I had dinner at The Source with my girlfriend Lauren on 5-10-17. This was no ordinary dinner: we were guests of Chef Russell Smith for the Lanson Champagne dinner! It was absolutely fabulous and so special to be a part of.
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5
Food & Drink: 4 out of 5
This is the bar when you first walk into the restaurant. It’s very hip, sleek, and elegant. The music is sort of trance electronica similar to Blue Duck Tavern. I could definitely see myself going there for happy hour.
This is the upstairs dining room. How great is that wall of wine? The modern, luxe decor, with all the metal, glass, velvet, and neutrals, kind of reminds me of the Manhattan Gucci store in the mid-2000s. I mean that in the absolute best way possible–I absolutely love that look.
The Lanson Champagne dinner started with a reception on the terrace. To get there I had to walk past a lot of champagne and subsequently took a lot of pictures, so bear with me.
How gorgeous are these bottles?
Box of wine! Ba dum ching.
These are all the various champagnes we would drink over the course of the evening.
Once on the terrace I was greeted by a negroni bar but obvi I went for the champagne.
Lanson Black Label Brut. This was light, lovely, and paired well with the passed hors d’oeurves.
Gotta get the Guide in on the action.
Pork dumplings. These were amazing! They were silky like a wonton with a great sesame flavor.
Chili crab bao. These were also really good. The fluffy, sweet bun was filled with salty, spicy crab.
Vegetable dumplings. These may have been my fav. The flavor was a mix of vinegar, sesame, and cilantro, while the skin was slightly crispy.
Salt and pepper pork (quail egg). The flavor was a little salty and subtle but they were fried to a perfect crispiness.
At this point we all moved inside. Lauren and I were seated with six other folks who ended up being so much fun.
Rosé Label Brut NV. I love rosé in all forms and this was no exception. In fact, rosé champagne was my drink of choice for a period when I lived in NYC. This was light and floral and I could probably drink about half of that bottle.
Isn’t the table lovely? This is clearly my new favorite adjective but I just love the clean elegance of it. Anytime you mix candles, white linens, white flowers, and lots of glassware you’ve got my vote. Throw in some rosé champagne and a Michelin Guide and it’s game over.
Oyster and caviar (citrus mignonette, yuzu-jalapeño gel). Wow–this was delicious! The mignonette shallots and vinegar were mixed with a little ginger, all of which paired nicely with the super chilled oyster.
Seared Maine diver scallops (rice noodles, grilled asparagus, XO sauce). I really liked the vegetables in the XO sauce and the rolled rice noodle. The scallops were a little salty but still really good.
Lanson Gold Label Brut 2002. This was much heavier than the previous champagnes, which was great because it really stood up to the flavor of the food. It had an almost hazelnut bouquet and somewhat buttery taste.
Honey lacquered poussin (hot and numbing spices, morel mushrooms, spring peas). Oh man did this taste good. The chicken may have been a tiny bit dry but the sauce was delicious. I also liked the greens and the morels were slightly crisp, which I loved.
Lanson Vintage Collection 1988. This champagne had aromas of apple and pear, and tasted slightly like honey.
Roasted suckling pig (plum glazed rhubarb, Chinese 5 spice, pork jus, pickled ramp). First off, I love pickled ramps so those were probably my favorite part of this dish. The rhubarb was sweet, tangy, and so fun for dipping. The pork itself was of course super tender while the fried pork skin was thick, crisp, salty, and delicious.
Lanson Clos Lanson Brut 2006. This is apparently their “top bottling” and was quite nice. It was light, dry, and paired well with the food.
Dulce de leche panna cotta (toasted angel food cake, strawberries, yuzu sorbet). I was going to have just a few bites of this and then ended up eating the whole thing. The yuzu sorbet topped with lime zest was fantastic; it was lemon-y without being too acidic. The edible flower was quite bitter but definitely looked really pretty. The panna cotta was denser than I expected but rich and flavorful. The toasted angel food cake was surprisingly the best part. There were both long flat pieces from the outer portion as well as small chunky pieces from the center. I wish I could just buy a big bag of it to munch on!
Lanson White Label Sec NV. This was sweeter and lighter than the others, which was nice for dessert.
So nice I had a little more!
One of our tablemates was having a birthday and they sent these out! So cute!!
Here are Lauren and I with Chef Russell.
Overall this was such a special night, one which I was so lucky to be a part of. I had an amazing time and the food was fantastic! Thank you Chef!