First Taste

The Jeff Kraus "Experience" at Cycle: You Missed Out!

This past weekend 120 lucky boys and girls had the chance to take part in Truckin' Good Food chef Jeff Kraus' "Experience" at downtown pop-up shop Cycle.

And when we say lucky, we truly mean lucky.

We just so happened to be 2 of those lucky people.

After fully studying the menu in advance it had been decided that my dining companion and I would just have to go for it and order one of everything on the menu. Good thing we came hungry --- it was a ton of food. A ton of super delicious food, that is.

Food porn after the jump...

First to arrive at the table was a small brown bag containing quite possibly the best fries ever. Cooked to crispy perfection in duck fat and served with a side of creamy garlic mayo, I finished off the entire bag. Not a good move since there was still an insane amount of food to come.

Next came the Frog Leg Lollies, one of the main reasons I was here in the first place. Some of you may recall my concerns last week as to the execution of this dish. Well, apparently I am psychic because they were, indeed, little balls of tender froggy meat served with little stick bones accompanied by a blue cheese foam and slivers of carrot gel. It may sound strange, but amazing doesn't even begin to describe these tiny morsels of goodness. Our only complaint was that there were only three on the plate which caused a small debate over who would get the last one. (In the end it was carefully divided.)

Next came the entrees. The salad with pig ears, poached egg and arugula had a peppery bite to it and despite my hatred of poached eggs, the dish was gone quickly. I'm still not sure exactly where the pigs ears were. The smoked pizza included a light, cornmeal-dusted dough that complemented the fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto nicely.

But it was the 3 Lil' Lamb sliders that really stole the show. Each tender lamb patty was a perfect example of med-rare on soft, slightly sweet and chewy buns, topped with ingredients to represent Africa, Europe and America. The African was topped with a creamy curry mayo; the European with Saffron Kitchen's Sexy Chutney; and the American with bacon and cheddar. The African and the European were the first to go leaving little room for American, which was frankly hard to appreciate after the exotic flavors of the first two.

And finally, dessert. First up was the Nitro Sundae, a spectacular plate with a bittersweet chocolate egg filled with a delicate Chantilly cream plated with vanilla custard, flash-frozen strawberries and bananas and buttery caramel. This alone had me wishing that I had made reservations for both nights! The second dessert was a skillet chocolate chip cookie topped with Wild Turkey (as in whiskey) whipped cream. Although it was done nicely, the cookie was so rich our full stomachs couldn't handle more then a bite or two and in comparison to the rest of the meal it fell a little short.  

If you missed this event, you missed out on one hell of a meal. In fact, I will goes as far as to say that it was the absolute best meal I have eaten off of a paper/plastic plate. Best. Seriously. My fingers are crossed that Jeff Kraus opens his new restaurant soon and that those lil' lamb sliders are a permanent fixture on the menu because then I will have no choice but to become a permanent fixture as well.

Check out the Cycle schedule for upcoming guest chef dinners. Future chef visits include former Estate House chef Gio Osso and Charlie Blonkenfeld of the late Chaka Chaka.

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Shannon Armour
Contact: Shannon Armour