You probably know that I do not eat out very often (for money reasons …), and if I do, I usually order a mixed salad with roasted chicken. The annual Christmas dinner of the personality psychology department, however, is an exception – the professor is not only very kind and generous, but also an absolute foodie, so he always invites his whole department (the secretary, research fellows, PhD students, student research assistents, and the retired professor) to a very nice restaurant, and lots of delicious food and good wine are enjoyed for sure.
This year, the dinner took place at the restaurant in Heidelberg, and two weeks earlier we all received an email with a link to the menu (unfortunately only in German) so we could pick our dishes. I had to translate half of the menu from “Gourmet” into German … (Thank you, Google! ) I am sorry I did not picture all of the dishes, but I pictured at least some of them, and so I am proud to present you my first gourmet food parade!
The dinner started with the entrees some of us had ordered, and this one enjoyed next to me gave me food envy.
~ sautéed scallops with spinach and pine nuts ~
Others had pheasant mousse with truffel splinters on madeira jelly with lamb’s lettuce and brioche, or lettuce salad with chopped walnuts and requefort cheese. Everything looked very good.
Then, there was the main course … It took a little longer until the food was served because everything was freshly made, but the waiting was absolutely worth it, and meanwhile, we indulged in conversations and sipped on excellent wine ordered by the professor – red and white, according to liking. I only had the white wine, and it was just as I love it: dry and light, with a gentle, slightly mineral taste.
Of the main course, I pictured most of the dishes enjoyed that night.
~ turbot fillet with truffles and ribbon noodles on creamy savoy cabbage ~
~ spined loach cutlets with tomato basil sauce and ribbon noodles ~
~ goat cheese ravioli with tomato basil sauce ~
~ sliced duck breast fillet and chestnuts in cognac sauce ~
~ roasted pheasant with savoy cabbage and crispy potato puffs ~
The chef was very nice and brought me just roasted fish and a side of sautéed vegetables, without any gluten or dairy in it (for allergy reasons), so I could totally enjoy this dinner as well. This was my meal:
~ roasted spine loach and sautéed vegetables ~
I think this was the first time I had spined loach, and I was really pleased. The flesh was nicely firm and had a wonderful flavor. My friend (who also works as a research assistent) gave me a bite of her pheasant to try – another first-time experience – and I liked that one as well. It tasted nicely game-y and was wonderfully seasoned.
Desserts ordered where little cones of mousse – chocolate, passionfruit, or gingerbread mousse – that came with a garnish of different fruit.
~ my friend’s mousse au chocolat ~
During the course of the meal (that took several hours altogether), lots of good and inspirational conversations were had, and we also had fun rearranging the table decoration and building little artworks from it. Structure nerd, anybody?
~ as you can imagine, I loved the Smiley ~
~ I made this whirl galaxy ~
I am a little sad this was my last Christmas dinner with the personality department – my contract runs out by the end of December and I will not extend it since my parents can give me a little more financial support for the last months of my studies, and I want to go into another direction with my own research later. Anyway, I would not have been a student research assistant anymore by the end of the next year due to graduation until then. But the time I worked in this department I have always enjoyed, and it will not be forgotten.
Do you come to enjoy a gourmet dinner on occasion? If yes, what was the most awesome thing you enjoyed so far?