B.Y.O.W. 06.08.07

Bring your own wine! A term I recall with fond memories of my late teen years and into adulthood. BYOB as it were. Wild parties. Too much to drink. Sometimes out of control. A freakin blast! This has become an annual event at the club- a lively food and wine event celebrating the start of summer with sexy food served up to pair with wines brought from various cellars of our membership. The behavior a little more reserved however. There are a couple of exciting elements to this gathering fro me, in that one...it is always interesting to see how the choices of wines paired vary from one table or guest to another. Truthfully, it is not always the best "pairing", but about the "experience". If one has a particularly awesome bottle of Syrah and we are serving Sea Bass...bring it on! This brings me to the second element-the food! Since we can obviously not pair the food to the 150 some-odd wines, selfishly, we get to practically do whatever we want. This menu was composed and conceived from notions of spring, taste, ingredients, lavishness & luxury and indulgence. If not for a minor "wrench in the spokes"; aka budget, there would have been visions without boundaries. Still, the flavors were alive, the textures exciting and the composure intriguing! The soire began with tastes of artisan cheeses that were procured the world around with some select house cured salumi and charcuterie. As the reception came to a close, we progressed into our amuse gueules; a snappy combination of flavor...
Ahi Tuna Tartare
baby fennel, golden pea tendrils, spring pea foam, shaved crottin de chavignol
and a savory nicoise olive-candied salmon chip
Next, was an indulgence of the senses with the silkiness of the foie gras...
Ras el Hanout Cured Hudson Valley Foie Gras "Torchon"
poached "Mr. Fryes" Rhubarb, Apricot-Truffle Conserve, Rhubarb Gastric
Buckwheat Crumble, Sauternes-Gewurztraminer Infusion and Micro Burgundy Amaranth
Then we served a riveting, intoxicating marriage of flavor all harnessed in a complex juxtaposition of tasty ingredients worthy of any serious gourmand! Nirvana in every sense of the word.
Pan Roasted Diver Sea Scallop & Kurobuta Pork Belly
smoked maple, artisan grits, morels, fava beans and their "alter ego"(the pesto)
red ribbon sorrel and a rich braisage blended with balsamic-onion jelly
The dish that most certainly was key in the decisive choice of which wine to bring was this one. For me, it was simple, fun and pure. No B.S. Nothing that would really cause one to shun it off as being too avant garde or "exploratory", or risky of wine pairing. It is a kind of dish that brings everything into perspective about tastes and textures and how (and why) flavor is of paramount importance. Enter the Angus Flat Iron. "Why not the customary Snake River Farms Kobe version usually exploited on most menus"? Remember the B word. Not only that, it was a great opportunity to do another type of exploring. A chance to promote and work with another local producer from Washington State. Kick ass flavor!
Porcini Crusted Confit of Angus Flat Iron
grilled abalone mushrooms, caramelized onions, sweet garlic, baby artichokes, crispy quinoa

As in life...all good things must come to an end. This gastronomic feast was no exception. As we served the desserts, the "oohs" and "ahhs" circulated around the amberly lit room profusely. The experience had come full circle.
Wild Blackberry-Tapioca Creme Brulee
pistachio chiffon, braised kumquats, lemon verbena ice cream, chocolate caramel, croquant
At the club, our motto has been, and continues to be; "Serious Food...Serious Fun"! It is about the experience and creating memories. As I reminisce about my wasted youth gone wild, it really has not changed much, except that it is done with much more taste, style, class and common sense and maturity. Short of a few years and just a slightly different shade of grey~ the song remains the same!


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