Wine-tasting dinner at Local Mission Eatery, with wines from Clos Saron – 29 June 2011

We have really been impressed with Clos Saron wines. We figured that if this restaurant liked Clos Saron, we’d like the restaurant – and we were right!

We got to sit at the bar (“seats 1 and 2,” we figured out) where we could watch the chefs, which was very cool 🙂 Our first course was a fascinating salad with roasted tomatoes (still juicy) and fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, cooked (probably steamed?) split green beans, treviso, and almonds (toasted?) in a very light yogurt-tarragon dressing.

This was served with the wine called “Tickled Pink”, which went amazingly well with the salad (I guess that’s not amazing, given the chef chose the food for the wine). The wine was sort of odd by itself, but terrific with the food. Which, after all, is the point.

The second course was white corn, creamed, with a green summer squash (not zucchini, we think – more white streaks in it), chunks of porcini, and “ricotta cavatelli” which were pasta things that were sort of like gnocci. They appeared to be striated tiny sheets of pasta that were rolled back on themselves, but not sealed into a tube. The ricotta was not a stuffing, so must have been in the batter. This was served with a wine we actually have in our cellar called “Carte Blanche”, and, if you ordered the additional flight (we split one) a red called “Out of the Blue”

The main course, pictured in the main dinner shot and below, we watched them cook. They had a container of potato cubes, already browned and apparently – smoked! They mixed these with a handful of arugula and torn bits of duck confit in a fry pan, and tossed in a bit of duck stock to braise the mixture for a few minutes. The arugula ended up wound in amongst the other ingredients, which would not have worked if it had been braised by itself, and ended up in a lump. This mixture was plated, then topped with three slices of roast (? maybe grilled?) duck, very rare, and finally a mix of chopped tomatoes and basil. I didn’t think the roast duck was that great, but the rest was really good. I’d like to try just the first braised mixture and leave off the rest and see how it is. I asked about the stock, and one of the chefs kindly told me they roasted the duck bones and used those. The head chef said that they used ginger, basil, thyme, and aromatic herbs, but we were not certain he was still talking about the stock.

With this course we had two wines: “Black Pearl” 2005, and “Texas Hill Road Pinot Noir”, also I think 2005.We bought some of all of the wines except the Texas Hill, which was {gasp!} $55!

Dessert! How could we resist the Peach Financier and the Chocolate Ganache? The Ganache was especially good, though both were really delicious.

{Written 3 July}

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