12 days: pipers piping (anderson and habiger)…

The line.


On the eleventh of the Twelve Days of Christmas at The Restaurant at Meadowood, Christopher Kostow gave to me Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger, the duo who took Nashville, and the country by storm this past year with their cleverly named restaurant, The Catbird Seat.  In one, short year, the two chefs received an unprecedented amount of attention, including being named two of this year’s Food & Wine Best New Chefs, and having their restaurant named the best new restaurant of the year by numerous publications.

Kostow and I ate at The Catbird Seat, a thirty-two seat horseshoe counter enclosing a small kitchen, in October.  And it was nice to see the two chefs again at Meadowood Napa Valley, where, together with Kostow, they presented an eight course menu paired with wines from Quintessa and Neyen wineries.


The sorcerer's apprentice.


I had eaten most of what Anderson and Habiger cooked for the Twelve Days of Christmas at The Catbird Seat, including a delicious dessert of oak ice cream, bourbon, and cherry.  But I’ll mention two other things that stood out about their visit.

First, Anderson and Habiger made staff meal that day, and it was terrific.  They served up some soulfully Southern food, like hot chicken (fried chicken coated in hot sauce, a Nashville specialty) and shrimp and grits. Of all of the staff meals I ate during the Twelve Days of Christmas, this one was my favorite.

Second, the two presented a nicely marbled strip of short rib coated in kale ash.  At first, I thought the kale ash was a bit overwhelming – it was bitter, almost acrid. But then, there came the cooling creaminess of buttermilk, and the bright happy flavors of dill and a splash of acid from fermented cabbage.  Together, it was a nicely orchestrated balance in the extremes.




Kostow roasted whole guinea hen in a salt crust, slightly green with chopped epazote (look how beautiful it was) and served the tender meat with chestnuts and pumpkin.  That was a beautiful and comforting winter dish.

For the cheese course, Kostow’s team piped rich, creamy Brillat Savarin over persimmon purée and capped it with crisp, pita chip beret. Through a hole drilled into the chip, servers poured a spot of peridot-green olio nuovo.  Together, it was sweet and milky, colorful and delicious, with crunchy bits of pita throughout.  I loved it.

You’ll find the entire menu from the Twelve Days of Christmas dinner with Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger, and a slideshow of the dinner below.



Porcini and Parm “Oreos
Hot Chicken Skin with White Bread Purée
(Anderson and Habiger)

Duck Liver Mousse
Carrot Sponge with Carrot Top Crème Fraîche
(Christopher Kostow)

1st Course
Whipped Yogurt
Buckwheat, sesame, shiso.
(Christopher Kostow)

2nd Course
Diver Scallops
Cherrywood, dashi, lime, smoked ikura.
(Anderson and Habiger)

3rd Course
Broccoli, flax.
(Christopher Kostow)

4th Course
Chorizo-Poached Sablefish
Toasted rice saffron olive oil and kale.
(Anderson and Habiger)

5th Course
Salt-Baked Guinea Hen
Epazote, chestnut, pumpkin curd.
(Christopher Kostow)

6th Course
Short Rib
Buttermilk, beet, kale ash, dill, fermented cabbage.
(Anderson and Habiger)

7th Course
Brillat Savarin
Persimmon and olio nuovo.
(Christopher Kostow)

8th Course
Oak ice cream, vanilla, pineapple, and bourbon.
(Anderson and Habiger)


Illumination, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, 2011
Flowers, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2010
Neyen, Apalta Valley, Chile, 2008
Quintessa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2006
Quintessa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2009 


(For those of you browsing on a mobile, click here, for the photos)

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~ by ulterior epicure on December 26, 2012.

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