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F is for Food-Fest: An Oscar-Night Menu Inspired by Nominated Movies (or Dude! We Ate Horse!)

I told Jenny Craig I'd be having an extravagent dinner on Oscar night. Dude, we ate horse.
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Oscar Night Menu_beautygeeks

At last week's Jenny Craig counselling session, I mentioned I'd be going to an elaborate Oscar-Night dinner. "Moderation," advised Victoria, reminding me to keep the Jenny off-menu guidelines in mind: moderate meat, starch, a vegetable and a fat. And then off I went to Lesa's, happily looking forward to the sure-to-be-inventive menu created and executed by her husband John Crossingham. It's not the usual Beautygeeks fare, this post, but I haven't been able to get that amazing meal out of my mind.

Book editor and author by day -- he wrote the wonderful Learn to Speak Music: A Guide to Creating, Performing and Promoting Your Songs -- and dedicated foodie by night (and weekends -- killer brunch), John crafted the following nine-course feast, each taster-sized portion inspired by an Academy Award-nominated film:

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close_NY pizza pie classic

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close A thin-crust nod to exuberant, classic New York pizza.

The Artist_pretentious delicate quail w French lentils

The Artist Delicate quail in honey mustard marinade on a bed of French lentils.

War Horse_horse sirloin w beets and blood-spatter jus

War Horse Horse sirloin, earthy beet root in balsamic vinegar and butter, "blood-spatter" jus. Yes, horse sirloin. (At first I thought "horse" was a type of cut.) Tastes like... steak.

Moneyball_panko-encrusted bocanccini cheese w homemade ketchup

Moneyball Deep fried panko-encrusted mini bocconcini balls with homemade ketchup. Better than stadium hot dogs.

The Descendents_Ahi tuna with pineapple and avocado

The Descendants Ahi tuna with pineapple and avocado, topped with ginger-soy-jalapeno vinaigrette. A particular crowd pleaser that evening.

Tree of Life_raw broccoli stalks_carrots_slaw_cashews_destroyed broccoli florets

Tree of Life Raw broccoli-stalks-and-carrot slaw, with cashews, almonds and a yogurt-apple cider dressing -- and "destroyed" roasted broccoli florets.

Midnight in Paris_steak frites_homemade fries

Midnight in Paris Steak frites (those frites are homemade, yo) with sprout salad. Parisian late-night fare.

Hugo_unassuming vichyssoise w egg_spoon is key to unlocking

Hugo "Unassuming vichyssoise" with poached egg -- the spoon was the "key" to "unlocking" the yolk. Délicieux.

The Help_No-poo chocolate pie

The Help Dark chocolate no-poo pie (#nopoopie wins Hashtag of the Night). The short-cookie crust was made with cocoa and orange zest; the filling was about three bars of 70% cocoa dark chocolate, plus cream, whole milk and eggs. Topping: crème fraiche and blueberries. Insane.

I showed Victoria these pictures today as I confessed to clearing every plate. And then I discovered I'd managed to lose a partial pound over the course of the week. Yay!

Dude, we ate horse.

John's menu

Update March 4: Lesa just sent me this snap of John's rundown. All this without Bobby Flay's Iron Chef prep team (see comment below). Mind blown again.