This past weekend, we helped one of our clients host a classic Maine-style Lobster Bake, with a decadent twist. The intimate event was for the Boise and Sun Valley chapter of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the oldest food and wine society in the world. So this was no plastic bib-style backyard boil, but rather an all-out bacchanalian seafood soirée.
We kept the theme nautical/classy, with gold flourishes, embroidered cloth lobster bibs and custom designed menus on vintage newsprint. With help from the service crew at Kin, we started the evening off with flutes of Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas-Francois Brut champagne and fresh shucked Kusshi oysters. And the apps kept flowing from there.
Lobster rolls flecked with fresh tarragon and chive blossoms on a lightly grilled, buttery housemade brioche bun. Thinly sliced, marinated geoduck with cucumbers, chili and fresh cilantro. Seared dry-packed scallops with creamy cauliflower puree and fried cauliflower florets. Marinated mussels, clams and scallops with shaved fennel and dill.
(Top: Wild Plum Housemade Lobster Rolls. Bottom, Clockwise Left to Right: Marinated Geoduck with Cucumbers and Chilis; Seared Dry-Pack Scallops and Cauliflower; Marinated Shellfish with Fennel)
By the time guests were seated for the first course at a long wood table flickering with candles, they were ready for something to warm them up on this chilly fall day. Enter our local sweet corn bisque with Northwest-foraged chanterelle mushrooms and a sprinkle of homemade smoky-sweet chili powder.
For the second course, we dialed up the decadence with a delicate housemade seafood sausage, packed with scallops, Maine Lobster and shrimp, served in a lobster beurre blanc with a fresh herb salad.
For the main course: Maine lobster, of course. Served with corn on the cob, boiled potatoes, broccoli and a trio of sauces: Drawn butter, tarragon shallot dressing and a delightfully decadent béarnaise.
As the evening lingered on, guests got more skilled with their lobster crackers and the wines continued to flow. By the time the dessert was served—an airy almond tart with locally foraged, brandied wild plums—the sun had set and the crowd had been lulled into a blissfully, butter-fueled food coma.