...and with the preliminaries behind us, we moved on to the main body of the dinner. We learned that the chefs source organically, sustainably and locally "whenever possible", especially within a 50 mile radius, though they do not limit their search for the best product there, "going to the ends of the Earth" to find special ingredients.
This dish, a take on Sauce Grenobloise - turbot with parsley puree, crispy capers, smoked potato and caper emulsion, spinach, Meyer lemon and brown butter caramelized milk solids, totally knocked me out. It was delicious and one of the best deconstructed dishes I have had in some time. The individual elements shone on their own and together. The brown butter solids ("tuiles") atop the fish had been inspired by Alex's work on milk solids. They were the element that brought the whole dish together. I considered the preparation, a "platelicker."
One thing that surprised me about Elements was the level of luxury within the restaurant. make no mistake, this is an unabashed fine dining restaurant, even if the dress code is relatively casual. From the setting to the chairs to the plates to the silverware to the glasses, everything about the setting is top notch.Though we didn't have wine, the food and beverage program matches and even exceeds the sophistication of the environment. The main dining room is beautiful as is the private dining room, but if one enjoys the action of a kitchen, the kitchen tables at Elements are the place to be. The table and chairs are exceedingly comfortable, set back far enough from the kitchen so as to be unobtrusive, but close enough to get a sense of the action.
While the restaurant has all the creature comforts and is quite sophisticated, the reason to go there remains its culinary cornucopia. From the bar program to the food, the restaurant is a clear original, doing what it does with personality, taste and skill. We did not have wine, so I can not personally speak to the wine program, but I have no reason to think that it would be any less stellar than the rest of the restaurant. In building this restaurant, Principle owner, Stephen Distler, seemingly spared no expense and put together a real winner of a restaurant. The one question I have is, Why couldn't he have chosen Hanover, New Hampshire?