Last night I was lucky enough to be able to attend a 5 course dinner with wine pairings that normally would have been $125 but I got to go for free thanks to my friend who works at Zagat. You can find all of the professional pictures of the event here.
I honestly felt like such a lucky girl and reallyyyyyyyyyyyyyy needed the leisurely long dinner and super abundance of wine to decompress and unwind from all of the house drama that I have been dealing with. Upon arrival I got a folder with their menus, a sugar cookie baked in-house to take home, and a coupon to come back for a complimentary beverage.
The evening started off with champagne service before moving into the full menu and wines. The wine pro at the restaurant came out before starting to give us a rundown and history on all of the truly excellent wines that we were going to taste (6 different kinds: 2 Chardonnay, 2 Pinot Noirs, 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1 Cabernet Franc). The theme of the wine dinner was Old World vs. New World, comparing and contrasting during each course two similar but different wines from different regions and different vintages. It was so cool.
For the food we started with a house selection of their canapes. Great flavors and light snacks. One with ricotta cheese, fava beans, and micro greens, one was an ahi tuna popper on a crispy sushi rice cake, and one that was a foie gras mousse with grapes. We were also given the most delicious tempurayaki mushrooms to snack on. OMG. The first entrée were seared scallops with green peas, asparagus, and delicious and light potato dumplings (not gnocchi we were told because they are French not Italian and only made with flour and egg not potatoes). The next entrée was my favorite, it was a duo of lambs. The first was an arugula salad with wine seared lamb and then this amazing and rich lamb cassoulet with cannelini beans and topped with these delicious bread crumbs. That cassoulet was sooooooo good and paired so well with the Australian Pinot Noir. The last entrée was the beef bourginon but it was a slightly deconstructed bourginon and used short ribs. The meat fell apart at the touch of a fork, no knife required and melted in your mouth after the hours it had spent simmering in wine. Pearled onions, potatoes and mushrooms filled out the plate.
By this time I was more than stuffed but I had no problem clearing all of my plates…because everything was just too good. Our dessert course was nice and light and also quite scrumptious. We were served a steamed lemon pudding with basil accent that was paired with a very tasty greek yogurt ice cream. Just the right sweetness to end the dinner and serve as a palate cleanser thanks to the lemon. We were also given the option of regular, decaf or espresso with the dessert course. The meal lasted over three hours and I enjoyed every part of it. I did feel special and I did enjoy getting to meet all of the other 9 diners, two of which are in my industry and quite interesting to talk to. After such a stressful day I went home full, drunk and happy.