Attended the wine dinner at Genoa last night with my wife, mother-in-law and one of our friends. The dining room was full and everyone shared a table with someone. We shared a table with a family of 4 from Chelais and a couple ladies one of whom was married to one of the chefs. As we entered the room we were served a glass of champange, I have no idea who's it was but it started the evening off right.
This event was to introduce the menu chefs at Genoa and to enjoy the wines from Cameron.
Ostriche Fresco: Kumomoto Oysters drizzled with a mignonette of zucchini, minced shallots and orange zest, with a touch of champagne and sherry vinegar.
Paried with a 2004 Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Course and pairing presented by Benny Yeomans
There were two oysters on the plate and the course was served with a slice of dark bread. The oysters were very nice and paired extremely well with the acid in the chardonnay.
Cannelloni con creama de tartufi: Cannelloni of homemade pasta filled with braised veal. Baked with a nutmeg béchamel and served with a sauce of black ruffle cream and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Paried wiht a 2003 Abbey Ridge Chardonnay
Course and pairing presented by Alex Bourgidu
My favorite dish of the night. Served as a single filled pasta with a large stuffing of the veal. I could not really taste the truffles but there was a nice full slice of one on top of the pasta. The wine was a much deeper version of the first chardonnay and went well with the pasta however I think just about anything would have went well as it was an excellent dish.
There was a basic salad that came in this spot. I think it was arugala or watercress with a couple slices of apple and some shaved parmigiano. It was not listed on the menu and I basically forgot about it right after eating it.
Vitello alla fungi: Veal breast stuffed with a savory mixture of local chanterelles, fresh spinach, shallots and herbs, then seared and slowly braised in veal stock until tender. Served with a pinot noir reduction and accompanied by fregula sarda and roasted baby carrots.
Paired with a 2003 Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir and a 1995 Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir
Course and pairing presented by Susan Scharfman
This just was not a great dish, I had high hopes for it when I sat down but the execution was a bit wrong. It was served as a single slice of the rolled veal on top of the ball shaped pasta. My veal was extremely tough and must have fully missed the slow braise. The stuffing was decent and had pretty good flavor. The pasta was very nice although one of my table mates called is luxury rice-a-roni. The star in this course was the chance to taste both the 2003 and the 1995 Pinot side by side. Both were very good and very different, with the older wine showing much less fruit but more rose and oak.
Pan de Jerez: Bittersweet Valrhona chocolate torte served with a Gran Marnier zabaglione, warm chocolate sauce, candied orange zest and toasted hazelnuts.
Course presented by Joan Husman
This one was a winner with most people, although I wish they would have poured another wine with the course or remind us to save some of the pinot from above. The torte was a very soft and warm almost moose and the two sauces played very well with the dish. I don't think there was an empty dish on our table when all was done.
The whole event was very nice and we had a good time. I wish there would have been a bit more interaction with the chefs during the meal (more like what the Plate and Pitchfork guys do). The chefs did come out at the end and spend 10min going over their dishes but I would have liked to get the sales pitch with the plate in front of me vs. at the end. The wine maker (John Paul) was very entertaining and provided great background to each wine as it was poured. The dinner started arround 7:00 and we were out of the place arround 10:30. For the $60 a head charge(plus tip, which they kept reminding us about) I think it was worth it and I will keep my eyes out for the next round later this year.