Archive for January, 2010

Southern France Wine Dinner Recap…

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

This past weekend we put together a small, very casual wine dinner featuring the wines of the Cotes Du Rhone region of France.  With the help of our wine enthusiast/friend/supporter Ian, Tim and I selected some of our favorites of the region.  Although many of the wines we tried were excellent,  we were trying to build something special, a journey if you will.  We chose wines that we thought were interesting and representative of what regional Rhone wines should be, but overall we chose wines that we truly felt were just good.  After we decided on the wines and their succession, it was my job to build a menu around them (and for me, that’s the fun part!).  The challenge of course is not just to make good, sound dishes, but to create dishes that don’t get in the way of the wines or contrast them in an uncomplimentary way, dishes that accent the flavors and nuances of each wine, dishes that make the wine “sing.”  (see the menu attached below)

Of course, as with all of our menus and events, it is my utmost goal to keep things fun, unpretentious and affordable, whilst adhering to highest standard,  level of quality, and attention to detail possible.   I believe in that with all my heart.  We try to have fun with these things, or why bother?  When you are here on any night, especially at a wine dinner, I feel it is like we are welcoming you in for supper.  I want you to feel welcome.  I want it to feel warm and endearing.

All in all, I think we achieved the goals we set out to accomplish.  The dinner was a smash hit!  The dining room was full and our guest were excited and very happy.  They sampled wines from one of my absolute favorite regions in the world, class wines.  They had seven courses of thoughtful, honest food, with sincere service.  They enjoyed conversing, laughing, listening to music and learning about wine and food together.  For me, I could not ask for more in one night.   So, thank you to the staff for your hard work, and thank you to you, our friends, for joining us for what turned out to be a very special evening!

We do these dinners often, but not on any regular sort of schedule.  When we find the right wines, and the right wine enthusiast to partner with, then we will do it again.  So stay posted.  Let me know if you would like to here more about the dinner or be informed when we hold our next one.   Thanks again, cheers!

derek

Saint Vincent Patron Saint of Wine Dinner Menu January 22, 2010

Today we honor St. Vincent, the patron saint of wine.  We are featuring the wines of the Côtes Du Rhône region of France. The wines and menu have been carefully selected and thoughtfully paired and prepared for your enjoyment.  Tasting portions of the wine will be paired with each course.  If you would like to order additional portions of any of the selected wines please ask and they will be provided at an additional charge.

amuse bouche

Baffoni’s Farm chicken liver + caramelized onion pâté with quince, chervil + toasted brioche

first course

Domaine Giachino (Savoie) Abymes Tradition 2007

Citrus grilled sea scallop + shrimp with tarragon, grapefruit, blood orange + pecorino

second course

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Crozes Hermitage Dom Thalabert 2005

Roasted crispy-skin salmon with fingerling potatoes, smoked bacon, kale  + green peppercorn jus

third course

Domaine “La Garrigue” Vacqueyras Côte Du Rhône 2007

Pressed pork belly with honey, frisée, sweet potato + mustard

intermezzo

Lavender-verjus + black-pepper sorbet with blackberries + champagne

fourth course

Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf du Pape Les Gallimardes 2005

Grilled breast of duck with rosemary, cassoulet, port wine + black truffle sauce

fifth course

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Muscat Beaumes de Venise “Vin De Natural” 2003

Warm apple tartlet with star-anise ice cream + caramel

another year fades, a new one begins…

Monday, January 11th, 2010

As the last year fades into the what hopes to be the bright start of the next, I plot and plan for 2010 and I think of all the wonderful opportunities that this year will hold for us.  I am so looking forward to what this year may bring us. It’s still far too early yet to get the gardens started, but I’m planning the start none the less. I’m looking at the many exciting new ways to make the restaurant better, more sustainable, and ways to take the food and service places its never been, for us and for our guests.  I find myself reading more than ever, and looking at peers for constant inspiration, direction and support.  We’ve a beautiful food community here in Providence, not without its challenges, but then again, what is?  What is important is that the relationships are there and the common thread of the want for lives filled with integrity-driven, honest passionate food and food sources exists (what a wonderful starting point!).  I look dauntingly at the world of technology that lies before us, both culinary and media driven, and know that though I have my reservations about their use in my craft I must embrace the tools that will allow me to communicate, learn and create with more ease and accessibility.  I look forward to further developing our relationships and ties with our local farmers/producers and artisans, finding new methods and new products to be inspired with, cook and create.