my thyroid to balloon and then burst, it will have been worth it. Tuna? Tune-yeah!
Then we had some salads and I sucked down my Hendrick's gin Cucumber Gimlet, which was cucumbrilliant, and then along strolled the wacky sommelier. The Old Lady and I were just planning on getting a glass of wine each with dinner 'cuz we were both pretty wiped and we had to make the hour long journey back home after dinner. But this grape guru comes by and tells us this rambling-yet-riveting story of a Sicilian winemaker who planted his one-of-a-kind vines on some mountain and he personally tastes every batch and if it's really fucking perfect it becomes this $300 bottle of wine but if it's not quite as brilliant, but still fucking brilliant, it becomes this $80 bottle that they just happened to have there and which just happens to pair perfectly with both of the pastas we were about to order and then, well... we ordered an $80 bottle of wine.
And if fucking ROCKED! Seriously, if you ever see this wine, get it. Ejaculate of the gods, I'm telling ya. And yes, I know it's only $31.99 online, but restaurants always at least double the price of a bottle and this sommelier-savant could've gotten me to buy a fucking Yoo-Hoo for 38 bucks, he was that convincing, so what're you gonna do?
Okay, lets move this along...
The Old Lady got this: Freshly made potato gnocchi tossed with a green olive, piquillo pepper, garlic and shallot sauce. Topped with fresh roasted pinenuts, Parmesan Reggiano cheese, and arugula micro greens.
It was excellent. The gnocchi was cooked perfectly, light and rich, and not gummy and rubbery like most attempts. The olive tapenade was intense but amazing -- really drew the saliva outta the glands, if you know what I mean. Solid dish.
I, on the other hand, got this: Handmade tortelloni filled with goat cheese, braised artichoke hearts, and rosemary. Smothered in a herb infused cream sauce and topped with Parmesan Reggiano cheese.
Sounds simple, right? Hands down, the best pasta dish I've ever inhaled. If you know me, you know that I'm not the kinda dude who tosses the word "transcendent" around, but I actually invoked that word when the 15-year-old waiter asked me how my meal was. No shit. I don't know how such a simple dish could have been that mind-blowingly pastarrific, but it was. Eating it was like tucking my colon in for the night with a warm, goat-cheese-filled comforter and an artichoke/parmesan/rosemary-filled pillow. Of course, this morning, all that luxurious bedding looked liked it had been through the fucking wringer as I got a second look at it in ol' commode, but last night, it sure was dreamy.
After the meal, we were both perfectly sated and, frankly, drunk off our asses. I asked Waiter, Jr. if they had any cots in the back where I could sleep the meal off, but he, instead, showed us the dessert cart. I literally didn't know into which body hole I could fit any more food, as each one was already brimming with percolating pap. But I ordered a tasty wine-soaked pear egg-rolly number that pretty much corked up all the orifii quite nicely. I had the Old Lady take a quick photo to document my culinary contentment:
It kills me that we're so far from Chicago and all the amazing eateries that dot every block in every neighborhood. But being an hour away from an amazing dining experience like Logan - An American Restaurant makes living in a victual-void village like Okemos almost bearable. If you're ever in Ann Arbor, go to Logan and make sure they don't end up closing like every other restaurant we like in this state. And tell them Crabbydad sent ya.