Veni, Veni, Venison

It’s that time of year when the dojo men get together to celebrate a year in training, competitions, and broken body parts with a deer snared by Neil.

Senpai Joe was extra surly but gracious as host for the dinner, nonetheless (we only broke one glass and knocked off some contraption hanging on his wall).

El Capitan brought the vino, J-A-Y le fromage, of course, and sides were my assignment.  Indoor grill was lit, and I cranked out asparagus topped with duck yolks and parma cheese, sauteed string beans and carrots with garlic, ginger, and scotch bonnet, baked potatoes, and herb salad.  We polished off a jar of Dickson’s Farmstand pork belly rillettes, then Neil brought on loin after loin, to which I prepared a horseradish cream dressing and harissa.

The venison was lean and pure, but it probably would have been juicier with a marinade preparation.  We started with a Chateau Margaud champagne, light and clean, then an ’07 Chablis which was fat, moved on to reds with an organic beaoujolais segue, and finally two riojas, ’96 Faustino which needed time and ’00 Prado Enea from house of Muga which was bright and delicious.  El Capitan and I both enjoyed this bottle last at Botin in Madrid with roast suckling pig.

Finished with a Caravelle Champagne, of restaurant fame, and Scott la roc brought a bottle of Sam Adams Utopia, which was a cross between barleywine and cognac, not for me.  Ola hooked us up with two cakes, a red velvet and choco from Ladybird in Brooklyn, divine finish to dojo arguments and memories of the year.  Just before we could tear any more of the place down, Joe kicked us out, Scarface was playing on the tele and was over.  We were all satisfied and wondering who the Diaz bros. were too, reveling out the door in Tribeca, thanking the dojo for traditions like this one.