Friday, September 25, 2009

Pawpaw Adventure. Part One: Awe

It started with an anniversary dinner. To celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary, Kent and I went to Revolver in Findlay, OH. For those living in the fine-dining desert of Northwest Ohio, Revolver is an oasis. It is by far the only place I know within an hour drive of B.G. that takes the food they serve seriously.

What this means is that when you go to Revolver, you'll get food that is not only prepared perfectly, but in most cases is also local organic, sustainable, and ethical. And this is not merely lip-service to the trendiness of the local food movement. On Revolver's website, co-owner Debi Bulkowski explains their philosophy, “We are in the heartland and have access to some of the most gorgeous produce available. We have been warmly received by the organic farming community and there really is something special about meeting the individuals who are responsible for the perfect arugula.” Revolver prints the name and location of the local farms whose products they are serving that night on the menu, and the servers, when asked, will specifically tell you where everything on your plate came from. Some of the places where our meal came from: Dickman Farms (Fostoria), Luginbill Farms (Pandora), Daisyfield Farms (Sandusky), Garden Spirit Farms (Mount Blanchard), Miller’s Meats (Findlay) and Wolfe’s Nuts (Findlay).

While every part of the meal was perfect executed down to the last detail (I'll spare you the bite-by-bite details), it was the dessert that blew me away in a excuse-me-while-I-pick-up-my-jaw-off-the-table sort of way. Pawpaw creme brulee.

When our server, Jonah, gave us the evening's dessert selections. He said, "We have paw paw creme brulee. You know about pawpaws, right?"

(This is also something to appreciate about Revolver, they are not the least bit pretentious, which means they'll graciously explain, in detail, everything you eat and drink there, if you so desire. But I digress...)

My little ears perked up because I never knew such a fruit existed. Being a dedicated gastronome is a lot like falling in love over and over again. But after awhile, it's easy to get jaded. However, when you really appreciate GOOD food, the first bite of something truly incredible is a lot like a first kiss. You never forget it. You remember that moment forever. Forget the diamond advertisements because that first slab of unctuous fois gras was orgasmically earth-shaking, or that first perfectly ripe, just plucked from the vine heirloom tomato. Or that first briny-sweet komomoto oyster. Or that first bite of sashimi tuna. And, then, there was the first taste of a pawpaw.

A pawpaw tastes a little like this: Imagine if a pear and a mango procreated, and their offspring mated with honeydew melons and pistachios.

Now, back to this creme brulee, it had whispers of citrus, hints of almond and pistachio, and a haunting afterglow of honeydew melon. Add those flavors to a perfectly caramelized sugar crust, sprinkled with just a few flakes of Maldon sea salt, and well, my eyes were practically rolling back in my head.

When I explained to Jonah how incredible an experience eating this dessert was, he told me about their pastry chef that had went to Kaleidoscope Farms, about ten miles from Findlay, to pick pawpaws. And, before Jonah dropped off our check (which was incredibly reasonable. Read: three courses with wine for two just under $100), he handed me a ticket from his server's notepad that had the name and number of the pawpaw grower scribbled across it.

Stay tuned for Part Two and pictures.

P.S. To ensure a blissful anniversary celebration, I respected Kent's wishes and left the camera home.


AMR said...

I can't wait for part 2.

And I totally understand about leaving the camera at home. LOL!

Glad you loved Revolver. They are fantastic! And you can "fan" them on Facebook too!

Diane said...

I've been waiting for you to post on this ever since I saw the Facebook update!