Just a heads up for those who enjoy high-end dining and excellent wine pairings … from April through July on the second Tuesday of each month Kai serves a six course fixed menu dinner with wines provided by one of their suppliers. The final one this summer is coming up Tuesday, July 10 and the wines are from Arizona winery Pillsbury, which has been developed by a New Zealand filmmaker and winemaker.
I’ve been to a couple of these wine pairing events and really enjoyed them. The one in June was especially good, with wines from Halter Ranch in central California; I think that was the best meal I’ve had at Kai and we’ve been there probably 15 times the past 3 years.
Highlights were seared salmon served with a rosé, then a pheasant confit with wild game raviolis served with a tannic 2005 Syrah, and then wagyu (Kobe) beef tenderloin from Snake River farms that was served with Halter Ranch’s 2007 “Ancestor Estate Reserve”. This was an excellent wine if you prefer the less tannic Bordeaux-type wines (my favorite red wines), a blend with 44% Cabernet Sauvignon plus five other varietals (they grown 20 different grapes on their property, the winemaker told us). Really good wine pairings, especially the Syrah with the game and pheasant and the Reserve with the wagyu.
Three years ago I didn’t know what wagyu was but after having a slice at Alinea in Chicago it quickly became my favorite beef. I’ve eaten it at three Michelin three star restaurants (Alinea, Per Se and L20) and this particular serving from Kai was better than all but the Alinea preparation.
I’ll give you the full menu description of the beef (the other items also had similar ‘sides’):
Whole Roasted Snake River Kobe Beef Tenderloin
Mexican Vanilla Mashed Potatoes, Baby Snippet of Carrot,
Turnip Roasted Lobe of Foie, Truffle Glace de Viande
So wagyu beef, foie gras and truffle glace on one plate, with exceptional wine … this dish was the winner. (Yes, I was at the gym an extra 120 minutes the next week to burn off all this rich food).
In addition to these main courses there were several canapés served with a white wine in the bar area before the dinner formally started, then an amuse-bouche once we were seated, and, after the three main courses and a palette cleanser, an assortment of four cheeses and many, many chocolates served with a late-harvest Syrah dessert wine. And then some more chocolate in the car for the drive home, like that was really needed.
Sorry if this post sounds a bit spam-like but I’d selfishly like to see them fill enough seats to keep these going. Kai doesn’t seem to advertise these on their main web site; I only knew about them because we get their monthly newsletter. So if you like good wine pairings and fine dining this is a good chance to get both at Kai.