I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful holiday season and a very safe and fabulous New Year’s Eve. 🥳 Jerry was supposed to pilot us down to sunny St. Pete last week, but the weather kept us put. Fortunately, we were able to slip in and enjoy Chef Niall’s Firefly Grill 2021 New Year’s Eve tasting menu.
He and the Firefly Grill team outdid themselves! Bravo!!! I have to say the 2021 dining experience even surpassed the NYE 2018 menu.
If you weren’t able to get a table, here it is in review. If you were fortunate to have been able to get a seat at this sold-out event, I hope you enjoy this review.
Firefly Grill 2021 New Year’s Eve Tasting Menus
1st Course: Soup
cauliflower puree, brown butter sage, walnut, pickled cherry, crouton
Pickled cherry??? What?!!! Believe me, it made the dish. Amazing!
2nd Course: Salad
honey crisp apples, candied pecan, goat cheese, pomegranate, butternut squash, shredded kale, radicchio, Brussels, cabbage, carrot, white balsamic & mustard vinaigrette
Each course had its own surprise element. In this salad, the pomegranate and kale nailed it.
3rd Course: Sweet Potato
honey crisp cider-braised organic jewel sweet potato, roasted peanut chili crunch, Fresno pepper, cilantro, massaman cream, lime
Drat! Sorry guys, no picture for this one. Which is truly unfortunate. This was my MOST FAVORITE of the whole entire night. This is really saying something because every dish was outstanding. To be honest, when I read this on the menu, I did a huge eye roll in my head. Sweet potato? Really??? You got to be kidding me.
And then… POW!
Sweet… Crunchy… HOT… Creamy massaman put the fire out… light herbal notes… tangy brightness of lime. Oh sweet baby Jesus… And that was only one bite! No wonder I forgot to take a picture. I blissed out. Totally. Completely. Not sure it should be legal for this dish to be eaten in public.
4th Course: Roasted Califlower & Goat Cheese
crispy organic cauliflower, toasted cumin, spiced goat cheese, shishito herb vinaigrette, fried harissa spiced chickpea, basil microgreen, cilantro microgreen, frenched shallot, maiche
Looks benign, doesn’t it? Maybe a little weak? NOT. The texture of the cauliflower was lovely, soft yet firm with little bits of crispness around the edges. Kinda like my French teacher in high school.
We loved how all the flavors pulled together in this one. This was Jerry’s favorite.
Getting a bit full now. I have to admit I was very surprised (pleasantly mind you) at the GENEROUS portions each course was especially given there were 8 courses.
5th Course: Charcuterie
foie gras mousse terrine, grilled house-made bacon, grilled ciabatta, duck egg hollandaise, lemon, caper, shallot, sweet pickled Peruvian peppers, micro-arugula
You had me at… ciabatta.
All of these pictures were taken with my iPhone 8. These pictures do not do these dishes justice. This charcuterie got high points for major cuteness and the house-made bacon melted in your mouth.
6th Course: Seafood Napoleon
Ahi tuna, Alaskan king crab, mango, cucumber, sesame, cilantro, chili lime aioli, green tea, ginger, soy, yuzu, rainbow micro-intensity
Asian-inspired sauce with yuzu, ginger, green tea, and soy. So light, refreshingly sweet mango. Beyond compare!
Scroll down and keep reading, unless you’re Chef Niall. Niall… holy smokes, man!!! Wow!!! Is there any chance we can get a repeat of this beauty on the main menu? Pleeease don’t tell me we have to say goodbye to this darling little bit of scrumptiousness.
7th Course: Main Event!
Here you have a choice of:
- Iowa Premium 6oz Filet ($20 supplement)Iowa premium prime certified angus, firefly whipped potatoes, roasted pearl onion & peas
- Pork Porterhouse: firefly whipped potatoes, crispy brussels sprouts
- Crispy Confit Duck Leg: roasted new potatoes, arugula, mushroom, butternut squash, sage
- Roasted Lamb Rack: crispy fingerling potato, lamb demi-glace, roasted snap peas, mint
- Wagyu Short Rib ($20 supplement)truffle wagyu ravioli, chanterelle, morel, porcini
- Chilean Seabass ($20 supplement)quinoa, roasted olive, caper, feta, pickled peppers, spinach, lemon beurre Blanc
- Mushroom Ravioli: porcini & portobello ravioli, roasted wild mushrooms, chanterelle, morel, porcini
- Roasted Salmon: roasted spaghetti squash, ginger carrot butter, English pea, crispy sweet potato
I had the Salmon (last one) and Jerry had the Seabass. Both were excellent! Here’s the Salmon:
Both of our entrees were HUGE! We took them home half of both of them home and we’re having them for dinner tonight. Can’t wait!
8th (and final) Course: Dessert a world of its own
pot de crème, micro-mint, strawberry, wild berry syrup, toasted marshmallow
I planned on only having the minutest taste of this pot au creme on the very tip of my tongue. I was stuffed to the gills.
Yeah. That didn’t happen.
After the first bite… silky, creamy, chocolatey, rich bite that it was… I ate the whole thing.
And of course, loved it.
Happy New Year! I hope you and yours have a healthy and wonderful 2022!!!