A Vintimate Affair...
Our ultimate "som" and wine guy; Chris came up with this cool concept to run a series of wine and food soires in the dining room a few weeks ago to feature some very unique tastes and pairings of food and grape. It is an opportunity for him and I to showcase what we do best and to provide for a more intimate setting of about 10-12 guests all revolving around this great marriage...enter Vintimate. The first was labeled as Beef & Bordeaux, second was Salmon & Pinot and this last one was Muscovy & Merlot. The worst is that I did not have my camera during the first two dinners. For the record, they all rocked! The guests loved the setting...small, intimate, informative, exciting, excellent tasting and creative on many fronts. Large format wine dinners can be fun, and usually are, but sometimes, something special gets lost when doing large numbers. For me, the food rarely tends to suffer, as I learned long ago from a quote from Daniel Boulud...whether the meal is for 10 or 10,000, just plan accordingly, have the tools and team to do it and make it awesome. That's my focus and I'm stickin' to it. But, in the end, mainly for the guests, it is just not as sexy as a small table of close friends or family to savor over an excellently crafted work of art and fine bottles of vino. The idea is that during the dinner, he will sit with the group and talk about the wine itself, the pairings, the food and why the two pair up really well in a great marriage of taste and texture. It allows the guests to learn more about food and wine pairings without the formality of a large format dinner or the sterility of a class room-style gathering. The creation of the menu begins as simply the heading and I run with it. I am sure that at times it drives him crazy(in a good way) cause my food is not always the easiest to pair wines to. Hopefully he and his team enjoy the challenge. Here is the menu and photos below for your own enjoyment.
organic baby carrot sorbet, mango, toasted coconut, carrot oil
seared diver scallop "martini"
peas, corn, house cured bacon, heirloom garlic-thyme emulsion,
spice crusted Muscovy duck breast, gingerbread pancake, chanterelles
caramelized fennel "sous vide", compressed cherries, oregano blossoms
"claudio corallo" sauce
tuma trifulera "brulee", pluots, hazelnuts, shiitake chips, truffled kettle corn
truffle-late harvest zinfandel vinaigrette
slow roasted heirloom tomatoes, basted in their own caramel & vanilla
lavender ice cream, olive oil sponge, raspberries, bacon praline, basil seeds, lav tuile
tomatoes being slow roasted and basted
with vanilla, bay, black pepper, brown sugar, honey and tomato water
Chef's Table Shots...
wild striped bass "chop", fingerling potatoes sous vide, spanish chorizo
charred baby octopus, green olive vierge
grilled block island swordfish, farmer's squash, chorizo, tomato sofrito
marjoram blossoms, crispy shallots, jus de poisson
spicy buttermilk dipped portuguese sardines
fennel-orange salad, chili aioli, fennel pollen, blood orange dressing
honey bunches of oats crusted foie gras, diver scallop, sauteed pluot
late harvest zinfandel vinegar gastric
spice crusted muscovy duck, gingerbread pancake, chanterelles, carrots
caramelized fennel, elderflower compressed cherries, oregano blossoms
"claudio corallo" sauce