Birthday Dinners: Keep the libations coming at Schwa

Happy day after Valentine’s Day! (I didn’t do anything day of.)

Two weeks back was the birthday of a good friend, and in celebration of his 25th, he splurged and went out to two really nice dinners, one right after the other. I was invited to dine with him (how could I pass up the chance for good food?), which lead to lovely dinners at Schwa and Next (post to come soon).

It was a pretty chilly evening so I was glad to get out of the cold after the 4 block walk from the subway station.
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Inside there was lots of food and drinks to be had.
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(Birthday boy on the left there.)

There was plenty of wine.
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9 bottles of wine and another bottle of Jameson. Lots was drunk throughout the night and we all got a little fuzzy in the head. hah.

The amuse bouche was a maraschino cherry chocolate (I think it was chocolate) soaked in liquor.
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You’ll notice that all the photos in this post will be a little blurry. As great as the food at Schwa is, the lighting really sucks. My Nikon J1 was working super hard that night.

There was a rose water palate cleanser after the cherry.
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I honestly don’t remember that much about it. Although, it did it’s job. But the food got pretty serious (sort of) after this.

Next we had an egg custard with mushrooms and other micro-greens. Black truffle oil was all over it.
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It’s got this nice home-y feel to it, but a little bit on the salty side.

It was kind of reminiscent of the quail egg and truffle mashed potatoes dish at Elizabeth.
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^And this was somewhat reminiscent of the “Hot potato, cold potato” at Alinea. I’m sure the daisychain could go on.

The next dish (not pictured) was actually a quail egg black truffle ravioli. I didn’t get a picture because I still hadn’t quite figured out how to get the blur under control (looks like I need some photography classes). But, this dish was really good and I’m interested in trying to recreate it at home.

Honestly, I don’t remember what the next two dishes were.
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I remember they were light and good openers to the menu. I think the one above was some sort of white chocolate dusted in cocoa powder and filled with beet. Kind of like eating candy.

This was followed by a lobster and citrus dish.
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This was pretty interesting. It had a combination of ingredients, from butter, lobster, citrus jam and some pith. So the types of flavors were sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and rich. This was definitely one of those dishes where you want to continue licking your plate even after you’ve finished eating.

Hazelnut and fig (iirc)
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It also had this nice tart, sweet, and savory combination.

Palate cleanser of white wine vinegar sorbet.
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It was a nice continuation of the tart flavors.

Buttersquah(?) gnocchi.
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Schwa was heavy on the pastas. Not that it was a bad thing. In fact, it’s kind of refreshing to see a not so protein-centric menu.

Clowning around from dinner.
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I was trying to get a inconspicuous shot of the left-hand side of the table, but instead caught this lovely moment.

By this point I had quite a bit of wine, but I think we broke out the Jameson shots with the chefs around then.

Schwa has this lovely IDGAF ambiance about it. At one point during the dinner heavy metal and Notorious B.I.G. was being blasted over the speakers, then followed by Macklemore’s Thrifshop.

Venison steak with more fig(?)
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More plays on sweet and savory combination.

Now we we slowly transition into dessert.

Rice Krispie treats
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Which are then followed by…

French onion soup lollipops!
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As this was getting served, the waiter actually dropped it in my hair. No worries though. I just picked it up and ate it anyways. Still tasted fine.

And the final dessert.
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A play on pie. (But, I don’t really remember which pie this was probably due to my rather intoxicated state by the end of the night.)

The chefs responsible for this lovely meal!
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These guys were tons of fun. I definitely recommend Schwa for fine and casual dining experience. But, probably not a great place to go if you’re looking for a quiet dinner.

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