April 3. My parents went to an auction for Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong Foundation and purchased a dinner for eight anywhere n the country and gave it to us as a gift. We gathered friends from near and far as the Bunkers came up from Pennsylvania, the Madaraszs from New jersey and the Sussmans from Fairfield. It became an evening of great discussions, great food, great wines and lasted for 5 hours. Best of all, we did nothing except for provide the venue and the wines.
At 1Pm, I opened the Barolo. At 3 PM, the Executive Chef from Canyon Ranch, Scott Euhlein showed up having shopped and prepped the meal at his kitchen in the resort in Lennox, Mass. We had been consulting on the wine matches over several weeks. Scott and Jan had a complete set of dishes, glasses and silverware delivered earlier in the day. Scott began to work nonstop to ready the meal for a 7PM start. At about 5, our server, Heidi showed up to set everything up. Scott described in great detail each dish as we moved through the courses.
We started with a terrific assortment of appetizers in our living room with local goats cheese and Manchego and fruit accompanied by an amazing Artichoke dip that was light without being rich and the tinge of lemon zest and parsley elevated it to delicious. Scott also made very nice mini crab cakes. We paired it with a biodynamic 2002 Grand Cru Champagne from Larmandier-Bernier that we bought at the Winery a few years ago.
We then sat at the table for the next seven courses starting with a terrific salad with Mexican Avocado, Heirloom Tomato, Mango Yuzu Vinaigrette that we paired with a terrific Domaine Leflaive
Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er Cru 2000. The minerality and richness were a great offset to the freshness and sweetness of the salad.
That was followed by a Thai Ceviche - Wild Caught Shrimp Marinated in Lime Juice
with Jicama, Red Bell Pepper, Scallion, Grapefruit, Cilantro and Serrano Chili. The grapefruit somehow worked perfectly with the chili and cilantro. Mike Sussman brought an Alban Vineyards Viognier, Edna Valley 2005 that Adrienne Bunker described as a bowl of fruit in a glass and was the prefect compliment.
Next came locally farmed Barramundi, which is an Australian fish, prepared with grilled Berkshire Apples and sage which was delicious with the rich Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet 1999.
Scott's Ewes Mews Blue Cheese Stuffed
Dates, wrapped in House Cured Veal Bacon with Frisse and Balsamic Drizzle were amazing and the very young, but delicious Comte Georges de VogÃ¼Ã© Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2000, which turned out to be Paul and Maureens favorite wine of the night. This may have been the best course in a great meal.
Scott served a few pieces of seared Loin of Lamb with Berkshire asparagus, wild mushrooms and
fresh thyme that was terrifically integrated. Unfortunately the Joseph Roty
Charmes-ChambertinTrÃ¨s Vieilles Vignes 1995 was hiding and surprisingly will need to be drunk in another 5 years or more.
Finally, the main course was Beef Tenderloin with Creamy Polenta, Grilled Dinosaur Kale and Dried
Cherry Demi Glace that Scott built around the 1971 Bartolo Mascarello, which after 9 hours was showing its complexity and was Stephanies favorite wine of the night.
Then Scott serviced his warm molten chocolate cake with raspberry puree. The group split into coffee or a bottle of Phillip Tognis 1997 Cabernet from California, which Scott insisted would go great with the cake and highlight the raspberry sauce. This bottle, which we opened for dinner the night before and put aside as too tannic to drink had blossomed perfect with about 12 hours of air and the fruit showed itself to pair perfectly with the dessert.
We then repaired to the living room for Scotts Gelees and the famous Canyon Ranch cookies and served a 1986 Yquem, which is always the perfect dessert.
Finally it was midnight and time to end what was a terrific night.
Thanks Mom and Dad