Monday, April 4, 2011

Wine and Dine — February 19, 2011

"Wine is the most civilized thing in the world." So claimed Ernest Hemingway, and while he was probably intoxicated at the time, we pretty much agree!

We decided to pay our own Foodist Colony tribute to the nectar of the gods: an Italian-inspired feast with specially selected wines paired with each of the five courses. Better yet, we partnered with Dale Musselman, a local wine connoisseur and enthusiast. Dale can be found pouring and sharing his extensive knowledge of wine at events around the city. We had a great time collaborating with Dale to design the dinner — and a truly wonderful evening sharing it with our guests.

Our Menu
We welcomed our guests with glasses of cava (Marques de Gelida Cava Brut Exclusive Reserva 2005). 

Anju says, "Cheese!"
(Yes, there might be more bad puns.)
Cheese Course: With the wine underway, the "dine" portion of the evening began with an array of cheeses — an herbed boursin, a classic bleu, an apricot brie, and a rosey goat. The cheeses were accompanied by homemade herbed focaccia crisps and olive oil asiago toasts, as well as a fig jam and a roasted red pepper spread. Rounding out the cheese course was a full-bodied, medium-dry Valckenberg Gewurztraminer 2009.

Dale introduced each wine, provided some background,
and explained the reasons for the pairing.

First Course: Next, we served a delicate arugula salad with roasted butternut squash, fresh red pear, pecans, and a caramelized pear vinaigrette. The salad was accompanied by a light, refreshing Carl Graff Riesling Kabinett 2008.

Salads on deck
Jason and Sheila listen as Dale describes the wine

Jyoti awaits her next course
The ravioli gets sauced (as were
some of our guests by this point!)

Second Course: Our pasta dish was a unique treat..."uova da raviolo." Each guest was presented with a ravioli with a soft-boiled egg in its center, nestled in a bed of ricotta, parmesan, and chives. The raviolis were topped with slivers of truffled cheese (Boschetto al Tartufo), warm truffle butter sauce, and fresh chives. The dish was complemented by a rich, flavorful DeLoach Russian River Chardonnay 2007.  
Softly oozing egg with truffles and cheese...delicioso!

Main Course: Our vegetarian guests were offered a savory wild mushroom strudel, garnished with a decadent port wine reduction sauce. The omnivores received pan-seared tilapia topped with a puree of basil, parsley, and almonds, wrapped in prosciutto, and served with a lemon-caper sauce. For our side dish, we served an artichoke and tomato panzanella, tossed with basil and olives. And our wine: a vibrant, juicy Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages

Tilapia wrapped in prosciuttio, sauced tableside

Wild mushroom strudel with a port wine reduction

The main course is served (and promptly devoured, it seems!)
Smiles all around...just what we love to see!
Dessert: Finally...le dolci! Our dark chocolate-cherry-Chambord trifle was greeted with "oohs" and "aahs" from our guests. And with good reason: layers of homemade chocolate sponge cake soaked with Chambord, cherry jam, sour cherries, chocolate custard, and Chambord-laced whipped cream, topped with shaved dark chocolate and an amaretti cookie. Capping off this decadent dish was Cockburn's Fine Ruby Port.
We weren't triflin' with our trifles!

Laetitia poses prettily with her port

Deepa checks out her trifle

Dale holds court on the port
After dessert, the night continued with more laughs and conversation — and, of course, more wine! We thank all of our guests for making the Foodist Colony's Wine and Dine event such a fun, fabulous night, with special thanks to Dale for sharing his wealth of wine expertise.

Party Pics
Guru pours it on

Zane sports a satisfied smile


Monica and Roompa

Sneh and Tejal

Laetitia and Shilpa enjoy the company


Post-dinner gossip

Jerome and Tania — two of our
most loyal Foodists

Alka presents the desserts,
a sweet finish to a wonderful meal