Hey Lovers! We had a time last night—well, the other night, but you know what I meant.
Indulging in a Culinary Adventure
Imagine visiting a new city and spending several days trying new dishes, visiting markets and food festivals, and learning about the local cuisine. That is just what we did, without the extensive travel.
This Edible Excursion took us to Limewood Bar & Restaurant, located within the Claremont Hotel, a luxury resort in Berkeley, California. The Claremont Hotel is situated in the hills of the East Bay, with stunning views of San Francisco. The location provides a serene and picturesque setting, making it a popular destination for travelers and locals. The hotel and restaurant are conveniently located near many local attractions, activities, and more restaurants, making it an ideal spot for an edible excursion or a relaxing getaway. The perfect location for an excursion, right?!
There’s nothing I enjoy more than the creativity, company, joy and food of black folk!
We were invited to three dinners in the same week—all in the East Bay. A girl like me couldn’t wait to indulge despite not having any prior knowledge of the cuisines. If the menu was out there, we didn’t look. We trusted the chefs’ “Once in a Lifetime Experience” promise. A collaboration between two masterful chefs, Executive Chef Joseph L. Paire III, and Chef Richard Ingraham, created an exceptional menu for The Heritage Dinner at Limewood Restaurant & Bar, showcasing their unique culinary skills and passion for food.
This dinner evokes tradition and family, two things that are inherently important to me. It highlights the past, but also pushes forward the ideas of a greater future in foodChef Joseph L. Paire III
Exquisite Menu Highlights
The evening began with a decadent amuse of Caviar Beignets with Kaluga caviar, smoked creme fresh, and a cured egg. The saltiness of the caviar paired with this vibrant creme fraiche was delicious. At one point, a guest asked for a spoon to finish it. And yes, it was that good! Served inside a caviar tin was the perfect start to the dinner.
We were ushered to our seats, and as I sat down, I immediately felt a Wine & Whiskey-esque vibe. I thought, “Oh, this is going to be lovely!” #HeritageDinnerTweet
This was followed by a first course of La Goutte d’Or Onion Soup, or “A Drop of Gold,” with wagyu braised short rib, gruyere, and rustic baguette. You all know I’m a sucker for creative wordplay and plating. When we talk about UMAMI, this is what we mean!
This dish was stunningly sexy, sweet, acidic and textured—the caramelized onions and richness of the broth, le sigh. What I’m trying to say is it had all thee layers. Easily my favorite of the night. #HeritageDinnerChef Satia
The second course of Braised Collard Green Dolmas was visually stunning and highly creative. Dolmas are popular in Middle Eastern and Greek cuisines. Traditionally done with grape leaves, their attempt at using collards with Hoppin’ John and this sweet, crunchy walnut sort of gremolata on top worked and it was quite inventive. It sat atop a delicious curry espuma, further marrying the traditions.
Let’s Get to the Money Shot
The third course of Lobster Boudin with sweet potato grit cake and spigarello with sauce américaine was regarded as the evening’s standout dish. I am a bonafide lobster américaine fan and sauce enthusiast, so I was looking forward to this meal. Aesthetically, it didn’t quite hit, and though the lobster adornment was beautifully placed, the plate didn’t give me what I thought it would. The sausage, however, was delicious. You can tell they took their time with that. I kept going back for more of that to substantiate the rest of the plate. Listen, I know these chefs’ hands and minds, and they know what they’re doing. I wish it had translated to the scale that night.
I remember making a similar dish with jambalaya grits (yep), collards, sausage, and crab-stuffed prawns a few years ago; should we make their version, Lovers?
The meal ended with a delightful dessert of a deconstructed Red Velvet Cake, strawberry cream cheese mousse, and a pistachio crumble.
Opting for Personalized Virgin Pairings for Each Dish
Each plate was paired with wines and champagnes from local vintners, including black and minority-owned ones if not all. Some of the vintners included: Wade Cellars 2021 Chenin Blanc, McBride Sisters Brut Rose, Veuve Cliquot Brut Champagne, and La Fête du Rosé 2021 Cote de Provence. The La Fête du Rosé 2021 Cote de Provence was perfectly paired with the Lobster Boudin. Its bright acidity, ripeness, and fruitiness-spices and caramel lend themselves a perfect match for lobster and the sauce américaine.
Although we didn’t indulge in the wine fare, we decided to create our pairings with the assistance of our M and the bar. The pairings the chefs curated for this menu were flawless, in my opinion. That made it that much more accessible and allowed us to appreciate the flavors and ingredients in each dish fully and making for a truly unique dining experience. My favorite was the lemondrop inspired cocktail with a splash of cucumber and ginger.
The atmosphere at Limewood was chic and sophisticated, with stylish surroundings that were perfect for a night of Food. Art. Love. Noir. The service was exceptional, – M was a joy! Every detail was thoughtfully planned to make the evening a truly memorable experience. #HeritageDinnerTweet
The Overall Edible Excursion Experience
Delightful conversations and explanations of the intent of the night and each dish with both chefs.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience that combines tradition, family, and the future of food, the Heritage Dinner at Limewood Bar & Restaurant was it! With two masterful chefs at the helm and a superb menu, this was an experience that I won’t soon forget.
My overall experience was a solid 4 out of 5, and I would recommend it to you, Lovers!