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Royal Treatment

BY Nevin Martell | October 3, 2016 | Feature Features National

If you thought Kinship was a triumph, wait until you embark on a culinary journey at Eric Ziebold's Métier.
LUCKY SEVEN The outstanding seven-course tasting menu includes charcuterie and mushrooms.

Chef-owner Eric Ziebold wanted to create a night out worthy of a prince and princess. So he and his wife, Celia, crafted an experience that dazzles at every turn. Taking its name from the French word for craft, Métier is located below its sister spot, Kinship, a buzzy firecracker on the southern fringes of Shaw that has been blowing diners’ minds since late last year. To gain entrance to the subterranean supper club, guests enter a small elevator that quietly descends, as if one is accessing a secret lair. The doors open to reveal a low-lit, white-walled room evoking a swank salon, its shelves lined with titles like Caviar: The Definitive Guide and On Food and Cooking.

The evening begins with a flurry of ever-changing canapés from the James Beard Award winner, who earned a place in the culinary record books while helming CityZen. Now is a good time to explore the wine list, which is divided into two sections: from the vine (younger varietals) and from the cellar (featuring bottles at least 10 years old and some from as far back as the 1960s).

Then it’s on to the 30-seat dining room for the seven-course tasting menu, which changes only several times a year. (There are vegan and vegetarian options, and the kitchen is happy to accommodate other dietary restrictions). Flickering candles, along with slender rectangular fixtures that seem to float, light the sharp-lined modernist space designed by Darryl Carter. There’s a large window with a view into the white-tiled kitchen where Ziebold and his team work. On the opposing wall hangs a portrait of some nameless elder statesman with a jaunty brushstroke of white paint across his eyes, which the chef hung up as if to say, “We’re not taking ourselves too seriously.”

That sense of playfulness is evident the moment the meal begins. The first course arrives under a glass cloche, which when pulled away reveals wisps of finely shaved katsuobushi (smoked bonito) waving lazily like seaweed under water. Butter-braised potatoes are further enhanced with perky lemon creme fraiche and black pearls of Ossetra caviar. A server calls it an homage to Ziebold’s Iowan roots because it tastes like the most decadent stuffed baked potato you’ve ever eaten.

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