The first sip of your drink should perfectly complement every bite of your entree, up to the very last taste of dessert. Eating is an art, really, and the amazing chefs at Marker 32 are basically modern day Picassos. The importance of creating a flavor palette every time you sit down for a meal is forgotten in today’s society, but we’re here to show you how much more amazing your food will taste if you tie every course of your meal together. To make it even easier, we’ve put together some sample Marker 32 meals that we know you’ll love. Bon Appetit!
4 Secrets for Getting the Most out of Your Meal:
1. Creating a well-balanced meal is your goal, so it’s important to avoid duplicating taste. When a cheese plate is your appetizer, cheese shouldn’t be incorporated in your main entree.
2. Have you ever noticed that fruits aren’t often served as hors d’oeuvres? Sweet and sugary foods like fruit quickly dull the appetite, which is why the sweetest food is saved for dessert. Grapefruit is the only exception! Its sharp taste stimulates the palette.
3. If you opt for a cream-based soup as your appetizer, ordering creamed vegetables or side dishes isn’t complementary. Heavy, creamy starters shouldn’t be followed by creamy sides.
4. When a sauce is used during one of the courses, the same sauce shouldn’t appear again.
Your goal should be to pull items from the menu that will create a perfect balance of strong, sweet, bland and sharp flavors, and varying textures, colors and temperatures. Bland foods like pasta, rice and potatoes should be accompanied by richer flavors found in meat or well-seasoned vegetables, followed by dishes with sharp tastes, like a vinaigrette salad.
A meal done right will have contrasting flavors that perfectly complement each other. Here’s what we mean:
1. Complementing Temperatures: Simply, a balanced meal will incorporate foods of both hot and cold temperatures. Hot foods are almost always present in a meal because they stimulate the appetite, except during extremely warm weather.
2. Complementing Textures: Opposites attract when it comes to food texture. A good mixtures of smooth and crunchy foods is ideal. This is why soup and salad pairs together so well!
3. Complementing Colors: The main course is the focal point of your meal, so it’s visually appealing if the other courses include food colors that contrast the entree.
4. Complementing Seasonings: We’re talking herbs, seasonings, and marinades. If you order a bland drink to start off your meal, a heavily seasoned appetizer should immediately follow to perk up the senses.
So to help you make sense of all of this cooking talk, take a look at these mock menus we’ve creating using some of our favorite Marker 32 menu options:
Mock Menu #1
- Warm Spinach Salad – swiss / mushrooms / bacon /egg / honey tarragon dressing
- Seared New Bedford Scallops – collard greens / creamy grits / roasted corn basil shrimp broth
- Chocolate Truffle Torte – spiced port chocolate sauce / white chocolate pistachio bark
Mock Menu #2
- Lavender Sweet Tea / Riesling
- Salmon Tartare – salt & vinegar potato chips/avocado puree
- Soup Du Jour
- Paneed Chicken Breast – Porcini mushroom pan sauce / whipped potatoes / sautéed spinach
- Bourbon & Raisin Bread Pudding – brown butter ice cream / fried pecans
Mock Menu #3
- Pale Ale
- Classic Caesar – olive tapenade / shaved pecorino / red onion / house cracker
- Fried Jumbo Mayport Shrimp – shoe string fries, slaw, cocktail, M32 tartar sauce
- Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee
Pretty enticing, right? When your dinner will include 3+ courses, it can be really fun to plan out your selections to include varying flavors, textures and temperatures from every category. Now, we aren’t saying that you shouldn’t be a little spontaneous every once in while, because by all means, order whatever sounds best to you! But if you are looking for a more formal dining experience, that means planning out the courses to all fit together.
We hope we’ve equipped you with the tips to plan the perfect meal, and there’s no better place to do it than at Marker 32! We hope to see you for dinner soon!