Griffin hosts another dinner party

Conversation about the financial crisis in Iceland accompanied organic greens with shallot vinaigrette. The bison burger was complemented by talk of Chelsea’s shocking defeat by Burnley. And the ice cream set the stage for heated debate about American patisseries and French rock-n-roll.

Will Griffin ’08, food aficionado and aspiring chef, hosted another of his weekly dinner parties Wednesday night, uniting a random mix of guests over interesting conversation and meticulously executed food.

The menu, e-mailed ahead of time to Griffin’s 75-person panlist, was straightforward — organic greens, bison burger and homemade ice cream — a good combination for all tastes, but not exactly adventurous. It was the carefully selected ingredients and close to perfect execution that made Griffin’s dinner a feast for food-lovers.

The burger, served with Point Reyes bleu cheese and caramelized onions (no ketchup, no mayo), was tender and tasty, cooked just right to retain its juice. To make the ice cream, Griffin used raw unpasteurised milk, vanilla and little lumps of candied ginger. The result was divine: a smooth consistency and a light underplayed vanilla flavor balanced by the sugary ginger. But the vinaigrette — shallots, Dijon mustard, olive oil and red wine vinegar — could have been less salty: the salad greens were so fresh and tasty, they could easily have made their case without a dominant dressing.

The dinner was accompanied by red wine and followed by a brandy which those in the know described as having hints of toffee, vanilla and candied orange.

The food was delicious, but part of the soirée’s success was due to the warm, congenial atmosphere. Griffin’s small apartment, informal presentation and good company — besides his excellent cooking — were conducive to a delightful and intimate dining experience.

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