Butter Poached Monterey Abalone
Rosemary-Vegetable Relish, Crispy Zucchini Flower, Lettuce Purée
Duo of Octopus
Tempura with Eggplant Caponata, Pine Nuts Marinated with Tomato, Ricotta Salata
This Rosé went very well with the dishes. I think the Riesling from the first course would have worked well too if they were starters, but as Raj said, the wines were meant to be a progression from heavy to light.
Wine to be paired with fourth course Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto D’alba, Piedmont 2008
Fourth Course Dishes
Whole Grain Crusted Skate
Chanterelles, Swiss Chard, Caper Chicken Jus
Slow Baked Striped Bass
Artichoke Barigoule, Lemon Arancini, Cilantro Pistou
This Dolcetto was my favorite pairing of the evening. As Raj said, it really brought out the earthy flavors of the chanterelles and artichokes. And this producer, Bruno Giacosa, makes one of the best Dolcettos in memory.
Wine to be paired with Fifth course: Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, Willamette 2006
Fifth Course Dishes
Whole Dorade “À La Plancha”
Figs, Glazed Radishes, Hearts of Palm, Chickpea Falafel (Prepared for Two)
The Pinot Noir was great – it did match the fig as Raj said. I could have also taken this to the Languedoc, perhaps a red wine from the Costeries de Nimes.
Wine to be paired with Sixth course: Bosquet des Papes “Cuvée Grenache”, Châteauneuf du Pape 2001
Sixth Course Dishes
Noirmoutier Turbot with Syrah Sauce
Leek Royale, “Pommes Lyonnaise” (Prepared for Two)
As Raj explained, the lower softer tannins of this wine worked well with this delicate fish.
Wine to be paired with dessert: Château Pajzos “5 Puttonyos Aszu”, Tokaji 1999
Duo of Fruit and Chocolate Desserts
Citrus of Marinated Strawberries
Vanilla Bavaroise, Yuzu Sorbet
Manjari Chocolate Mousse with Nougat Foam
Milk Chocolate Biscuit, Rwanda Coffee Ice Cream
As I mentioned before tasting it, I knew the 5 Puttonyos Aszu would be very very rich, sweet, and complex. It was delicious, and matched beautifully with the chocolate as Raj promised, but a few sips of such a luxuriously sweet wine were enough.
All in all – beyond the adventure of the pairing – the evening was fabulous. Daniel Boulud was in the house, and stopped by to say hello and sign the very elegant menu (with the wine and food pairings). Raj came up to say hello as well. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening was that Yannick, who we felt to be our personal waiter with all the attention he was showing us, was actually serving four other tables at the same time (and walking up that narrow staircase with cuisine in his hands!).