As written by Christine Berenger for Bordeaux Index.
Watching any Woody Allen movie about New York will confirm that true New Yorkers are known for their OCD and a never ending quest for the “best”. Hey, I can make fun of myself and my people. All of our friends back in New York are either perfectionists when it comes to cooking (one even went to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America), heavily involved in the restaurant industry or are neurotic disciples of websites like http://www.eater.com/. Tough crowd, right? But, it’s our shtick and we love it. So here we are, across the pond in our new London digs. What to do?
Only week two into our London adventure and still sleeping on our air mattress, we received an email from our friend Seb asking us if we’d like to participate in a dinner club for oenophiles that his friend Guillaume organizes. Serendipitous, right?
“Problem”: There’s some nice vino in your cellar which you are itching to crack open. You have friends in the same camp. Oh… and you all love good food.
Solution: Create a dinner club and do it right. Be organized. Based on the menu, decide and distribute the wine pairings in advance. The venue can be a restaurant (on one of their less busy nights if you are bringing your own wine) or rotated at one another’s home.
Result: There I was in a sea of Frenchies enjoying a fabulous food and wine pairing at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. It goes without saying, from start to finish, my food experiences here are always rock star. And, those mashed potatoes… I don’t even like mashed potatoes and I find myself licking the spoon every time I’m there. Truth be told, I’ve given serious thought to licking the plate as well, but my southern Louisiana upbringing reminds me that this is a no-no.
Foie gras, port reduction and parmesan foam
Ruinart Rosé NV, Champagne
Red currant and strawberry flavors, pleasant acidity… yin to the yang of the foie gras
Crabmeat with fennel mousseline and tomato jelly
Domaine Vincent Dauvissat, Chablis Grand Cru, Les Clos 2004
Elegant green fruit with a bit of white flowers… fabulous with that tomato leaf essence
Mackerel on thin tart with parmesan shavings and olives
Domaine Trimbach, Riesling, Cuvée Frédéric Emile 2004, Alsace
Steely, but mineral driven… balanced the brininess of this dish; loved this
Pan fried fillet of red mullet, pissaladière and sauce vierge
Beaux Frères, Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir 2006, Willamette Valley
Robert Parker’s joint venture in Oregon and the new world contribution; dark berry, some bacon flavors… great with the anchovies from the pissaladière, but drank a little too early; will improve in time
Free range quail with foie gras and truffle mashed potatoes
Château La Conseillante 2002, Pomerol, Bordeaux
Château La Conseillante 1996, Pomerol, Bordeaux
Verticals are always an experience; the 1996 was a little bit past its prime; I preferred the dark berries and earthiness of the 2002
Fresh and candied strawberry tart served with lime cream cheesecake and rose ice-cream
Yves Cuilleron, Les Ayguets 2007, Condrieu, Northern Rhône
I’m such a fan of Yves Cuilleron… just an über cool and talented winemaker; tropical and nectar flavors… delish; will continue to improve with age
Photos are courtesy of Guillaume Raffy.