Friday, August 25, 2006


Kris, Ken, Mary, and David came up from the city so we had a suitably fancy feast. I kept the courses small, and we had great fun moving back and forth through the wines, trying them with different things. First, a sashimi of heirloom tomatoes with corn salad (with red onion, thyme, and grape tomatoes,) which matched perfectly with the 2004 Collio "Molamatta" that Kris & Ken brought. Dressed with sesame & olive oils, nam pla, and nama shoyu. A nice fresh raw beginning to the meal.

Next a sort of deconstructed choucroute garni, with the "raw slaw" from ages ago cooked down with soy sauce and more vinegar into a funky sauerkraut along with a dollop of the split pea soup and a piece of local hot Italian sausage. Mustard on the side, and just right with a 2000 Trimbach cuvée Fréderick Emile. Sort of Alsace-on-the Hudson.

This was followed by a salmon tartare (red onion, chives, lemon, oiive oil) on top of a sort of guacamole (avos, lemon, cilantro, garlic) which was creamy and savory, and well accompanied by a Pleiades XIV.

Then ravioli, filled with a braised short rib/herb/pine nut mixture and with some parsley included in the dough for the top sheet for decoration. (No picture, though.) The sauce was the guts of all the heirloom tomatoes along with a bit of cream and truffle salt. With this we had David's offering: a 1976 Gevrey-Chambertin "Les Cazetiers" by Camille Giroud, for whom David now makes the wine. Fantastic, still young in a way, and after an hour open had transformed into a deeper, rounder, mature delight. We also opened a 1997 Produttori Barbaresco Riserva Moccagatta which everyone loved and which also improved dramatically over time given its youth.

I had thrown a lamb shoulder on the grill, rubbed with ras el hanout, coffee, and garlic, and it came off (a tad overdone, but saved by the sauce) and got a mixture of the short rib demi-glace and tapenade poured over it, along with a mint/rosemary/basil/garlic pesto for a note of bright green. For this we opened Mary's 1978 Stag's Leap, and my 1992 Beringer private reserve. The Beringer tasted great until we tried the Stag's Leap, which won hands down- sublime- they don't make them like this anymore.

Then cheese, which I chose to confound them: 2 from NY, one from VT, and one from VA. All were suitably impressed. Last, a blackberry tart (picked behind the garage the day before) and lemon verbena ice cream, also from the garden.

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