Tonight was closing night for venerable Ciao Mein. We had planned to eat one last time last weekend (which we did). But had second thoughts and made reservations for tonight too.
The restaurant was offering a set menu special which we took advantage of. This is what we ate last week.
The Cat really liked this (anything having to do with fresh seafood done well and The Cat is there). Back in 26 December 2010, I posted about the soft shell crab tempura salad we had at Ciao Mein which The Cat is still raving about. The soft shell crab tempura is still number one in The Cat’s book, but this tea smoked shrimp (with the dressing) comes in a close second.
The Cat liked the crispy pancetta with the pasta (I think this is the first time she’s had pasta with crispy bacon, how deprived).
The menu gave us a choice of Saltimbucca de Vitello (veal scallopine with sage) or warm water lobster tails in a black bean sauce with asparagus. Since there were the four of us (we invited our friends Dr. T and R to join us), it was two orders of the veal and two orders of the lobster.
Of course we had to add this.
I’ve often said one order of Ciao Mein’s Szechuan Eggplant and a big bowl of rice and I’m good (what are the rest of you having?).
You can order it mild, medium, or hot, we ordered it mild. I think we could have ordered it medium.
Dessert was tiramisu as part of the set package.
And of course, we had to order the Marco Polo (I think it’s a federal regulation).
At this point in time, I thought that was the last time we would see Ciao Mein. To back up a bit, the night we went, both our favorite server, G W (not his real name, changed to protect the guilty) and Chef C were off that night. During the week, we decided to go for one last time on the last night.
So here we are.
When we called for reservations we wanted to see if G W and Chef C would be working. Chef C got on the phone and said not to worry about the menu, he would take care of it. Tonight, we trusted our palates and stomachs to Chef C, no menu required.
From left, salt and pepper shrimp, tea smoked shrimp caesar salad, and Beijing duck with foie gras. OMG!
This was as good as the last time, there were even toasted pine nuts.
To us, this is one of Chef C’s career defining dishes. A fusion of Chinese and French, well done. Happily, this may be on the menu when the new restaurant opens in several months.
And there’s more.
Sorry couldn’t get the name of this dish. Fried chicken with a sweet and spicy sauce, topped with chopped roasted peanuts.
The mussels were done well. The Thai basil added a different layer of flavor to the black bean sauce.
Fresh, moist, tender. The Cat got the head and tail.
We ended with tiramisu and the Marco Polo. Was there any doubt?
They let us take a few dishes and a pair of chopsticks home for souvenirs.
Ciao Mein, Xie Xie, Grazie! and Mahalo for the terrific food, outstanding service, and wonderful memories. We will always remember.
Ciao Ciao, Zai Jian, Aloha.